Some of our greatest lessons are learned in the face of disappointment.  Those lessons are the greatest because they are the most difficult, challenging and at times painful but they can also open opportunities of growth and reward in our lives. There have been many times in my life where I experienced disappointments personally, in relationships, friendships, at work, in the church, within my ministry and business. If you live long enough you will face many disappointments. The key is not to permit those disappointments to overshadow, hinder or shut down your goals and dreams.  One of the healthy and rewarding ways to face disappointment is through determination.

Earlier this year I took a leap of faith and started a project that had been talked about and prayed over for a year. It was (and still is) something I knew God was leading us to do to serve the community of women in a particular way.  I involved women who advised they were interested in being a part of the project. Once we began to work toward pulling the pieces together in order to see it come to fruition there was a combination of a lack of commitment, for some a lack of interest. I was disappointed and surprised but I set those emotions aside as I knew it wouldn’t serve me well to fall into wallowing in the what happened and why’s of the situation.

I decided to put the project on pause and face the disappointment head on….

I prayed for wisdom, direction and answers. I took time to examine the whole of the situation and ask and answer the questions that needed to be addressed. It’s been a four month process and now I can see clearly what needs to happen. Same project, different focused direction including the help needed in planning, development and execution. I’m excited again! I know it’s going to benefit other women because I know that it’s something that’s needed not only in our community but in other places as well. Hence, expansion of the vision was a necessary part of the different focused direction.

Here’s my point in this, disappointments will come. You’ll start something that you are certain you should be doing — passionate about — desiring to serve others and suddenly you’ll have people who won’t commit to the work needed to see it succeed. You’ll have nay-sayers, doubters, people who care but they just may not be able to see the vision to the degree that you do even when you share it, explain it and involve them in it. It just might not be for them and that’s OK.  We have to be willing to shift, to make changes, to go through the hard examinations of the situations (disappointments and all), and to pivot where necessary. That’s what leaders do. You can admit you’re hurt but don’t get lost in the disappointment. Trust that God has a plan for you even in the midst of the situation.

One thing that I learned this year is that at times God can open a window for you that situations, circumstances or the lack of support of people can attempt to close (if you permit it), and in those moments of disappointment you may need the faith enough to go get a ladder put it up against that window and open it back up because God says to you…

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:3, 9

Perhaps you are facing disappointments and you are hurt or angry and ready to walk away from something that is just not working. Before you throw in the towel completely, I want to encourage you to face the disappointment through determination. Determination means you’re going to face something head on. It doesn’t mean you won’t be afraid or concerned but it does mean you will be strong and courageous in the midst of it. God is with you.

Cheering you on!