Moving Beyond Disappointment and Grief

Sharon Jaynes Dealing with Your Past, Identity in Christ, Trusting God, When You Don't Like Your Story 25 Comments

Grief is a funny thing. I can’t think of many who haven’t experienced grief in some form or another. So let’s talk about it today.

Grief is a natural response to a loss. It could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or the loss of a dream. Grief is a complex weaving of emotions that accompany the loss of what was or sometimes the emptiness of what wasn’t.

I grieved that I did not grow up being the apple of my daddy’s eye. My friend Angela grieved the loss of investing in a thirty-five-year marriage that ended in divorce. Gail grieved the loss of her son in the chilling waters of the James River. Pat grieved the loss of her unborn child by her own decision. Grieving is part of the healing process.

In her classic book, On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross notes five stages of grief:

  • Stage One: Denial and Isolation
  • Stage Two: Anger
  • Stage Three: Bargaining
  • Stage Four: Depression
  • Stage Five: Acceptance

But for us who know Jesus Christ, there is a sixth stage:

  • Resurrection

Oh, sweet friend, Jesus died on that cross, but then he rose again. Jesus left his grave so that you could leave yours.

Your dreams of what you had hoped your story would be may have died on the cross of unmet expectations or unwanted violation, but your dreams can rise again. They may even become someone else’s inspiration to rise up from their grave of broken dreams as well.

Each of the women I just named mourned her losses but eventually moved on to write new chapters of her story. After a time, we all stopped lamenting what was not and started looking for the blessing of what is. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss the child or lament the loss, but we don’t get stuck there.

In the Bible, the prophet Samuel grieved the loss of what could have been had King Saul obeyed rather than ignored God. He literally went to bed and pulled the covers up over his sad head. But after a while, God told him it was time to get back up and keep moving forward. God had the pen in his hand and was ready to write the next chapters. God said to Samuel,

How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king. (1 Samuel 16:1)

It was time for Samuel to get out of bed and for God’s resurrection plan to move forward. God had chosen a new king. He was still writing Israel’s story. He was still writing Samuel’s. He’s still writing yours.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t hurt any longer, but that the wound no longer controls our decisions or actions. We’ve stopped slapping away God’s hand from the pen and look forward to seeing how he will write the rest of the storyline. Sometimes our healing process includes counselors or therapists, sometimes it includes medication to get us through the worst of it, but it always includes the healing of Jesus Christ and our cooperation with the Holy Spirit to get back up.

Perhaps you need to grieve for losses in your life. Here are a few:

  • Loss of innocence
  • Loss of a marriage
  • Loss of a relationship with your mother
  • Loss of a relationship with your father
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of a spouse
  • Loss of a child
  • Loss of friendship
  • Loss of hopes and dreams

I love that God spoke to Joshua in a time of disappointment: “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 1:9 NIV).

Joshua and the people of Israel had experienced a time of mourning and disappointment, but God told them it was time to get back up and keep moving forward. Not only that, He promised He would be with them every step of the way.

We grieve, but not as those without hope. When tragedy tears our hearts out, when untimely death cracks the foundation of our faith, when abuse mars all that is good, we mourn. We grieve the loss. But we mustn’t allow the story to stop there. I type these words with tears in my eyes because I have lived them. Hear me when I say, it’s going to be okay—you’re going to be okay. God has more to write. Resurrection is on the way.

Father, I pray that You will show me Your resurrection power today. Help me to not get stuck in the disappointing parts of my story, but to mourn the loss and then move on. Show me how to use what I’ve gone through to help someone else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What does resurrection in your most difficult chapters look like? This is not an easy question, but I believe you can dig deep and ask God to show you the answer.

You don’t have to be burden and weighed down by your story any longer. In When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories I show you how that pain can be transformed into a great purpose!

Have you already read When You Don’t Like Your Story and thought of several people who need to hear this message? If so, order from www.sharonjaynes.com and I’ll personalize it for you. Simply order and then email me at sharon@sharonjaynes.com with your friend’s name and I’ll personalize it you or for your friend(s).

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Comments 25

  1. I just finished reading Isaiah 59 and spent time crying over my difficult past. Then opened my email to read this and it’s like balm to my soul.
    Thank you for your fearless examination of your soul and sharing so that others like myself do not feel alone. And there is hope. God does not require me to flog myself. He has paid that price. It’s time to move on!

  2. I loved this devotion today.
    My word for the year that I chose for my Bible Study this year is “forward”. My spirit kept nudging me to choose this word.
    This devotion describes my goal to move forward after years of one struggle after the other,
    God is so good- He desires I cling to Him and keep moving

    May God Bless you and all who read this devotion today

  3. This message has come right on spot with me today! I feel God speaking directly to me! Giving me answers, direction and peace to know that He is in charge and when I listen for Him, He gives me the explanations that I need! thank you for putting energy in into your daily messages!

  4. I have lost two children (and my husband) to death and now, after mistakes as a mom made both when they were children and even as adults, I have lost two children to life. I never get to see my children or their children (they live in the same town as me) and it’s all my own fault. I have always, and still do, trust Jesus with my life. For years I hated myself but only by the grace of God, He has forgiven me. He has always been there for me, holding my hand, walking with me and even carrying me at times when I didn’t know how to put one foot in from of the other. I am trying so hard to leave all my cares, tragedies, trials and hurts at His feet…but it’s so hard to leave them there. I pray every day for reconciliation and forgiveness from my children. I know He hears me and I know He has a plan. But…it’s been over three years now. I want to ‘fix it” but I know God is the only One that can. I can’t help but ask “How long God?” My heart is breaking.

    1. I have two of my three children who have rejected me and threatened me bcz I married again and stopped doling out money.. I’m heartbroken that my three grandchildren don’t know me..My oldest son lives with me and disagreed with his siblings but they will not listen to him. I pray for reconciliation but it’s been 11 years waiting. Still praying.

    2. Sorry to hear and for what you’re feeling. God is love and He still amaze us with His presence through people that care, through His creation, His loving provisions, I will pray for you….

    3. Have you asked your children to forgive you? You go to the Lord in prayer, you know the good Lord will forgive and guide us into all that is right and just to do. You’ve forgiven yourself now ask your children one by one…in a phone call…in a letter…but if at all possible face to face…if need be take a true friend that knows the situation as a witness. If they don’t accept your request then go your way (shake the dust off your feet) praying a thankful prayer and a blessing for them. Then you will have peace of mind heart body and most importantly soul. Blessings

    4. Joining you in this prayer, Constance. Our Lord is indeed faithful and able to mend your heart and use your story for His ultimate glory and your good!! I pray that forgiveness and reconciliation with your children is your portion!

  5. Thank you for this beautiful message. I too am in the wilderness of what I know The Holy Spirit spoke to me 3 years of waiting. I never question did I hear him , now I question what I heard and my understanding of what he said . I pray for discernment, spiritual counselor I have seen.stories of Miracles and Restoration I read and believe. All that I can stand on is my faith and his word . Continue to pray for me . God is keeping me

  6. Thank you Sharon for this timely message. You have no idea what burdens these message has lifted, it’s a confirmation and I am moving on past the loss because God about to start writing the next chapter and I must be on the same pace. You always hit the nail on the head. Thank you!

  7. Thank you Sharon for the word. My best friend that I lost her name was Cassandra McCollum she was like a sister I never had.

  8. Thank you for all your words. I just lost a boyfriend to cancer. You have truly help me through this time. I lost my husband of 37 years also 2 years ago. My life has been a mess. My daughter found my husband passed in his bed. We were divorced at that time. You have truly helped me and my daughter. We still have a long ways to go of healing. But I am trusting in the lord to heal us both and intervene in this tragedy in our life. Thank you!!!!! Blessings to you!!!!

  9. Thank you so much for this, I was trying to encourage a friend who just lost her husband after only three months together. This is just what she needs.

  10. I’m kind of stuck, grieving the loss of my adult daughter who has cut me out of her life,, we have been thru alot together, and within one week shut down all communication and threatened legal action against me,,,,I don’t know why,,I miss her so much every minute,, I’m so sad . She is 26 and married, I don’t know how i lost her. One day I get a card on mothers day telling me how much she loves me and 7 days later she’s been out of my life for a year! I love and miss my daughter! Jesus help me!🙏💕

    1. I understand what you are going through. Both my children have recently done the same thing to me and the pain has been unbearable at times. Through lots of prayer, tears, medication, my husband’s support and God’s love I am slowly coming back to myself.
      Since they refuse to talk to me or my husband, all we can do is pray for them and hope that God changes their hearts and heals their mind.
      I will be praying for you my friend.

  11. I just lost my husband of 53 years two weeks ago tomorrow after a long lingering illness, the pain is still raw, but each message i receive from Sharon is a balm to my heartache. I miss him so much he was such a sweet gentle soul. I am following Sharon’s messages and they are bringin me some comfort. I am so grateful for her sharing and That I found her message.

  12. I just text my boys yesterday and said “I’d like a better relationship with you. What can I do to help that?” I don’t know where that came from but I felt peaceful. I told them I loved them and that life was short. It did start some dialogue and I was very surprised to hear my one son he felt I wasn’t involved enough in his life and he didn’t feel I made him a priority. I was very surprised. They are good boys and have never asked, nor have I ever given them a dime.

  13. I am a woman of faith who happens to be a Grief Counselor.
    I’m also a woman of faith who knows grief.
    Thank you for your beautiful and inspirational words. God is good all the time….even in our pain and especially in our pain.
    We come to our Papa…climb onto His lap and receive His love and comfort while He ever so gently rocks us into His peace.
    Blessings to you.
    Nancy

  14. Looking forward to reading your book. I never expected to have a son and husband in wheelchairs. My son is totally dependant and my husband is an amputee with multiple health issues. But in the midst of this God has been there … hard as it is with many limitations… I have been able to develop a ministry of encouragement and God does continue to encourage me … I need to continue to trust Him

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