When things don’t turn out like we hoped they would, we can start to feel a little disillusioned and doubtful that God has a good plan for us. That’s why I’m so thankful that my friend Jennifer Rothschild is guest posting on the blog today with some helpful things we can tell ourselves when those hard moments happen.
My Assistant, Angela, came into my office crying. I immediately jumped up and hugged her and said, “Whatever it is, it will be okay. Whatever it is, you will be okay.” I expected some terrible personal crisis; I was ready to be the consoling counselor.
“I need to resign; I’m going back to school.”
Suddenly, I was the one with a personal crisis. I didn’t want her to resign! I needed her to hug me and tell me, “Whatever it is, it will be okay.”
You know how this stuff feels, right? I was happy for her but unhappy for me. I now had to deal with a heart full of disappointment.
Many disappointments we deal with feel a lot worse – I know, sister. Dreams die. Relationships end. Husbands walk away. Health fails. Teenagers make bad choices. Friends can be unkind. Parents don’t act like grown-ups. Bosses aren’t always fair. We’re left heartbroken, confused, discouraged.
When we’re hit with these kind of circumstances, it’s hard to understand why they happen and how God can bring any good from them. It’s easy, and natural, to only see the bad and overlook the potential blessings that exist all at the same time. When we feel the most let down or bummed out, our heads can start to fill with negative thoughts, convincing us that happiness will never come our way again.
But sisters, no matter what your bad news may be, there really is good news! How you feel today does not have to be a prophecy for what you will experience tomorrow. What you think is true in the here and now may not even exist in the by and by. That’s why we need to learn to tell ourselves the truth.
When things don’t work out like you hoped, and you just want somebody to hug you and reassure you that everything will be okay, it’s important to remember that sometimes that somebody has to be you. Sometimes we just need to be able to counsel ourselves. We need to become our own consolers… our own counselors!
So, how do you become your own consoling counselor when life hands you a big disappointment? Invite yourself into your office for some counseling! Here are 3 things you can say to yourself:
• Tell yourself, “You won’t always feel this way.”
At first, I tried to get caught up in how happy I was for Angela and her future. After that, my mind reeled with the “what am I going to do” kinds of questions. I then thought about how much I would miss her and what a great assistant she was. Well, after that, I was just plain bummed. Disappointed.
When we first get hit with a situation that makes us sad, it can feel like we are at the bottom of a pit and it’s time to get “change of address” labels made – it feels like everything has changed and we will always feel this low.
Disappointment is a snapshot though. It’s not the whole photo album of your life! Tomorrow is a new day; you will turn the page to new possibilities and new emotions.
When you can recognize that you won’t always feel the intensity of disappointment, it grants you perspective. Just as a wound hurts most when it first happens, so does disappointment. Then, just as a wound heals and hurts less and less, so does disappointment. Scripture assures us God makes all things beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) He does… so hold on.
• Tell yourself “It is what it is!”
In other words, accept it.
Now, bear with me sister. I don’t want you in any way to take that as a harsh, unfeeling drill sergeant kind of response! It’s a truthful response and good counselors always tell themselves the truth because telling the truth is always kind.
We may not like a circumstance, but a mature person doesn’t waste emotional and mental energy focusing on what should have happened or what we wish things were like. Acceptance doesn’t mean you like or approve of the situation, it just means you are willing to live in the “what is” rather than pining away with the “what ifs.”
Scripture tells us that God is a present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) God is present in your disappointment. He isn’t stuck back there with how you wish things were and He isn’t waiting out there somewhere in the future when things may be different – no sister, He is the God of now, of “what is.”
So, be present in the present, even if it is disappointing, because that is where God is – with you.
• Tell yourself, “Something new or better is around the corner.”
When we trust God, we don’t go backward. We only move forward with Him. So, what seems like a setback can really be the perfect position from which you can move forward in a new way.
Scripture teaches we go from glory to glory, strength to strength. (Psalm 84:7) As you move forward, you will be better equipped, more empathetic and expectant for what God will do next.
So, when disappointment arrives, become your own counselor… but, please don’t charge yourself for your services. One of the perks of healthy self-talk is that it’s free!
If this message spoke to your heart, Jennifer’s new book, Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself is for you. In her book, you will discover even more practical ways that you can find freedom from lies by speaking truth to your soul.
And today, we’re giving away 5 copies! To be entered to win, leave a comment below with which statement you’re choosing to tell yourself this week.