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3 Perspectives to Process What We’re Facing Right Now

April 2, 2020

So much of what’s on the news today truly feels like something we’d only see in a Hollywood movie — not real life.

COVID-19 has not only spread across the world at record levels, but it’s also spread across our daily realities and changed so much for so many. Because of the life-threatening potential of the virus, social distancing and canceled gatherings are necessary precautions. We want to do what’s right, so we’re listening to officials and paying extra attention to updates and news conferences.

While all of this is necessary, it’s also jarring.

It’s like life just slammed on the brakes, and we’re all still reeling from the whiplash.

Certainly, in the grand scheme of things, saving lives is most important. But there are emotions we need to be able to process in the midst of all these sudden changes. One of those is the very real feeling of disappointment. And right behind it is the worry that expressing our disappointment could make us look petty in the midst of the seriousness of this virus.

Please know processing our disappointments is not only OK … it’s emotionally and spiritually necessary. You’re not making light of someone else’s serious pain when you process your pain to gain a better perspective.

So, first, whatever you’re going through today, it’s worth taking to the Lord and asking for His help. And second, let’s give each other grace since we are all trying to navigate unexpected fears, hardships and disappointments. Social distancing doesn’t mean we distance ourselves from offering each other grace.

With that as the anthem playing in the background … let’s process what we are facing.

Within the last few weeks, I had to help a friend navigate canceling her wedding. That same day, my husband had to close the dining room of his restaurant. Other friends are trying to figure out how to make enough money to live since they’ve been told their workplace had to close. Those of us who don’t get paid when we can’t go to work are looking at scary financial realities. Schools are closed. Graduations and family gatherings are canceled. Businesses large and small are experiencing financial realities that some fear they won’t be able to overcome. Everything we thought we would be doing in this season looks vastly different than we expected, and the feelings of loss are real.

So, what do we do with those? As Christians, how do we set our minds and hearts on things above when we are staring at startling realities?

Here are some things I wrote in my journal that are helping me:

1. Frame the disappointment by remembering what you do have, so you don’t get consumed by what’s been taken.

Many of you are having to cancel or postpone important life events right now and that’s very hard. It’s incredibly emotional when you’ve dreamed and planned and invested in what you thought would be a very normal expectation.

But remember, fun has not been canceled.

Love has not been canceled.

Being good to other people has not been canceled.

Learning and growing and maturing has not been canceled.

Use this time to reframe what matters most and choose to celebrate in creative ways.

I remember telling my daughters before their weddings: Expect the unexpected and realize you can’t control the uncontrollable. But you don’t have to spin out of control with the unexpected. You bring to your wedding day what you want for your marriage. You bring the love. You bring the beauty. You bring the fun. You bring the atmosphere of joy and peace. You bring lovely to your day, and it will be amazing.

But if you bring fear and dread and epic loads of disappointment because things look different than you thought they would, you’ll fill your day with that. Your heart is much too beautiful a place for the enemy’s tactics to taint it. So don’t let him.

This may be a delay. This may be a distraction. This may even be a devastation for a season. But this is not your final destination. Remember though COVID-19 has canceled many events, it has not canceled God’s goodness. Rest in that, rejoice in that, and be so very reassured.

2. Remember who God is, and use that to bring some gratitude into your disappointment.

God is a protector: He is protecting you from something you can’t see.

God is a provider: He is providing something if only you’ll look for it. Just because His provision is different doesn’t mean it’s not good.

God is present: Even when others are absent. God does incredible things in the unseen.

God is faithful: No matter what is being taken from you right now, place it in the hands of God. Give it to Him as your sacrifice. For whatever we willingly place in the hands of God, He will redeem. Martin Luther once said, “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

3. Disappointments often go hand in hand with fear of the future.

It can be so easy to let today’s disappointments make you expect the absolute worst for tomorrow. I’m challenging myself not to mentally run too far into an unknown future. I just have to make the most responsible decisions I can for today and place the rest in God’s hands. My job is to obey God. God’s job is everything else. Therefore, I can feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid.

Now is the time to feed your faith and fuel your healthy perspectives. Make the choice today what will rule in your hearts and proclaim out loud: “Disillusioning disappointments and blinding fear, you don’t get to be the boss of me … I am ruled by the peace of Christ, and I will use His Truth to frame all I see.”

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15-16).

We know everything in life seems uncertain right now. In the midst of it all, we at Proverbs 31 Ministries want to offer you some free, practical ways to stay committed to studying God’s Word. Here are several resources we’ve put together to bring hope in uncertainty during these times.

* Download the introduction and first three chapters of my book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength when Disappointments Leave You Shattered, for FREE today.

* From Worry to Worship – a free 7-day devotional to help you find peace when you are tempted to panic, fight fear when it wages war on your heart, and practice trusting God in the midst of uncertain circumstances.

* Connecting God’s Heart to Yours: 31 Personalized Scriptures For Each Day free printable download!

To view the entire free collection of Hope in Uncertainty resources available from Proverbs 31 Ministries, click HERE.

Stay well friends, I’m praying for you!

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  1. Michelle

    I needed this, Lysa. As always, God uses your writing to help me find perspective. I was just scrolling through your blog for encouragement when I got the email that you posted this one. Thank you for your books and for your words; they are very much appreciated.

  2. Holly

    My mom passed away on March 22, and I feel like I haven’t even been able to process her illness and death because of COVID-19. We weren’t able to have a funeral. We’ll have to have a graveside memorial in the summer. I traveled from Kansas to Michigan and back. Flights were canceled, rebooked, canceled again. So much stress and sadness and adrenaline packed into a three-week period. I’m not sure when the emotions are going to catch up to me but I know they will.

    • Jenny

      I’m so sorry for you loss. My brother died on March 14. My 81 yr old mom is alone in Tennessee while I’m with my husband and son in Kansas. She isnt totally alone because she has amazing neighbors and church family. But she is trying to shelter in place to avoid the virus. I say all that to tell you that I understand your pain and how weird grieving is right now. I wont be there with her till who knows when at this point. We will have some kind of service when we can.

      I am praying for you today. ❤

    • Berenice Ackman

      Hi Holly,
      My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. I am sorry you are going through this. Keep your faith in the Lord as He is the only one who will give you the peace you need.
      Much love!

    • Angela

      Thanks for your encouraging words Lysa. It has certainly been a very difficult season which has raised so many feelings, emotions, questions and what ifs.

      I’m one of the luckier ones because I have been able to keep my job and work from home with all the difficulties that brings. For that I need to not focus on the stress and difficulties but be thankful to God that I still have a job and am able to urn money to support myself and my family.

      We faced a further difficulty during this time in that my husband had a detached retina in his left eye and required urgent surgery and he couldn’t get surgery for 4 weeks because of all surgery being cancelled due to COVID-19. We feared that he wouldn’t get his sight back in his eye and as a result not be able to work because he drives for work.
      Through prayer and trusting God with his situation he did get his surgery and is improving now. He has to have a further surgery in a couple of months. He still can’t work at the moment but hopefully after his second surgery he can finally get back to work. Please pray for his continuing recover and that his sight is restored so he can work again. Thanks again.

  3. Michelle

    Thank you for this post. It’s easy to believe that disappointments will shape our future, but we can still choose to obey God and trust that he has a plan in the midst of all this. I needed that reminder today.

  4. Nancy Mock

    Good Morning Lysa, I just finished reading Chapter 82 of ‘Embraced’ and marvel how often the daily read corresponds with my life… many Blessings. Nancy

  5. jane lydon

    Dear Lysa, my name is Jane and I live in Phoenix. I just finished your book, thank you! God has perfect timing and I was suppose to read your book at this time in my life. I have been a very sad and disappointing season with my family of origin and your book has helped my so very much and I am grateful to have read it!!!! It put joy and hope and a deep trust in my like again. Thank you

  6. Shannon Pauley

    When will we be receiving our reimbursements for tickets bought to your speaking tour, that was cancelled due to COVID19? Possibly I missed communication regarding the reimbursement of our tickets? Or possibly you are rescheduling due to a later date and I have also missed that communication.

    Thank you for your well intentions of honoring this commitment that was not able to take place due to unforeseen circumstances.

    • Lysa TerKeurst

      Hi Shannon, that’s a great question! If you reach out to, they will be able to assist you. 🙂 Stay well and have a wonderful week. – Amanda, LT Ministry Team

  7. Lila

    The thing about this is…it’s everyone’s disappointment. Usually, we get so sidetracked with watching other’s happiness, that it magnifies our own disappointments. But this is everyone’s loss. It’s everyone’s setback, not just mine, or yours. It’s a real levelling ground for everyone.

    Hoping that this brings America to her knees.

  8. Inez

    Thank you Lysa. This means a lot. I am greateful too that I can share it with friends. So practical and God centred. You are a blessing.

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