Friday, May 11, 2012

on faith + disappointment

it was a few years ago--well, more than a few--i'm going to guess at least 5 1/2 years ago now that i think about it, that i finally got to meet a lovely designer who i had long admired from a distance. her name is Courtney Walsh.

i'm not sure what drew me to Courtney in the beginning. if i had to put a finger on it without thinking too much, i'd say it was because her and her husband were in a Children's ministry and i just felt like i could relate. for those of you who don't know, my husband and i used to be very involved with youth ministries. in fact, we even quit two very well paying jobs to move hours away from home where we had no income at all and walked blindly by faith into the unknown for my husband to attend Bible college--for the second time. but that's a whole bundle of stories for another day.

what i'm trying to say is....Courtney's personality and way of life draws me to her like a magnet. i *adore* her to pieces.  if you're looking for another honest, real, down-to-earth blogger that struggles just like the rest of us do, you'll want to add her blog to your google reader.  she's fantastic at painting a picture with her words. 

my liking for her grew exponentially when she married her gift for writing with her talent for scrapbooking and wrote her first book titled "Scrapbooking Your Faith." she's since written other titles, such as, "The Busy Scrapper" and her debuted her first novel in February called "A Sweethaven Summer."

all that to say, that Courtney has developed a way to challenge her writing and her reaaders, dig into her faith, and breathe new life into her book Scrapbooking Your Faith by hosting weekly Scrapbooking Your Faith Challenges on her blog.

and this week she asked me to play along.  the prompt:
Document a time you felt disappointed. How did your faith sustain you (or not) through that? 

i kinda lump disappointments in general into my journaling, but plan to go back and detail each major disappointment and how i came through it over the next year.

i know it's hard to read, so here's the journaling in it's entirety:

Disappointment. It lingers.
Around every corner I turn, it lingers. As an adult I’ve come to realize this. Ha. Who am I kidding? I learned that from a young age. Childhood is full of disappointments, is it not?  Now days, though, my husband likes to remind me that I always look at my life as a glass half-empty--as if I’m just waiting for something to disappointment me. I kinda scoff at that. He means well in trying to get me to change my perspective or view my glass a bit more full, but the fact of the matter is…we just have a different way of seeing things.
If I’m being honest, the truth of it is this: I don’t set myself up for failure or disappointment with high hopes. Instead, I’ve trained myself to expect disappointment—or maybe because I’ve had so much of it, disappointment has trained me. The beauty of that type of thought process, for me, is that when things turn out better than anticipated, I get to feel like I’m opening a shiny gift from God adorned with a big sparkly bow.
Does that sound like a distorted way to think? Maybe. But it’s just the way I’m wired.
You see, I’ve had my fair share of disappointing times. Like the time I lost my mom suddenly and very unexpectedly when she was only 50. Or there’s the time when a good friend let me down by doing the unthinkable. Then, there was the time I was pregnant with Emma, but somehow something very wrong was happening and they told me my body must be miscarrying her. How about the time I was told Ashlyn had a rare skin disorder and would need to start chemotherapy to keep it from spreading and attacking more skin cells. There’s also all the times we’ve been in the emergency room with my youngest daughter because her asthma medications weren’t helping her breath well enough to pull out of an asthma attack. I won’t even bore you with mention of the hours and days and weeks worth of frustration in trying everything possible to calm my sensory-overwhelmed child. And there’s all the disappointments I would encounter as Mother to a daughter plagued with anxiety.  And oh, there’s the everyday type of disappointments when people just let you down.  Each day seems to usher in a new disappointment of one variety or another.
Disappointment.  It’s inevitable.
Because of it, I’ve lived the last several years of my life hoping with a fragile kind of hope. Because of it, I’ve come to learn that it’s only by God’s mercy that I haven’t let disappointments consume me. Because of it, it’s taken a while for the concept of God’s mercy to sink in, but it never fails to test me again. Because of it, I’m better able to appreciate when God lifts me out of the mirey muck and pours a cleansing grace over my life washing away the heartache…which if I’m honest is sometimes a daily occurrence. Because of it, I’m more thankful for the periods of reprieve from being pummeled day after day after day with disappointment. Because of it, I have proof over and over again that God has my back and will never let me forget how awesome it feels to experience His love and know that someone is in my corner fighting my fight right alongside me—for me, even.
Disappointment. It’s here to stay. I say…bring it on. He and I? Yeah, we’ve so got this.
if you plan on playing along, let me know in the comments so i can come see your art...or just read your journaling if that's your thing. :)

1 comment:

thank you for taking time to connect with me in this space! i will do my best to leave comments answering any questions you may ask. if you are commenting on an older post and you dont see your comment publish right away it is because I have comments set to be approved before publishing on any blog posts older than 10 days old due to a recent influx of comment spammers. i will see your comment, approve it and reply to you....if it isnt spam. xoxo :)


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