on disappointment…

i’ve never been very good at knowing when it’s a reasonable time to be disappointed, on account of patience and hope.  i have avoided the term disappointment with every bit of my paranoid self, for fear of appearing weak, or faithless, or less than what i may have been perceived as.  but i find myself in a state of disappointment. these scenarios seemed to make sense to me, expectations seemed reasonable, but on the other side, i was left questioning my perception, my behavior, my actions, my desires, my silly hopes.

i am disappointed in the Church. she told me she was something that she is not. she sold me a program and got sidetracked by her own humanity.  i am disappointed in the church gatherings that i decided to join, because it seemed they were too busy to notice that i had even chosen them. they were too busy to notice that i was even there. so i stopped showing up and it was still business as usual. i am disappointed in the men that said they were strong enough to love me, but in their weakness ran away in silence. i am disappointed in myself for making excuses and hoping it will just somehow get better. i am disappointed in myself for not truly cherishing my person, for continually placing her in incapable hands, and for neglecting her care and well-being.

disappointment isn’t about placing blame, but about identifying the origin of hope. i won’t stay here, in my disappointment. it’s not a comfortable place to settle into. but disappointment is the part of the journey that i can no longer avoid, fear, or deny.  sometimes hope can feel so childish, so fairytale, so female, but discovering what God has and has not promised us leads to our freedom. hope developed on a deluded foundation will never be satisfied. hope developed on truth and wisdom may seem bitter at first taste but is sweet and soothing to the soul.

disappointment interrogates the soul on what it was hoping for? it intrudes and asks, where did your hope come from? why did you surrender your hope? disappointment is the break between the giddy and the groan. it is the strong drink that can cause both intoxication and inhibition. disappointment is necessary for the shaping of a sound mind. i am disappointed and i am determined to discover the truth of my hope’s foundation, the root of my heart’s desire, and the peace that comes in letting go.

Ecclesiastes 12:10 GNT


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  • Comments (26)
  1. disappointed I also waited…breathless for a moment…then finally I inhale…and His power inflates my soul with hope once more…

    thank you for writing a prose that took my breath away…but only for a moment.


      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      thank you for assisting with reason while i am in my disappointment. your words of wisdom have helped to keep me sober minded.

  2. as i read your words…as i empathize with your disappointment…i do not have an ounce of disappointment with your stance and realization.

    to those who cause disappointment, i being one at times, stop your running and listen to the hearts and hurts of those around you. you know who you are. the means doesn’t always justify the end, especially when the end comes at the expense of wayward souls. pay attention to the new, the old, the stable, the chaotic. embrace the person in front of you…as Christ embraced you.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      “pay attention to the new, the old, the stable, the chaotic. embrace the person in front of you…as Christ embraced you”… a necessary admonition. love you and i pray you find peace in your own process.

    • Kelli
    • December 21st, 2010

    Weeping because I certainly couldn’t have said this better. How I can relate. I appreciate your honesty. It is helping me to heal from my own disappointed state.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      for half of the post i too was weeping and then a certain strength came when i began to see how letting go of certain hopes will bring true peace… what a process to identify the origin of our hopes. He is patient and tender through it all.
      Love you friend and your determination and honesty have likewise been an aide in my healing.

  3. Sweet post, friend! I get this place of disappointments so well. I keep my hope on lock down. I love your line about how disappointments interrogate the soul. perfect words for my soul. feeling the interrogation. it
    Sucks. cups up to truth!

      • JuliaKate
      • December 22nd, 2010

      hey my reply didn’t go through… but yes! Cups to truth, always! 😉

  4. I identify with this feeling well. I love your reminder about the origin of hope – it’s true! Within all our disappointments hope stands dormant, waiting for us to pick her back up again. Beautiful post, girl.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      thank you for reading and offering your feedback Elora. it’s a difficult process, but so so good for the soul.

  5. Thanks for sharing, you always seems to spark a deep desire in me that has been buried under layers of self pity. I want to do better.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      we all want to do better friend:)

  6. “hope does not disappoint…”

    even when circumstances do. even when trials do. even when people do. even when the church does.

    right now i am going through a level of disappointment.

    yet in the midst of these circumstances i am choosing to place my hope in One who i know is Sovereign. the One who is my Rock. Immovable. Faithful. True.

    coz in His arms… i am never disappointed. instead i am appointed to receive His love and grace.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      this is an interesting scripture you brought up, because in Romans 5 there is a beautiful encouragement to not give up hope in Him, His glory, and His word that through Christ we are reconciled. but there are many hopes within a heart and not every one of them is ordained & qualified by God… the ones that aren’t are likely to disappoint. so since i have, over the course of 33 years, picked up ideas that aren’t truth and formed hopes in things that aren’t promised, i must be honest and learn from the realness of my disappointment.
      i hold tight to Him in the midst of my disappointment.
      Thank you so much Patricia for reminding us of the Sovereignty of our God… He is, as you’ve said “our Rock. Immovable. Faithful. True.”

      • hold tight to Him my friend. i am holding tight too.

          • JuliaKate
          • December 21st, 2010

          with every once of strength & truth i’ve been given… holding tight;)

  7. “i am disappointed and i am determined to discover the truth of my hope’s foundation, the root of my heart’s desire, and the peace that comes in letting go.” Me too…me too…

      • JuliaKate
      • December 21st, 2010

      today has definitely been a day of being reassured that i am not in this process alone. thank you for stepping in and reminding us all that we are many:)

  8. What a beautiful post, Julia! Most people are afraid to be this honest. Thanks for being bold. Your honesty provokes deep thought and prods others to be honest as well. I needed to realize and read this today.

    Your second paragraph had me saying, “ME TOO!!!!” and “AMEN!!!!” after almost every sentence. Since coming home from Kenya, I’ve wandered into a slough of disillusionment with the Church in general. It’s kind of a painful, lonely place.

    But your words give me a glimmer of hope…. I guess I’m not alone in this like I thought I was! So, thank you.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 22nd, 2010

      and i am reminded that i am not alone when you amazing people come on here and reveal your own struggles. it has been a pleasure getting to know you Jenn. i’m so excited to see how your journey unfolds.

    • Veronica
    • December 21st, 2010

    There are far too many things I identified with in reading this post, and I can honestly say I can empathize with what you’re saying here and with how you feel.  But when you said “but discovering what God has and has not promised us leads to our freedom,” I couldn’t help but think of what this insane guy had to say on disappointment, maybe you’ve heard of him, Einstein is his name… “A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.” Which begs the question, are we the ones setting up ourselves for disappointment with our own desires? More often than not, the answer is yes. I too sometimes find myself facing disappointment and struggle with letting go of it. While there’s no harm in having greater hopes and expectations, the truth is we have to be completely honest with ourselves when creating them and be cautious in who and where we place them. 

    I’ve come to learn that with every disappointment I’ve encountered, there’s also been growth in my walk with Him. And I’m extremely grateful for those He’s placed in my life to keep me sane and show me the Hope that I’ve sometimes misplaced in life, as I’m sure is also the case for you. As of now, there’s only One who I can be sure won’t disappoint us. Regardless of who or what we allow to disappoint us in this journey, always remember He’s the only constant hope we have. I’ve known you for years now and your ability speak your mind has always been something I’ve respected about you. I commend you for your honesty and ability to openly share your inner thoughts with us. 

      • JuliaKate
      • December 22nd, 2010

      thank you so much for what you’ve added here. hope is so multifaceted, as is disappointment. but what can we really learn if we are not honest in our struggle. and thank you for your respect, i don’t take that lightly:)

    • sylvia
    • December 22nd, 2010

    timely piece for me. sometimes life’s hang-ups can batter us to a point where disappoint is our friend. hope, it seems, is always three steps ahead. living in the moment is ok, because it is what it is. no need for hoping in something grand. but plans for the future…as you said were ‘bitter at first’. until recently, my hope in my future included God, me & my son/daughter. there was no need for my significant other. too much pain was associated with that piece. my grandfather’s abuse & abusive boyfriends were all i knew. the ones that weren’t abusive were not patient or strong enough. but i made a decision to hope again.to dream again. He gave us the ability to dream for a reason. the ability to hope in Him.
    yes, hope is bitter at first, because He mathces us up with our fear. it’s bitter because we visit places that hold unhappy memories. the key comes in placing this pain and fear in His hands and letting go.
    as far as my future is concerned, my hope is in Him. yes, He’ll match me up with what i fear the most, but He is always willing to fight that battle for me.

      • JuliaKate
      • December 22nd, 2010

      thank you for sharing portions of your story with us here Sylvia. i love that He fights with us and for us, all in love, all in truth.
      Love you friend:)

    • Natalie
    • December 22nd, 2010

    The ache of disappointment in my own heart is stirred and I cry. It’s good to feel it and to call it what it is, and to know that God intends to be the source of my hope and does not disappoint.

    “…for fear of appearing weak, or faithless, or less than what i may have been perceived as.” So interesting how I fear my disappointment will be humiliating to me…for revealing a ‘secret’ hope in what I discover to be a fantasy. So embarrassing right?!

    I pray for truth to be what I seek and for the courage to let go…and to dream, imagine, hope because I don’t want to be limited by what I can see with my eyes or what I imagine with my finite mind.

    2 Corinthians 4:18 There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

  9. feeling this. we got home from Christmas at my family’s which is an ALL day event as they live two hours away. i think i had this ideal in my mind of what it would be like, and it didn’t happen. people acted they way they always do. i left feeling disappointed. and just done with everything.

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