Maneuvering Disappointment

growingupI have a fast growing friend who is going through a series of serious disappointments. He hardly sees his daughter, has a difficult relationship with his ex and finds himself recently losing a “significant other”. After months of “hearing” I knew stepping out into the waters of relationship were on the plate. I did. Yesterday, he shook my hand and said, “thanks for being a friend”.

A friend? Thanks? People need to be encouraged. (By his own admission, he is a loner. My response…”STOP!”)

Folks, everyone comes upon disappointment or discouragement. It might be a child acting out, the loss of a relationship or a job or someone’s death. How you maneuver the fiery waters of disappointment and seas of discouragement determine your day to day existence and outcome.

I work a job that unfortunately, I am just not good at. For me the style, approach and atmosphere are not easy for me. Because I know how difficult it is for me, I look to “mini-vacations” and high lights to view.

Let me define those. It is hard when you live life for vacations or Fridays. If the only thing you have to look forward to is one of those you need to embrace a new style of thinking. A “mini-vacation” is something you can do every day. It may be a walk to the park or a trip to the river. Don’t fill it up with phone calls or Facebook. Grab it! Enjoy it!

A “high light” for me is seeing something that is “better” than where I am. For me, only yesterday, I went into wash my hands and I had a flash of inspiration. I left the restroom and went out to the company’s representative and presented my thought and idea. (Creativity was all over this!) His response was “I am calling my boss right now! That is a great idea!” I said you can remember me with cash. (I ought to have asked for 1% of all sales generated by the idea.)My flash of inspiration was the highlight of my work day. Other highlights include walks with my son, taking a break and just thinking about family and God.

I have had my share of disappointments. Before Christ, I handled everything pretty badly. I was on enough medicine to sink a battleship and then one day, the Lord allowed me to stop. With trepidation, I stopped. And never looked back.

It is not “will we have disappointments” but will we handle the disappointment. In a safe way. I used to bury myself in things. But I have observed, booze, pills, excitement and isolation are not the answer. They just prolong or exacerbate the issue with a whole suite of new ones! (New toys, new “relationships” and new “geography” are for the most part temporal and not helpful longterm. They just fill space.)

When I was a younger I often took the canoe down dangerous rapids and rivers. To an observer this was foolhardy and dangerous. But I had learned to maneuver a canoe. I had learned to look ahead and plan. And I learned to pick my strategy early on. Negotiating disappointment and discouragement is the same. You see the situation (Even if it just happened.). You look ahead and get an overview (Sometimes with the help of friends and family.)and then you have to keep your “eyes on the prize” and pick a course. It may not be easy or anything you ever experienced, but with no plan you are subject to being bounced around until you come to the end. Far more enjoyable to control than to be controlled in this case.

Disappointments and discouragement will raise their ugly heads. Not if, but when, will you choose the pathway of growth and change.

My friend is going through a difficult time. I have chosen to draw him close. I share in his pain. I am walking slowly. (”Just get over it” does not work as much as I hate to admit it. Neither do distractions.) And I speak life. Cause them to take a step.

Life will tell you “no”…a lot. But a “no” is not the end.

Get healed. Get whole. Get going!

Written by Lee Johndrow

Lee Johndrow

Lee is on staff as the Prophetic Ministry Leader at the Village Church where he functions as one of the prophetic grace. (You can visit their site at

He is the father of five wonderful children. Married for over 22 years to his wife Tina. 7 grandchildren as of September 22, 2014, with another one on the way! Loving life with family, friends, faith, fun and food!

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