Thursday, August 29, 2013

Preventing Disappointment

By Niki Turner

turtle photo: Not Ninja Turtle 2013 Turtle-7_zpsa5a41eeb.jpg
"Not Ninja Turtle"
Everyone has been disappointed at one time or another. Some of us are so scarred by previous disappointments we're like turtles hiding inside our shells, unwilling to stick our necks out and risk another wound, crippling and paralyzing us from fulfilling our destinies.

For the writer, it might be the stack of rejection letters in the shoe box under the bed, or the conference that doesn't result in a book deal. For the parent, it might be an ongoing struggle with infertility or an angry teenager in trouble at school. For the spouse, disappointment can appear when the other spouse refuses to acknowledge a problem in the marriage and work together to find a solution. For the minister, it might be facing row upon row of empty pews every Sunday morning despite repeated outreaches to the community.

disappointment photo: disappointment Disappointment.jpgMy point? No one is immune to disappointment and discouragement. How we handle those opportunities may well determine whether we succeed or fail in the future.

Someone has said misplaced expectations are the root cause of disappointment. When what we expect (anticipate, look forward to, suppose or surmise) doesn't turn out the way we hoped, we're subject to a life-disrupting case of disappointment. So how can we prevent being bitten by the disappointment bug? TRUST.

T - Take it (the situation) to God in prayer.

R - Release it into His hands.

U - Understand that He has your best interests at heart.

S - Stretch your imagination to include many possibilities.

T - Trust God with the outcome, no matter what it is.

Since so many of you are off to the national ACFW conference in the next few weeks, let's apply this acronym to that particular scenario. (I don't get to go this year, but I'm planning ahead!)

  • T - Talk to God about the conference. Check your motives. Why are you going? What do you hope to accomplish? What are you expecting? Lay it all out there, don't be shy with Him, because He already knows your heart and your thoughts.
  • R - Now, take all your cares and concerns, all your hopes and dreams, all your wishes and fears, and roll the care of them over on God. Release them, let them go entirely.
  • U - Understand that He cares for you, deeply, unconditionally, with a love that surpasses any human emotion. God, more than you, more than any other human being on earth, has your very best interests at heart.
  • S - Don't lock yourself into one particular outcome (this is a surefire way to set yourself up for a long fall!). Instead, use that wild imagination of yours to come up with as many possible scenarios as you can construe. What's the best possible outcome? What's the worst? And what fits in between?
  • T - Turn ALL those possibilities over to God and trust Him to take care of you, to do what's best for you, personally, at this time and season of your life, and know that He loves you and has an excellent plan for your life that's greater and better than anything you can come up with because He knows ALL, and we only "see in part."
It's possible to avoid being derailed by disappointment. It's not EASY, but it is possible, and it's worth it to do what we can to prevent a bout with disappointment!

Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. She has thus far been unsuccessful at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.


  1. Oh, this is a good one to remember, Niki.

    Thank you!

  2. Niki, I always love your faith posts. You are anointed woman! I tend to break down at S. Not that I don't have a great imagination. Just that I've invested so much on one outcome that I can have trouble broadening my outlook. Thank you for this today.

    1. *blushing* Thanks, Lisa. I look forward to doing faith posts because God always shows me something I need to apply, and when it blesses someone else, I feel doubly blessed!
      I struggle with S, too. It's so easy to lock on to one desired result, and so hard to see ALL the options, especially the ones we might not like!

  3. Ahhh - lovely. I've learned a bit of this lesson but I know I definitely fail to remember it at times. Good thoughts for our conference. I think we are going to have a lot of fun. That's my expectation! and with these ladies around, I think it's a safe one.

    Can't wait for the conference you can attend, Niki!

  4. I had a weird (for me) experience this summer. My family all seemed to decide that I suddenly needed a career. This isn't something I ever really aspired to (other than writing), and so I don't have the right degrees or experience to go out and get one, and I started feeling like a failure. It was hard to step back and get perspective on that issue.


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