When Life Disappoints You

Sometimes, life just smacks you a good sucker-punch right to the noggin. And often that blow nearly takes your breath away.

Life disappoints you beyond measure.

Someone you love dies, you lose a job, someone you care about gets sick, you lose a pet, etc. And out of the blue, hopelessness and grief show up for an uninvited, lengthy stay.

And what do we do when the world around us feels as if it’s collapsing and we can’t seem to find a way out?

As it turns out, it’s during these times when things are falling apart that we are given some pretty good opportunities – to show compassion, patience, trust in God and often to demonstrate the difficult ability to simply persevere.

Get Back on the Horse

It’s during these times when the world is crumbling around us that we are provided with not just our most challenging times, but also life-changing times, that, seen later in retrospect, give us those “a-ha” epiphany moments, not to be understood at the time the immense challenges are happening.

Since my mother had her stroke in December, often I have felt paralyzed. It’s honestly the only way I can describe it. For the most part, I have felt an inability to focus on or do anything else unrelated to her recovery. Everything else in my life has not only taken a back seat, it’s probably somewhere in the trunk…buried under the spare tire.

I have felt an inability to devote any time to getting the new design firm I partnered with two colleagues, off the ground.

My book, “The Quest for Virtue” which is ready to be released…is collecting more dust than Miss Havisham’s house.

And although I need to continue helping my mother remain on the road to recovery, I’m tired of feeling paralyzed. It’s time to get back on the horse. Even if the horse does feel like it’s a Clydesdale, with a penchant for tossing its rider off and snickering afterwards.

So many times in life I have learned that when we carry our cross willingly, and patiently, we will find greater strength from carrying that cross. But when we bear it unwillingly, we only make our burdens greater than they already are – yet we still have to bear them. And one who runs away from the cross is only running toward another cross, perhaps even a heavier one.

That has been my life these past six weeks.

Although I fully realize God is calling me to care for my mom, and to be joyful for all that she regains, and accept all that she does not…I have been mentally suffering, wondering how I will do it. How I will bear it. And this has only created more crosses.

And these extra (and weighty) crosses have been constructed from a desire to “run”. Run from the new and more difficult responsibilities of taking care of my mother. Run from what I have been viewing as a burden.

Someone once said – Do not always look to be on the other side of the suffering – as if that is the only place you will find peace and find God again. No. God is to be found in the suffering itself, because that is where He is trying to heal you.

Healing. That is what I need. That’s what we all need.

So, I have decided to put down all the other crosses that I have self-constructed and to trust in God to help me carry the one cross that He gave me.

And the way this works is like this:

Stay with the pain and the struggles. Don’t run from them, don’t try to do anything to avoid them, but face them with courage.

Stay with all of the emotions and sadness. Have the courage to just be with it like you would with a friend who’s suffering. Don’t dwell on it, but don’t run from it either.

Do it in small doses, and with patience. We don’t need to drown in the sadness.

Pray and give everything to God: your concerns, your heartache, even your helplessness. Give it to God through your prayer, and then let it go.

Just Do the Best That You Can Do

Eventually, you will overcome the feelings of sadness and despair, and realize that with God’s help, you will be given the strength and the courage to deal with them and the world won’t end.

When we try to solve our daily problems and remedy our troubles on our own, without prayer and trust in God, it will usually only end in a deep frustration.

Trust me.

I am going to start living this more, so that I can remove myself from despair and feeling paralyzed…so that I may get back on the horse, and continue living my life as God intended for me, and for everyone.

It’s time for me dust off some areas of my life that have long been neglected, and put God back in the driver’s seat.


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6 Comments When Life Disappoints You

  1. Pingback: The Weekly TCC Field Intelligence Report – v.4.1. | The Catholic Conspiracy

  2. Sharon Cooper

    I want to thank you for sharing what you do about the journey you are walking. All that you have written here is “word for word” how things are for me right here, right now. I could not have written any other words to describe the place I feel I am at right now…. I guess that “a bird in a gilded cage” aptly describes it…the cage door is even open, but I cannot yet fly out…I do have to admit that tears rolled down my face as I got further into reading your words… what you shared utterly pierced through the concrete wall I have had to erect to keep the feelings in since the sudden death of my father…the reason for having to keep it all in is so that I can support my mother and another very elderly relative whilst at the same time not being able to stop working for financial reasons and at the same time move house with my mother for the 3rd time in 2 years since the passing of my father (because she’s struggling to settle anywhere), and also trying to set up my own business, which has felt like it will never happen due to all the other things that need my attention…Mental and emotional paralysis sums it up with the added aspect of an almost physical immobility to attend to anything whilst still actually having to! Does that make sense?…!! Bless you, Alan…

    1. Alan Scott

      Sharon, it makes perfect sense…at least to me! Thank you for all of your prayers and support, and I am praying for you and your family, too. God bless always – Alan

      1. Sharon Cooper

        I appreciate your prayers, Alan…I feel this is going to be a long journey that, as you say, I cannot run from, even though, frequently, every fibre in my being wants to run as far away into solitude and silence to gather up the scattered remnants if the “Sharon” I once knew…stay the course, Alan…even in our times of weakness, we are being made strong… I continue to pray for you and your mother. God bless you – always… Sharon

        1. True

          So agree. For the first time ever I am ready to run. To give up caregiving, mothering, hope-giver. Enough and no more. I have passed through all of the epiphany moments, looked back from a better place and seen the a-ha moments, the God-lessons, but not this time because this will not pass, it will go on for a lifetime. I tell myself that it is ok to feel this way. To want to disown and disavow. Because it is part of acceptance – letting go – if I can give it to God to whom it all belonged all along. I guess all I am asking for is for confirmation that I am not alone.

          1. Alan Scott

            I feel this way many times a day. But I know it’s just temptations to despair and that it’s not a path I can take. If you stay down this path, there will be no return. I try as often as I can to just put all my trust in God that He has me where where I need to be. It’s definitely hard, and it’s takes lot of prayer and fortitude. And then I still backslide. It’s a continual uphill battle.

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