Let It Be Done to Me: Lessons on Disappointment

I've always promised myself that this blog would honest. There are already enough missionaries and church workers out there running around with "saint masks" on, desperately concealing the painful wounds and "besetting sins" that all of us carry around. I don't need to add to those ranks. I hope you can appreciate that effort, even if means sometimes reading things about me (Emily) that don't quite jive with your "Christian worker" paradigm.

Lately, as you might know if you've read the last blog, I've been learning a lot about what it means to seek contentment, and how to swallow the idea that, in some ways, life might never get "easier." In a nutshell, I've been learning a lot about disappointment.

Disappointment is a funny thing. It's hard to experience, and even harder to accept. It's an emotion that is so tempting to ignore, to cover. It is so easy to see it, and shove it under the rug and continue to try and believe and act as if we are not disappointed.

But the fact of life is that we are all disappointed, in some way or another. Almost every day, we experience some disappointment. Most of the time, it is little; cold coffee, a hole in your shirt, a long traffic jam. Sometimes, it is huge and devastating. But it is frequent, and it is unavoidable. 

So how do we deal with that? That's something I've been asking a lot of the Father during my prayer times. I want to know how to not just ignore disappointment, but to feel it, accept it, and be content with what the Lord has chosen to give me.

Since it is, of course, the Christmas season, I've also been thinking a lot about the Nativity. Specifically, about Mary. A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that Mary, in some ways, may have been disappointed with God's choices. 

Of course, it was a great honor to be chosen by God to carry the Savior - but it was also a great burden. The gossip must have been vicious. The side-eye frequent, and the verbal jabs sharp. I'm sure she cried from more than one insensitive remark. And if I believe in her humanity, I'm sure her heart, a young woman's, just like mine, ached from the terrible pain of being surrounded by a confusing plan made by a big God who often chooses paths for us that we would never choose for ourselves.

I take solace in knowing that she, too, probably stared at the sky and wondered if the God Who Loves truly loved her. His plan for her life probably ostracized her, ruined friendships, caused shame. But we know, He had a PLAN. Aren't we glad she chose to say, "Let it be done to me as you have said." 

The more I contemplate Mary and her character, I realize her willingness to wake up every day and say, "Let it be done to me," says a great deal about what she believed about herself and God.

Her ability to surrender to His plan tells me that she thought so much of God's plan for the world, and very little of her wishes for her own life. (Who wishes to be an an unwed mother in a society that routinely stoned unwed mothers?!) In humility, she laid down her will for His will. 

She tasted a severe disappointment. But she was so convinced in WHOM she believed, that she was able to live out WHAT she believed. 

I want to be like that. I want to face the disappointments in my life, head on. To say, "This is not what I wanted for my life. This is not what I thought this would be. And that is ok, because it is what HE wanted for my life, and this is what HE thought this should be. 

I want to be so convinced in WHOM I believe that I am able to live out WHAT I believe

"And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” " - Luke 1:38