What seem to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Dear Little Sister,
The one way street sign is the most aggravating sign for me when I’m driving. When I’m trying to get somewhere and I have to take a longer route I am usually so frustrated that I can’t drive the path I wanted to take. Most times, however, something good comes from these detours. In the end, I am usually where I’m suppose to be and it has turned out for the better, gaining something the original route would not have provided.
The blessings found in disappointments
Honestly, Little sister, I don’t react to disappointment to well initially. I’m not a fan of things not working out the way I planned. A one way sign pops out of no where and I find myself being forced to take an unplanned road – groan, curse, sigh.
I am getting better. I’d like to think it’s because I’m maturing. I think it’s more because I realize from experience that what God takes away from me is for my own good. He never leaves me lost for too long and His graces are bountiful – even more when I willingly cooperate with Him. The more I remind myself of this, the clearer things become for me.
Being thankful for the blessings of disappointments
You see, my sister, many disappointments come over a lifetime. Some are given huge earth shattering blows that rock the ground beneath them. Some experience a line of small setbacks. I think most of us have had a combination of the two. My witness to the miracles God has performed in my own life have strengthened my faith in the importance of embracing and even being thankful for disappointments.
In my relationships that turned to be the greatest blessings and led me to people who I am most thankful for in my life. Many people came and went in my life. The good friends stayed. The other friends, as well as the boyfriends and crushes who I was not suppose to be with, went. The friends I have today are more like family. My husband is my family. I could not image my life with anyone but him. The disappointments led me to these people in one way or another.
You have your own set of people you were born to encounter. The impact of these people range from merely floating by to altering your entire self. The disappointments among these will bring more clarity to those who are blessings in your life. You will cling to them and appreciate them beyond measures.
Beyond a career path
The college I attended at the beginning of my career path was not my dream college. You could call it my one way street college. The one I applied to, got into, and could afford. It was one of my greatest disappointment for which I am most thankful for because it led me beyond a career to my vocation.
It was a local college and I had wanted to get away. Far away. On my own. Independent. I was bitterly disappointed when I commuted from my parent’s house on my first day of orientation – and the hits just kept coming that day when I broke down on the way home. And they further came when my parent’s van broke down on the second day of orientation (TRUE STORY – you can’t make this up!)
By the end of the first year, I knew it was the right decision for me. The college I attended impacted every area of my life: career, friends, vocation, faith, and everything in between. I grew more thankful each passing year that things didn’t go according to my plan.
* I don’t know if there was a specific blessing that came out of the first two days- maybe a bit of comedic relief for the next years to come.
Following the winding road
God’s ways seem so winding and at times while we are on the path, we have no sight of anything. When I stopped pouting, I was usually able to see my disappointment turned into something good for me that I didn’t anticipate or even imagine. When we do take a leap of faith during disappointments and allow Him to change our plan is when and where we find peace.
His ways we do not understand most of the time. It is when we are through these trials that we look back we can see some of the many miracles He has worked in our lives. Our entire life is His creation. When we stop to observe this in our lives it is a comforting reminder of His great care and love for our well being at every moment, and in every area, of our life.
Avoid discouragement, not disappointments
Follow your heart but don’t be discouraged with the one way streets. Be thankful. They are guides for you to follow. They will challenge you. Frustrate you. Take you out of the way. Embracing them and working within them will give you some of the greatest and least expected blessings. Have faith and keep driving with you spirits up. You’ll get to your destination. Wherever that may be. God is the ultimate GPS and He is always guiding you.
Peace in Christ,
Your Big Sister