Not Broken nor Bent – Choosing How Disappointment Shapes Us

I settle into the place of silence. With the Maker. Love, Himself.

Healing Whole

I find myself dragging. Dragging in my thoughts, dragging in my chores, dragging at the gym, dragging in my relationships. This season has been exhausting. Disappointing. Rushed.

My husband and I knew we needed to move closer to our work. So we prayed and believed that He would provide a home for us.

Well, to make a long story short, we did find a home. One we both felt was precious and perfect. It was a newly built town home. One that fit our budget and some of our hopes.

A few months into the construction of the home we had consistent challenges contacting the builder. Promises that were made were broken. Quality of work was poor and professionalism was obsolete. We felt sad and ashamed for making the decision we did. The contracts had already been signed and boxes packed.

The title company invited us in to sign the remaining papers. We had not seen the home to approve of the finishes nor had we spoken to any of the builders to get confirmation of the home’s readiness. Nevertheless, we sunk into the giant, leather chairs at a large, oak table overlooking the mountains of Colorado with desperation to just be done with the battle and have a home. After receiving the keys, we drove to the house and opened the front door. The view was heart wrenching.

There were holes in the walls, holes in the floors, holes in the ceilings, doors unpainted, cracked floors, damaged granite, impaired sheetrock, damages to the exterior and foundation etc. Seriously, the list could go on for pages. I was broken and so disappointed. My husband and I continued to experience let down after let down by this company. After 2 months of living in the home, we learned that the contractor never actually acquired the Certificate of Occupancy, which is illegal. We were angry.

Our anger grew into hate. And before either of us could blink an eye, we realized how this anger had manifested and leaked into every area of our lives. Our work, our marriage, our friendships. We complained all of the time and felt abandoned and disrespected by those who we had paid to provide services.

Needless to say, the visions I had of being swept off of my feet and carried over the threshold into our first “home” bowed in the face of disappointment and failed promises.

My eyes were opened one day when I crumbled into a corner and cried out to this God of the Universe. I said “why? why did you let this happen? I’m growing into one of those adults whose default is mistrust and doubt. I’m becoming an abrasive woman who assumes others are out to hurt or abandon me. I’m operating in fear and anger rather than love and Your heartbeat for those You put in front of me everyday.”

I felt Him whisper “Hebrews 12:12-14” and I quickly flipped to the verse, “Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. Strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”

It’s not that we can’t be angry.  Instead, we are charged to manage our anger appropriately (Ephesians 4:26).

If we do not correctly manage our anger, and if we do not take actions to LIFT our hands, STRENGTHEN our knees, and MAKE straight paths for ourselves, then we will heal out of joint, or bent. I couldn’t imagine breaking my arm and never going to get it properly set. I’m sure I would eventually grow accustomed to using my arm in its broken state, but it would be so much more effective had I gone through the process to ensure a healthy recovery!

I look at so many adults who live out of a place of mistrust and anxiety. Always assuming the worst and approaching life on the defense. Having eyes to see obstacles and not opportunity. Recognizing pain but rarely rejoicing in comfort. Making decisions based on past failures and hurts rather than based on past successes and God’s promises for the future.

During our recent battle, I suddenly understand why. I realized why so many people often seem cautious to believe a “too good to be true” opportunity might exist. I realized why so many adults live with blinders on, hesitant to jump into risk, even for the sake of the Kingdom.

Of course, common sense and wisdom are gifts to us from God and should be applied appropriately. I am learning I must rest in self-awareness to ensure my thoughts and feelings are stemming from trust in God and not fear of man. 

Because fear runs rampant masked as “wisdom.”

I’m learning, that after the world fails us, we are not called to let anger and disappointment shape our expectations. These experiences did not shape Jesus’ expectations.

Instead, I need to learn how to forgive, how to get up and put my hands to the plow and move forward, without bitterness.

If I let my heart marinate in the emotions that accompany failure, I will heal crooked. My expectations, perception, and experience will henceforth be based on destructive experiences rather than on life’s greatest gifts and possibilities.

This calling requires me to behave before I emote. To make choices apart from my feelings. This doesn’t mean you aren’t following your heart. This means you’re allowing your heart to actually grow.

Let’s not allow today’s disappointments to shape our hopes. Let’s not heal bent. Let’s not choose continued brokenness. I believe that my life in this home is going to be filled with joy and peace. And I believe that my next home buying experience is going to be fun! Because He says so.

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