So how else does God use our disappointments? Here is another brief insight from the 40 years of wilderness wandering of the Israelites, followed by one of the most honest, vulnerable and inspiring stories you will read this week. Activate team member and Editorial Assistant of Liberti Magazine, Susi Leggatt, share how periods of devastating disappointment in her own life have been healed and now used to God’s glory through her encounter with Jesus Christ.
KEY POINT from Sarah:
God called His people out of Egypt and into Canaan so that they grew into a more intimate relationship with Him.
In the hard times, we pursue God the hardest, pray, read the Bible and seek God more.
Our own wilderness experiences/disappointments drive us to a place where we are totally in need of His love, provision and care.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3
This is about reliance on God. For most of us, this only happens in the wilderness.
PERSONAL STORY from Susi: Disappointed with your lot?
Are you disappointed with your life? Does your life resemble the life of Job? Do you compare your life to others? Do you utter the words, “Well that’s not fair, why me?” I have, here is a bit of my story…
I can remember as a child looking at my friend’s parents thinking why don’t my parents love me like that? The disappointment that I wasn’t hugged or encouraged or told how much they loved me was evident from a very early age. It made me look at myself and wonder what I had done wrong: it must be me, that’s why I was different to them (remember this was the mind of a very small child). I spent most of my childhood trying to be accepted by them but always disappointed that I never felt loved or was good enough, or reached my Dad’s high standards. I would dream that I was adopted, and that’s why they didn’t love me like my friend’s parents loved them – any reason that took away the disappointment of not being good enough.
Teenage years were no better: the disappointment of cheating boyfriends, cheating friends, failed exams, bad choices and the never ending comparing myself to others. Looking for love in all the wrong places and the disappointment of always feeling empty and not worthy, ever felt like that? The disappointment of my parents disowning me at seventeen when one of my bad decisions lead to unplanned pregnancy. The feeling of isolation and heartbreak after miscarrying and the disappointment of not even being able to do that right.
A husband who cheated and left me with 3 children under 5. The disappointment that my family unit would never be what I hoped and dreamed for. The devastating disappointment of watching my brother take his last breath and my prayers go unanswered for his healing.
A life of people-pleasing – trying to be accepted, trying to be liked and loved the way I always needed to be, and with that the rejection when people let you down (because they are only human). I could go on about the amount of betrayal and disappointment in my life and how I used to call myself Job but I won’t.
But, here is the thing. In March 2004 I did an Alpha course, and I found the love that I was looking for. My emptiness was filled, my search complete. Finding myself through Jesus’s eyes was what I had been searching for all my life, to be loved unconditionally, to know I am never on my own, to look at the truths over my life and know that he died to save me from myself. All the bad choices I had made were wiped away, all my experiences turned from something heart breaking to helping others in the similar situations now. No bad situation you experience can’t be turned around for good, that’s what He does. A clean slate, unending love and continual grace.
And like Job, God has blessed my life ten fold, a new husband who loves me for who I am and loves my children as his own. Now I have four beautiful children to complete our family unit, a different unit to how I first imagined but a one filled with hope, dreams and plenty of love.
Yes, those disappointments were real, and all those things really happened and were life-shaping. The difference now is I have Him to lean on and yes most days I get it wrong and mess up, but I know that He can help me through anything, He can walk me through anything that comes my way. And He can do the same for you too. What a relief.
TO SUM UP from Rachel:
How many of you have stories like Susi’s but yours are only half way through? Maybe you are in the depths of despair and have been left broken and wounded – unbearably disappointed. If this story prompts you to turn back to God or to rely more on him, please comment and thank Susi for her vulnerability in sharing her story in order to reach others. Maybe you have a friend in a similar situation. If so, there may be something that has been written in this series that might help them. We are praying for you.