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BIS LIVES Blog

Dancing on Disappointment

when life brings disappointment

A big theme in my life this year has been dancing upon disappointment.

I want to be a woman who doesn’t live confined by the boundaries set by disappointment and heartbreak. I want to step on top of it, for everything to be a means to step into greater intimacy with the Father.

However, suppression sometimes steps in the way of the dance. We’re chained up by hurt that we won’t let ourselves feel because it’s too heavy or we’re too busy or we claim that it’s really not hurt. Or because that woman’s husband left her, or that girl has cancer, and that’s real hurt.

But regardless of if we want to acknowledge it or not, the pain is there.

This year has contained some of the biggest heartbreak I have ever experienced. The lose-your-breath, punched-in-the-stomach, can’t-sleep, don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed kind of disappointment. And even as I type that, I want to backspace. Because someone experienced something worse.

But it’s the reality. Something happened in my life that ripped my heart wide open.

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Enough of “I’m Fine”

One night over a month ago, worn out by this situation wrought with miscommunication, misunderstanding, and so much fear, I wandered over to the chapel.

I told Jesus that He’s good. That I’m fine. That I trust Him. I waited for some kind of consolation, but nothing came.

“I’m sick of this, Jesus,” I whispered. With that, the something inside of me broke. Four pages of journaling later, I told Him how out of control I felt, how alone, how absolutely crushed, how inadequate, how hopeless, how hurt, how disappointed, how mislead, how unsatisfied, and a thousand other things.

When I finished, I looked up at the Monstrance, exhausted. I was ready to start apologizing. Isn’t that what we’re used to doing? We suppress and contain the mess and keep our chins up. For some reason, we think that’s what faith, trust, and hope look like. But when did Jesus ever ask us to keep it together?

Just as shame was starting to creep in, I heard Him say, “Finally.”

Finally. He wasn’t interested in “fine, just fine” pretense. Because this was real surrender. This was real trust. Feeling it all, knowing it all, and giving it all to Him in spite of the pain. Stepping on top of the heartbreak and using it to draw closer to Him.He didn’t respond with a formula to fix it all. He told me that He was in control, and that I could rest because He refused to sleep.

Dancing While We Cry

Jesus Christ took on flesh and blood and dignified emotion. He came to the grave of Lazarus, not to fix everything, but to first enter into the suffering of Martha and Mary. He came to the grave and dignified emotion by taking it on, by shedding tears, by weeping. It was after the tears that He rose the dead to life.

It takes courage to acknowledge pain, because then you can’t write off the situation as “no big deal.” You have to look at it squarely and come to terms with the reality that you’re hurting. And you can’t run.

In order to dance on disappointment, we have to get on top of the disappointment. And to do that, we have to know that it’s there. As Steffany Gretzinger says, “It’s not that we don’t mourn. It’s that we dance while we cry.”

We look at the heartbreak for what it is, in all of its pain and messiness, and we refuse to give in to hopelessness. We refuse to stop worshipping, we refuse to shut our hearts down from feeling. Choosing bravery, we allow our hearts to hurt. We choose to let go of control, of an obsession with sense and understanding, of trying to fix and figure it out. We shift our focus from the problem to the reality of the faithfulness of the Father.

God was moving even on Holy Saturday, when we couldn’t see beyond the horror of the bloodstained Cross and the stillness of the stone rolled in front of the tomb.

Lean Into Disappointment, Lean Into Him

Let’s give ourselves permission to acknowledge our own hearts. Let’s give ourselves permission to feel on our own terms, without asking what actually qualifies as pain.  We can experience the disappointment that is present in our hearts and use it as a means to worship the Father.

Let’s worship this God who doesn’t let go, who has the final word. He’s writing a beautiful story with our lives and our story is not over. He still parts seas and multiplies fish and bread and raises the dead to life. He’s the God of abundance. He sees disappointment, He sees desire, and He doesn’t withhold.

So, we can feel. We can breathe. We can dance in the face of anything. Let’s dance.

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Anne Marie Schlueter is currently studying Communications at Ave Maria University and is a flower crown and bare feet enthusiast. She’s passionate about the power of worship and the reality that nothing is beyond restoration. You can find out more about her here

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