Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Can Any Good Come From Disappointments?

This week, I asked my writing students to answer a prompt:

Can any good come from disappointments?

I'd say their answers were 50/50. Some said no while others said yes. 

I was pleasantly surprised to read how the students who said yes learn from their disappointments. They try to find the reasons for what happens. I was encouraged by this!

Learning From Disappointments

As a writer, I dream that one day I'll have that big BESTSELLING book that tops the New York Times Bestseller's list and movie producers will be knocking on my door begging me to sell them the rights to my book so they can make it into a BLOCKBUSTER motion picture.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

And, as a writer, I have had to deal with disappointments.  Like 50% of my students, I insist that there is a lesson hidden within each disappointment. I insist upon learning from each one.

I insist upon making it through and becoming stronger after each disappointment.

As a woman, I have had to deal with disappointments in life. 

I asked the Lord for three sons once. And He said, "No."

It is never easy to hear your Father say no. But I insisted on learning from that disappointment. I knew there was a lesson hidden within. 

And I was right!

There is no way on earth I could have handled three sons! God, in His wisdom, knew this and said, "No" to my prayer. 

He gave me one son...one precious gift, one awesome kid...and I learned a powerful lesson from that disappointment. God knows BEST.

As a runner, I was disappointed in my first attempt to complete a marathon. I had broken my toe 8 weeks before the race and couldn't drop out. I had to run it. 

Yes, I was disappointed with my finishing time, but the lesson I learned was worth it. I learned a little about myself. I learned that I could complete a marathon under painful conditions. I learned that I was stronger than I thought. I also learned that I wanted to try again and beat my time...and I did! 

Good From the Bad

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sign with a big time literary agent who will sell my book to a big time publisher and market my book to people all over the world. 

I have had big time literary agents say they like my work, but...they pass.

And that sting of disappointment hurts like crazy. Yet, like always, I insist on finding that lesson hidden within. I insist on learning from that disappointment. 

I have learned that the Lord knows what is best with my writing career too. 

So, can there be any good from disappointments?

I have a book published. I am grateful for that. I saw a little girl today carrying my book in her hands. She was reading it. I am grateful for that.

Hearing a big time agent say no to my manuscript made me work harder on revising it. It made me work harder on character development. And now those agent's words are making me work harder on my current WIP. I am grateful for that too!

YES!  Good can come from disappointments. We have to want to find the good in all things. As a Christian, I look to Paul who did find the good in horrible circumstances. He fought the fight. He finished the race. He won the prize.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."  2 Tim 4:7-8

There can be good in it all. 

Your turn: How do you deal with disappointments? Do you find the good in it?


You can buy my book at my publisher's site:



  1. One of the gazillion awesome things my parents have taught me over the years is that I always have a choice how I respond to things--especially disappointments. I think it's okay to have that initial burst of "waaaah!" But once that's out of my system, I have a choice--trust God and His plan or keep wallowing. Wallowing might be easier, but trusting is so much better long-term. :)

    1. Yeah I was a little sad that some of my students didn't know to look for the bright side. How sad to go through life that way. How awesome that your parents taught you to how to respond.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yes, I totally agree that disappointments can lead to something positive. You just have to be willing to accept them and ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from it.

    So cool that you saw a little girl carrying your book. Aww. That must have been an awesome feeling!!

    So glad you're enjoying your new job too.

    1. So true Lindsay! I think Christians have a handle on this if they are in Gods Word daily.

      Thanks! Yes...the new job is FUN most days. I am really enjoying it.