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?
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