Disappointment in the Single Journey

July 6, 2015

picture found on internet, altered by Caravan Sonnet
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God..”
-Psalm 42:11-

One of the real aspects of the single journey is dealing with disappointment. The definition of disappointment is said to be “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations”. Often times (and for many obvious reasons) disappointment can be entangled with the daily life of a single lady. Disappointment over the fact that hopes have not come to fruition yet. Disappointment over expectations (perhaps of how we thought life would look at a certain age or season) is not the reality. Disappointment over circumstances in regards to romance that didn't work out. 

Scripture states; “why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11). In the single journey it is so hard to not to get our hopes up over certain things or potential relationships. But unfortunately if we put our hope solely in this we will be disappointed again and again. Don't get me wrong. This is NOT easy.  Like many women who are single, I long to share my life with someone. I long to "live life together" and serve God with someone in our everyday lives. All of these things are natural and important. The caution though comes from when we put our entire hope in a situation or a person other than Jesus Christ. 

Our hope needs to be in Jesus Christ alone who will never disappoint us. One of my favorite verses as a single lady for this area is from the book of Deuteronomy chapter 3, verse 24: “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty words you do?” Sometimes the disappointments that we face as single women are heartbreaking (I have had my share!!) but the beautiful thing is that we can have full assurance and hope that our precious God and Savior loves us more than life itself and will never disappoint us. 

Our hope is not in the outcome of any circumstance, not even in marriage. Instead our hope is in the Sovereign Lord and His love for us. That hope will never disappoint friends. “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:5). 

 I think a word of caution is also important to add in here. I have seen so many women who have heart-breakingly allowed their disappointments in life, in being single, and in having relationships not work be a reason to become bitter. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is from my former pastor, Mark Batterson who once said in an interview; "All of us have experienced disappointment and sometimes we can allow those to keep us from believing God the next time.". This is so true! Friends, don't let the disappointments in life become a stumbling block to trust the Lord or to allow you to become bitter. Have courage to take those questions, disappointments, and hurt to the one who loves you most. Encountering His love will give you freedom to trust that  disappointments are not the end. Run back to the heart of God and spend time in His word and in prayer. 

"You have not because you have not so God won't answer 100% of the prayers that you don't pray. To not pray is not an option but I think there are times when God will speak into your spirit and you'll have a sense that this is not the right time or the right place for a miracle. But until the Lord has released me from something, I'm going to continue praying for miracles … what if the Israelites had stopped circling Jericho on day six? The walls wouldn't have come down. Our problem is that we give up too soon. There are things I've been praying for for many years, miracles that haven't happened in my life but do I still have the faith that God is able? I do. I believe He is able to do more than all I can ask or imagine so it's important for me to hold on to hope."
-Mark Batterson-

If we feel called to be married then we can rest in this truth and this knowledge and can see that our joy is not dependent on our circumstances, as difficult as they might be, but in God who is always with us and who promises to never leave or forsake us. No matter what the world says, our single lives can be full of hope, trust, faith, and joy when we place our disappointment in God's hands. I shared this verse when I talked about loneliness in the single journey and I truly believe that it is applicable for this tender subject of disappointment as well;  

“When you, God, when out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down raid, before God, the one of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel, you gave abundant showers, O God. You refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty God, you provided for the poor.” 
-Psalm 68:7-10-

The Lord goes before us friends, even when we experience great disappointment over a relationship not working out. Hold on to this precious hope. He is good and He is always with us and while it is important to recognize this struggle we can place our disappointments in His loving hands. Experiencing disappointment, even when you get married doesn't just "go away" and learning this lesson of trusting in God and making Him our central hope now will only help to strengthen our marriages in the future. Unfortunately, as I have stated here before on the blog, I have seen so many wonderful christian women enter into marriage believing that will be the "cure" for their past disappointments. What an impossible thing to place on a human- something that only God can fulfill. 

As we work through this real pain of disappointment, let us have courage to place this area into the one who loves us more than life so that in the future we do not place this on someone who was never meant to be the "cure" for what ails us. God always is with us friends and in that we can rest joyfully. 

p.s. Many of you sweet readers are happily married but are looking for ways to practically encourage your single friends in areas like this one I am discussing today. I get so many sweet and thoughtful emails of friends looking to encourage their single friends. If you are looking for ways to encourage your single friends I wrote a post entitled, How to Encourage your Single Friends which you can find by clicking HERE! You are truly a blessing!!

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