I revisited My Report Card post, someone just looked at it recently. Of course, the reason I re-read it is because, as I said in the post, I need my own advice.
Boy, it’s hard not to just let this become your attitude toward life, isn’t it?
Funny story: back when I was a kid, I got disappointed frequently for awhile, and one day I got it into my head that if I said I hoped for the opposite of what I wanted, then what I actually wanted would happen. It even seemed to work.
But what’s not funny at all is how many of us still think that as grown men and women.
I realize now that my negative thinking was more likely to prevent what I wanted from happening than to allow it, but at the time I had a rather negative view of myself. It wouldn’t be the last time I felt almost like I was cursed.
If you check out Genesis, you’ll find that the original human beings were indeed cursed, but it was for trying to get what they wanted by doing the wrong thing.
The Man was cursed with thorns and thistles and constant work.
The Woman, which to us at least sounds worse, was cursed with painful labor, even though of course, it’s not constant.
As John Eldredge has pointed out in “Wild at Heart.” The curses are more than just what they sound like on the surface.
Men were cursed with futility and failure. Which I think doesn’t mean things like work are futile, or that men will constantly fail, a curse is really a lot more about your perception of what’s happening.
And don’t men feel like their lives are futile a lot of the time? And like they are failing?
So do women of course, but for us it’s even more personal, I think.
It’s not just having kids, it can seem like whatever women do, it ends up being a long and painful process, and one we never really feel ready for.
And of course there’s the part about having desire for, and being ruled by, your husband.
Relationship difficulties, am I right? Not fun.
Women feel like their desires contradict themselves, after all. We want this, but we also want something very different. Ah! Why can’t we be simpler?
Well, where’s the fun in that? But my main point is this all feels like a curse… and it is.
But not completely. Like I said, it’s your perception.
The reason I think that is because Christians like to say Jesus freed us from the curse of Adam and Eve; which is true; but not in the way we think.
At bottom, a curse leads to sorrow and suffering. Jesus was cursed if you can believe it, because the Word says “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Which is what a cross is made from. Major suffering.
But Jesus does not free us from having to suffer and know sorrow. He knew plenty himself, and part of the deal of being a Christian is learning to be like Jesus.
I’d venture to say 90% of our problems as Christians come from not understanding what being like Jesus entails. Maybe even more.
I like better the answer I heard from another source, that Jesus’ suffering redeemed our suffering. The thing about a curse is, it never makes your life better. (Read “Ella Enchanted.”) But suffering can ultimately make your life better, if it is in the right hands.
So in a sense, maybe my younger self was right. But now that I know this, I know that my disappointments don’t have to make me bitter, or just plain delusional. (Why do we use delusional as a word to apply to people who believe things are better than they are? IT’s far more often the other way around.)
All that said, will disappointment hurt? YES!!
Does it have to break you? No.
It might, being broken isn’t as bad as being bent. Broken is fixable.
So is bent, but it’s harder, definitely.
But once you’ve cried, or ranted, or whatever you do to feel better; it’s time to pick up the pieces.
Because as bad as I feel, and as much as might want to quit, I’ve come to far to give up now. I’m finishing this thing.
Frankly, I can’t accept defeat because I’ve staked everything on victory.
You can’t quit when you realize what you have to lose.
And looking at the bigger picture, I see that one disappointment is not worth throwing away everything.
In a way, I needed to write this more than any of you needed to read it, because I had to remind myself of all that.
Still, I hope it was helpful to someone else besides me, thank you for reading, and until next time–Natasha.