Dealing with disappointment and loneliness is a huge part of being a mom. Each time we face disappointment, we have a choice. We can dwell on our hurt, or we can shift our focus to discovering how God can use our disappointment to show Himself to us in some way.
Eye on the Prize
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered my love for running. I think it stems partially from my competitive nature and partially from the sense that I can control something. Once I step out the door I can decide which direction I run, how far I go, and what I listen to.
In a world where I control almost nothing, it’s refreshing to have time to myself when I can control even a little bit.
After a lot of training, I finished my first half marathon last year. It was a lot of work and it wiped me out, but the rush was intensely satisfying! I felt so strong. A full marathon briefly crossed my mind, but I was content with that 13.1 sticker in the van window.
Then I drove home from the race. The van in front of me had the 26.2 marathon sticker taunting me as I drove, still exhausted from my first half. Suddenly, all I could think about was how much I wanted that sticker. I could do it. I WOULD do it.
Always the planner, I got several books from the library and followed distance runners on Instagram. I gathered as much information and research as I could, then set it all in motion in February by registering for the Kansas City Marathon. It was a big step for me, but I convinced myself that I had plenty of time to train.
Soon, COVID-19 shut the state down. The original race day, scheduled in May, was quickly postponed into the fall. I was disappointed, but also felt a sense of relief that I had more time to train.
Regardless of everything that was happening in the world, I did my best to stay on a strict training plan through the summer, focusing on everything my research had taught me. Realistically, I can’t be too surprised that my strict regimen would be difficult while being a mom. The pressure increased when Josh began traveling again for work.
How am I going to get in my running training during a pandemic when Josh isn’t even home?
Maybe Next Year
Balancing health concerns with COVID and lack of time to train, I was able to transfer my registration to the 2021 KC marathon instead.
That was it. I had spent hours and hours planning and training for this event, and it wasn’t going to happen. Sure, there was some relief, but I was very disappointed. The race was canceled shortly after I withdrew anyway, but it didn’t matter. I invested countless hours and emotions into training, and it just didn’t happen.
How should we deal with disappointment?
When Josh was deployed to Iraq, it helped me to focus on what was true.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5. Paul tells the believers to “bring every thought into captivity.” Then in Philippians 4, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always… The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.”
When disappointment tempts me to doubt Christ, I need to get my mind under control, think on truth and goodness, and be thankful. I don’t need to worry.
Sure, I don’t like the thought that my planning and training won’t see the payoff of a 26.2 medal around my neck this year. But was God surprised by my plans not working out? No. And now I’m a good step into planning for next year.
A sweet friend shared with me that Proverbs 16 impacted her. I, too, needed this reminder.
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. The LORD has made everything for its purpose. The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Who is God in this?
How has God shown Himself to you over the past months? If you’d share in the comments, I’d be honored to pray with you and encourage you.