I’m stuck. I’ve recently discovered that my expectation about my health was to be disappointed. You may have noticed I haven’t been posting for a few weeks. There was this “catch” somewhere in the part of my soul that is hard to describe that if I hope for physical healing I am going to be disappointed. A hard thing to admit when you’re blog is about unconditional hope. An even harder thing to admit when you want to protect those around you who love you from being hurt by your disappointment which feels like an inevitable outcome. So what to do … be brave and hide.
I mean .. everybody wins right? If I’m brave and push back the fear of disappointment to charge forward with will-powered hope then those around me are safe from being inconvenienced or hurt from my health problem du jour. Just one problem – my heart has no voice in this scenario. Everything it needs to say is stuffed down far beneath the surface of “acceptable behavior” to, and I quote Meg Ryan from the move French Kiss “fester, fester, fester … rot, rot, rot”.
You might have guessed life has not been working so well for me recently 🙂 There was my first episode of acute sciatica on July 30th which put me on my back for 3 days from which I was just nicely recovering that was followed by an episode of acute onset chest pain followed by passing out cold while at dinner with my husband last Saturday evening. Since that time it has been clearly pointed out to me by friends and physicians that my insistence to my husband that I was fine and did not need to go to the ER was, shall we say, a “poor choice” on my part. But there it was — I didn’t want to inconvenience or frighten my husband any more than I already had.
When a close friend checked on me Monday as to why I had missed church Sunday, she insisted the least I should do is update my doctor via e-mail about what had transpired. I was expecting an answer along the lines of “wait and see if it happens again”. My experience dealing with doctors for so many years about chronic disorders such as FMS and migraine was “sorry, we don’t really know how to help, just wait and see what happens.” So rushing to the doctor was not an automatic response for me. However the doctors response was “go to the closest ER now”. Startling to say the least. One of those, did I read that right?? But even as my husband and I are in the ER, I am apologizing for being an inconvenience and trying to make a joke about what has transpired. Any time I have shared the story with anyone I see the look of fear come across their face and immediately try to make them laugh with a joke. It has been so important to me to not negatively impact them with my experience.
Tonight I remembered the truth from the book “The Road Less Traveled” – you can’t just shut down the negative feelings. When you choose to shut down feelings as a defense – all the feelings get shut down – the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows. I have felt very much shut down and unable to write. I had no clue what to say here because I didn’t know how to positively share a frightening experience.
But Jehovah “sneaky” loves me to much (as He does you) to leave me stuck. Sharing a bottle of wine with my husband this past Sunday on a beautiful afternoon at a beautiful winery and suddenly my defenses were down and the tears came to the surface.
I immediately said “I didn’t want this to happen”.
His response was “what to happen”.
Me: “I haven’t cried since all that has transpired the past 3 weeks. I’ve tried to be brave.”
His response: “no one has asked you to do that except you”. He listed friends that have reached out to me (other than himself) that want to help because in his words “you are very special and worth helping”. Then we spent a wonderful hour simply sitting together on a swing enjoying the beauty of the afternoon and it was so healing to just be and feel so loved in spite of the “weakness” I had just exposed to him.
Then tonight while at a sozo meeting a dear friend laid hands on me and after a moment I heard her pray “help her to know she doesn’t have to be brave; that we all gain when we get to see her”. I was totally undone. The tears just started to flow, but with the tears flowed peace. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” (Matt 11:28 Amplified).
You now have the background for what I am going to share from my recent journal entries:
Revelation came that I didn’t want the Father to know about the pain in my back because I didn’t want Him to be disappointed I wasn’t healed – I didn’t want to hurt the Father, just like I didn’t want to hurt my earthly Father when he couldn’t heal me. I heard or sensed “do you think I am disappointed in you because you’re in pain?” I came out of agreement with the lie that I need to protect You (God) from my pain/hide my pain/push past my pain so that I don’t disappoint You. In this moment I just saw the truth is I am the one who is disappointed being transparently honest. Disappointed in myself and disappointed in You, Heavenly Father. Disappointed because it feels from my experience You made me flawed in some way that I can’t be healed. Even as I was typing this – I asked what would You give me in exchange for disappointment and I heard “hope”***. OH MY – my ungodly expectation is disappointment!!! It’s so twisted – to protect myself from being disappointed I just go ahead and expect disappointment to take away it’s power to hurt me (like somehow if I control the disappointment I can control the pain it can inflict). Forgive me LORD!! By the blood of Jesus I cut off all covenants I have made with disappointment and confess those as sin. I ask You to put the complete work of the cross between me and all consequences of sewing and reaping the ungodly expectation of disappointment.
*** As I was showering after journaling I heard “hope that does not disappoint” – that is what you are offering me. I looked it up. Romans 5:5 – the greek for the word “disappoint” is to be put to shame by being deceived by hope. There is no deception in the hope You have given me this morning. It is absolutely reliable because it is authored by the One who is faithful and true (Rev 19:11) the One in whom there is no changing; the One who is the giver of good gifts (James 1:17). The Message translates “hope” as alert expectancy. Exactly what You had me do this morning exchange my ungodly expectancy for alert godly expectancy. Hallelujah!
So I have had choices to make. Hope that does not disappoint was not a “one time” offer. It is a thread that God is weaving into the fabric of my life filter regardless of circumstance. I just need to look for and follow the thread. When laying in the ER, I reminded myself – I get hope that does not disappointment. As I went for doctor follow up appointments I remind myself – I get to have the alert expectancy that there is no deception in the hope God has given me in exchange for disappointment as my protector. The choice continues to be mine in each situation. To hide my need/pain from my Heavenly Father so as not to disappoint Him or to come unto Him with all that is too much for me to carry. The enemy has not stopped assaulting with opportunity to choose disappointment, but I am experiencing that every time I make the choice to take hold of hope that does not disappointment I experience an increase in peace and energy. The truth is literally setting me free, moment by moment, choice by choice. God’s Word tells me that God will meet my need according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19) … being the football fanatic that I am – I’m thinking my defense is going to wear down the enemy’s offense … and the victory will be mine.
So, are there any places in your life where disappointment is your expectation? Good news, you too can exchange your expectation of disappointment for hope that does not disappoint … it’s an unlimited offer that does not expire. Care to make the exchange?