“I don’t want to leave!”
Our girl sobbed those words for an hour in the car over Easter weekend. We’d driven halfway to visit family – a trip she’d been looking forward to for a month – when we had to turn around and head home. A combination stomach bug and a bit of car sickness hit our little one unexpectedly, and we knew we couldn’t risk taking any germs up to our family. We didn’t know if she was fine or if she’d be sick all weekend, but we knew turning around and heading home was our best option.
Even if it was incredibly hard.
It won’t be the last time Madi is disappointed when something doesn’t go her way. To be honest, I was heart broken as well – we’d been dreaming and planning and talking about the trip for so long, and I was excited for a fun spring day with family before I left for a work trip. The more she cried, the harder each mile home became, and Matt & I whispered back and forth, wondering if we’d made the right decision.
I don’t know how to explain disappointment to a toddler, or how to prepare her heart that life sometimes just won’t work out the way you planned. I want her to always expect the best but understand that sometimes? Well, sometimes we’re just disappointed and we won’t always understand why we can’t have it our way.
God never promises us that everything will work out according to the timing we prefer, or on the scheduled we plan. Sarah & Abraham received a promise from God but waited years for it to be realized – making decisions along the way out of disappointment and frustration.
There are stories all throughout scripture like theirs. And on one hand it’s comforting to know that these feelings of sadness or discouragement when life doesn’t go like we planned aren’t new – and we’re not alone when we feel them. And on the other hand, it’s a beautiful reminder that God’s promises, and His timing, are perfect. If we can’t see the fruit of it yet in our own lives, we only have to turn to scripture for reassurance that God always keeps His promises.
Our weekend wasn’t what we’d imagined. But we did our Easter crafts, snuggled on the sofa to watch movies, and had Easter egg hunts in our own backyard. We flew kites and made cupcakes, and we put together a fun little package of Easter presents to mail to Madi’s cousins. We went to church and listened to Madi tell everyone she could about Easter and the empty “toon” and how Jesus isn’t there anymore because now He lives in our hearts.
It wasn’t what we planned. But it was beautifully ordinary and what we needed – even if it wasn’t what we wanted.
Jenni DeWitt says
Perfect timing to read this post today! I can relate to Abraham and Sarah — tempted to act out of disappointment and frustration instead of being patient for God’s timing. Thanks for the reminder!
Trisha @ Free Printspiration says
Thanks for this! I think I handle disappointment and unmet expectations even worse than my children do sometimes…I have been listening to past “The Influence Podcast” episodes and loved hearing your heart on Episode 12 back in 2014. I decided to check out your blog because of that – and I’m glad I did.Thanks for your encouragement on the podcast and here on this post!