Feelings & Faith: Dealing With Disappointment

Where do feelings align with your faith when the world feels like it is changing all around you?

On March 12, it felt like my world was changing and not for the better. I had just gotten word that my freshman year would be cut short due to COVID-19. When I got the email, I didn’t know how to feel. My instant reaction to the email was crying because I loved being at college so much. I felt like I had finally found my place there.

So, what were my options? I could pack up my room in 24 hours and drive back to Nebraska. Physically, I can do that, but emotionally, that doesn’t leave me time to process what is happening.

Do I wallow in pity now that my first year of college is over?

Am I happy because now I get to hang out with my family, who I love so dearly?

Do I cry because I have to leave my friends and everything we had planned for the last month of college?

The odds are that something you were very excited about was changed, postponed, or canceled due to COVID-19. Another guess I have is that in the midst of all that change, it was tough to find time to process it. You may have had time to rearrange your life, figure out how to homeschool your kids, or even reschedule things. However, have you let yourself process your emotions?

The odds are that something you were very excited about was changed

For me, it took a lot of time to let myself process those feelings. I thought I was okay after I cried for a little bit after I heard the news. That was until I called my parents to figure out the plan for the rest of the semester. The moment my parents told me I had to pack everything up and bring it home was the moment I broke down again. It didn’t seem real until the moment I heard someone else say it.

When I actually processed what was happening, I broke down. I didn’t know what to do. The only thing I knew to do was let myself go. I had to let myself feel what I needed to feel. That wasn’t the only time I broke down either. I had to process what was happening. I had to take it day by day and step by step. If I didn’t, it would eat up and me and make me more and more sad and disappointed. I had to lay it at the feet of Jesus. Every time I broke down or felt sad, I would pray. I would ask God, “why?”. I would lay my questions, my feelings, and all my sad thoughts at His feet. It was the only way that would help me process what was going on in my head and in my heart.

Jesus wants us to feel how we feel, but he also wants to turn those feelings into increased faith.

What was that thing that was taken from you that you haven’t processed? That you haven’t let yourself feel. What’s been eating away at you that Jesus is asking to lay at his feet? What feeling do you need to express and lay down? Find a minute in your new “normal,” sit in silence, and lay your feelings at the feet of Jesus.

Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” When you lay down those feelings, disappointments, and angry feelings, God will give you rest. He will provide you with peace and help you find joy in it. Jesus wants us to feel how we feel, but he also wants to turn those feelings into increased faith. We need to trust that God has a bigger plan in this crazy time. Have faith that he knows what’s best for us despite the feelings we have.

And most importantly, give Him those feelings so he can pour His love on us and tell us, “everything is going to be alright, and I have you exactly where I need you.” Our God is a good God, even in the disappointments, cancellations, and changes in our life. Trust Him in that, and whatever it is that you are feeling will turn into increased faith, joy, and goodness, even during these crazy times.

About the Author

Tess Ray

Tess Ray is a freshman at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ studying Christian Studies with an emphasis in Youth Ministry. She grew up in Omaha, NE and has attended King of Kings with her family her whole life.