Disappointment. It seems like a word that, in and of itself, doesn’t have that much to it. When disappointment is lived out in our lives, however, it becomes our nemesis and a paralyzer. Our disappointment could stem from a person or a circumstance. It could be in something that did happen, or something that didn’t. Ultimately, it could even be in God. As a girl, slightly older in years :), who has been in ministry for much of my life, I often hear of and obviously have experienced huge letdowns. Why would people who love God act so unkindly to each other? Why would people who are on the same page spiritually treat each other with any disrespect? Why? Sometimes the disappointment can even overwhelm us as it relates to God’s sovereignty. Why would God allow such heartache to come to someone who loves, obeys and follows Him?

When disappointment is lived out in our lives, however, it becomes our nemesis and a paralyzer.

I’ll be honest and vulnerable with you for a second. So, for those who don’t know me, I’m Shelley. Hi! As a Texan, I consider myself friendly. It’s one of those pride-in-Texas things that we have. Being a big state obviously gives us clout, at least in our own minds. Even when clout isn’t deserved or earned, we still pride ourselves in our Lone Star State. One of the many distinctives of Texans is friendliness. We consider it a fruit of the Spirit – well, almost. For me, friendly means looking people in the eye. It means catching eyes with someone who is obviously not that interested in catching yours. It means speaking a word of greeting to all people, everywhere. When I first moved to Atlanta years ago, I expected the same thing from the “friendly South.” I didn’t yet realize that many people in Atlanta weren’t even Southern, and a lot of those and others were just busy and not so interested in a “Hello” from a girl they didn’t know. “Why,” I would ask my husband, “doesn’t everyone speak to one another here? Where are people headed in such a hurry? What’s up with the no eye contact?” His response, was usually something about giving them some space and that they are friendly, just maybe a bit overwhelmed by my outgoing spirit. Good one. My mind couldn’t comprehend. Who needs space?! Oh yea, did I mention I’m married to an introvert? According to old Myers-Briggs statistics, one in four people are introverted. Current sample data, however, suggests that the introvert number could be as high as 1 in 2. So, potentially, 1/2 of our population is categorized as introverts. Maybe that’s why many people don’t want us extroverted Texans saying “hey!” [I would just like to take this time to say I’m sorry to everyone in Atlanta over the past 22 years. In no way was I trying to interrupt your mental flow or step into a space I wasn’t invited into. I was just hoping we could meet eyes and give some meaning to this crazy mixed-up place we call home for now.] Anyway, I digress.

Surely there is a reason I am telling you this story. Um. Nope. Not really. If I had to guess why I told you this it would just be for you to know me a little more. Ah, back to disappointment. I met Louie in college. I had just finished my freshman year of university when he came strolling into my life. I literally saw him from across a large auditorium and in my heart kind of knew I would marry him. I know, CRAZY girl. There was something about him from the moment I laid eyes on him that was like a magnet to me. See, I wasn’t looking for “Mr. Right”. I had “Mr. Right Now.” I was dating people, busy enjoying life and definitely at 18, almost 19 years old, not ready to settle down. My mind couldn’t even comprehend that. I loved God. I had such a passion to know Him more. I wanted my life to so reflect His light and life and I was desperate to be a follower of Jesus for all of my days. I believe now, it was my contentment in God that led me to my future. I’ve heard people say it for years and it sounds so cliché when I hear it come out of my mouth, but until Jesus was enough for me, I wasn’t ready for the more.

I believe now, it was my contentment in God that led me to my future.

When my heart was steady and complete in Jesus, Louie appeared in my life. To hear him tell it, and you need to at some point, he was absolutely SURE that he was good without someone at the moment too. Anyway, God’s plans are way better than ours. So, we met, dated three years until I completed my degree, and married in 1986. That was 31 years ago this week. Cheers to that! That sounds like a happy story. What about disappointment? Well disappointment didn’t follow until I realized just days after we married that I had no idea how to successfully be a dedicated follower of Jesus, wife, partner in ministry, good daughter, loyal friend and so on. I was completely under-equipped and outmatched by the size of my life. It took me years of struggle to realize, that Jesus, who was enough when I met Louie, was also enough after I married him. Where did I go off the grid? I believe it was as soon as I expected something I wasn’t guaranteed; as soon as I placed my hope in marriage (or specifically Louie) and not in God.

One of the most freeing moments as I look back on my life, was the moment I realized I already had everything I needed before I had the life I wanted. See, I wasn’t owed anything. No one is guaranteed a happy little life of everything working out. No one said marriage would be the thing to make you happy. Joy was promised {Psalm 126:5-6} for sure, but I would soon be facedown before God, struggling to find my own satisfaction and purpose in something more than the label, “married.” The Scripture says it this way, “In Him we live and move and have our being” {Acts 17:28}. The implication is that without God we have no purpose. No meaning. No power to live victoriously. The best news is…WE ARE NOT WITHOUT GOD. We have Him. Therefore, we live full lives. We move freely around life knowing that He is ever present and always for us {Romans 8:31}.

We have meaning, purpose, heart and drive to live all the days that have been set out for us, with the hope that we are enough because He is enough in us.

We have meaning, purpose, heart and drive to live all the days that have been set out for us, with the hope that we are enough because He is enough in us. So, you know when my struggle became hope? When I recalculated and figured out that He is truly ALL that I need. That’s when marriage and every other label I carry became a joy and not a burden. I’m not sure what you’re thinking will bring you hope today. Maybe the last thing in your heart is marriage, but there is something that you believe if you could get in your life, you would be complete. As one slightly ahead of most of you, I’m telling you, if you know Jesus, you have ALL you need right now. Nothing is missing. You lack nothing {Psalm 23:1}. Being married to Louie is my greatest joy because I already have all I need in Jesus. Hopefully he receives joy as well from a satisfied wife who doesn’t put my expectation in him to be my everything. My everything is Jesus. He is the love of my life and my complete satisfaction. From that place, I love my husband. Live free today. He is with you. He is for you and He is truly enough. Recalculate.

 

Shelley Giglio

Author Shelley Giglio

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Ashar Magoba says:

    Great encouragement, I really needed that right now. I love the Lord, but its great to get that reminder that we don’t need to depend on anyone or anything for our fulfillment or joy. Thank you so much! From Ashar (UK)

  • Courtney Vinzant says:

    this is a no joke MUST NEEDED right now!!!! God is for sure wanting me to put Him first in my life, focus on Him and stop being worried about what my future holds. I have this idea about marriage and children, but I know at this point in my life I am absolutely not ready for it at all. Nor do I want it right now at all. Like I have said in my other comments, the idea of dating and marriage actually terrifies me, but that’s because I am so insecure and having been putting God in the rightful place like He deserves to be. Marriage is not the final thing in my story. Glorifying God is my whole goal in life. I want to come to the place in my life where I am completely satisfied with God, and He is all I want and desperately need. So your prayers are so appreciated. Thank you so much for sharing with us Shelley Giglio. This was so good. I even text this whole thing to my best friend. I want to desire God so much in my life that I just can’t get enough, and the hunger doesn’t go away. I want Him to be first.

    That’s also a reason I’m signing a song this sunday night by Lauren Daigle called First. It has been on my heart lately, and I’m choosing to make it my prayer everyday. God bless you both. God bless the Live Original Team and God bless you Sadie Robertson. Thank you all so much for all these blogs so far. They have been much much much needed!! I’m sure you guys don’t realize how much God is using all of these stories in each of our lives so let that be something you can glorify God in.

  • Jennifer McCatharn says:

    I want to comment here for any woman who reads this and perhaps, like me, felt discouraged by this post. As a single woman I have been revisiting the theology that laid the framework for some of the hurt and "disappointment" of remaining single much longer than I had anticipated and watching dear friends struggle with the same experience. In it’s best intentions I assume this post was meant to remind readers that our hope is in Jesus and that he has given us all we need for a life of godliness. He is nearer and more loving than any person. This is true and important. Where I disagree with this post, is mostly around a specific phrase that is emphasized, “I believe now, it was my contentment in God that led me to my future.” I find this quote troubling because it seems to lean toward a subtle prosperity gospel, that spiritual inputs of belief, faith, and "contentment" lead to blessings (in this case, a husband). This is the kind of teaching that has led to further self-doubt and questions like, “Am I not content enough? Am I failing to move into my future because I’m not Godly enough?” I would caution the author to respond with what she even calls a "cliche" which exhorts women that her own contentment brought an outcome from God. I believe single women of all ages do not need you to tell her to love God more to secure a future. She instead needs to know God is holding on to her, hearing her honest prayers, and securing her future (even when she gets lonely and feels rejected or left behind). I would also like to point out that I do think age matters in the conversation about contentment and the desire for marriage. The author’s story of meeting and marrying her husband and identifying as being "content" at age 18, is different than remaining in "contentment" for 10 years beyond that age. Even as I write this, I imagine my "contentment" in the Lord is questioned in dissenting with this post. I just think damage is being done when we tell women they can earn or secure a future, by achieving some spiritual feat. I hope if I marry I would always say it was all grace, it was not my maturity, it was not an act of surrender, it was a gift, I didn’t earn it.

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