Let me just say from the “get go” of this blog that it most certainly falls under the hash tag of #firstworldproblems. Compared to real life problems and the serious issues most of you deal with, daily, this is nothing short of small and petty, but I’m on vacation … and compared to real life problems, that in itself is in the category of petty – so, this is the order of the day! Ideally, the biggest problem one is supposed to deal with while on vacation is which restaurant to dine for the evening, and then bigger yet — what to order.
There are varying degrees of disappointment, and varying levels within each degree of said disappointment. A minuscule disappointment is missing the green light. A tiny disappointment is going out for the day and realizing you forgot to charge your phone. A small disappointment is when your lunch date gets cancelled. A minor disappointment is going to the grocery and they are sold out of Blue Bell banana pudding ice cream. A significant disappointment is when you get sick while traveling. A major disappointment is when it rains on your vacation. I’m sure we could keep adding to this list until we’re disappointed for wasting time making this list.
A few years ago, when our daughter, Rachel, got married she selected a lovely venue for the reception. The Brown Pusey House is a historic home in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Rachel fell in love with this classic Kentucky house with an enchanting garden. We were planning on using the outdoor garden as well as the indoor building. It was perfect! We had invited about 130 and The Brown Pusey could comfortably seat 80, which was fine because we had the entire garden set up with tables as well. Yes, you guessed it … a storm rolled in and it rained on our reception, leaving the decorated outside tables dripping and the inside bursting with 100% humidity soaked, sweaty, hungry guests.
I have a friend who is quite possibly one of the most positive, optimistic, kind, godly people I know. She was my rock during this wedding. Just being around her makes me want to be a better person. She was my designated hitter for reception set-up detail. She came all the way from Fort Worth to, not only attend the wedding, but to work for nothing more than love. When the storm clouds persisted, I came to her in tears and asked, “What will we do?” She said with the confidence and calm of a tight rope walker, “Sheri, I believe it is going to be just fine. I don’t think you need to worry at all — it will all work out.” That was all I needed. I smiled, while relaxing my shoulders, and walked away pushing through the dark heavy wet air believing somehow it would indeed be ok. Even though it did, as I stated earlier, rain, it somehow was a magical reception. I’m sure many of our guests remember the crowded heat and rain, but Rachel barely even noticed. Her world was perfect, and as Tammy said, “it all worked out.”
We are presently on our vacation in Fort Worth for her son’s wedding. The forecast is for rain. While I’m entirely disappointed Bill and I don’t get to spend these next 4 days sitting by the pool soaking in the lovely North Texas sunshine, I find myself even more concerned for her son’s wedding on Saturday. I wish I could do something for her to keep it from raining on the incredible rooftop setting in downtown Fort Worth. I texted her as the storm raged today, and she was her usual optimistic self singing, “rain, rain go away.” She didn’t cry or complain. She happily suggested for us to have lunch tomorrow at one of our favorite restaurants! She really is my hero! Her perspective and spirit have amazed me for the past 16 years and counting. She’s shown me the things we remember are not the perfect circumstances but the way we respond to the circumstances.
Disappointment … it is real, and depending on the level, it can be a woe-begotten tearful event, or it can “all work out.” We face every level of disappointment to one degree or another every day of our lives. We can’t control when disappointment visits us, but we can control how we respond to those disappointments. It’s not a tragedy or a trauma or a disaster. It’s a disappointment. I’m learning to treat these unwelcome visitors with a new level of calm and reason. When faced with disappointment, instead of falling into self-pity, I’m learning to stop and acknowledge that the truth is, things can always be worse. I’m trying to be thankful in all things because that’s where I find peace and real joy. Adjusting my expectations is saving me lots of grief and needless complaining. We will face disappointment and our expectations usually fall short in this world. The good news is there is a day for those who belong to Christ where all our disappointments will be erased and all our expectations will be exceeded! One day the record will be set straight … it will never rain on our parade … the sun will always shine … and there will always be Blue Bell banana pudding ice cream.
“…Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:18
*Dedicated to Tammy Stults