By Drenda Keesee
You know the feeling all too well.
You’ve spent days, weeks, months, or even years anticipating, planning, and daydreaming about something.
Maybe it’s a special trip with a loved one, a gift you’ve been excited to give or receive, or an experience you’ve dreamt about having.
Hopes are high and you’re excited.
That’s when an unexpected situation arises that forces your dreams to come crashing down around you. (In reality, it’s more like a small tumble… but it feels like crashing!)
You sit there, looking at what’s left of the dream you once hoped to realize and start to feel bad for yourself. Thoughts start to swirl.
Of course, when I try to take a trip with my husband, this happens!
Can’t I catch a break? I was trying to do something nice, and it totally backfired…
Nobody appreciates how important this was to me. Why do I even try?
I’ve been there many, MANY times, and I have good news and bad news for you…
The bad news: Disappointment happens. Sometimes unexpected things come our way, and life doesn’t go the way we planned. The quicker we learn to bounce back and let expectations of perfection go, the happier we’ll be!
The good news: The Bible says God perfects that which concerns us and brings all things together for the good of those who love Him. Things may not work out the way you originally had hoped, but when you keep a good attitude, persevere, and submit it to God, He can turn your disappointment into something better than you ever imagined!
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ASK or IMAGINE, according to His power that is at work within us….”
When Everything that Could Go Wrong Does
Our trip to New York City was NOT going the way I planned.
It was a few weeks before Kirsten’s wedding, and she and her bridesmaids were flying down to meet me in NYC for one last girls’ trip before she was married.
The travel plans were a little complicated… Gary and I were flying in privately from a conference. He was going to drop me off in NYC, and then he was going to continue in our plane to Ohio. After that, our pilot was going to fly the girls back.
There was one problem… while Gary and I were en route to NYC, our pilot noticed an issue with the plane. We made it there safely, but upon further inspection, the plane had to go in for maintenance immediately.
Great! Now what?
The girls were going to have to fly commercial to NYC, and we were going to have to book the tickets at the eleventh hour.
At this point, many people would have canceled the whole thing. Some people suggested, “Maybe it’s just not meant to be,” but I was determined. “If the girls are willing to fly out early, let’s get those flights booked,” I said.
The next morning, the girls drove into the airport at 4:00 a.m. They waited for hours, but their flight got delayed again and again… Around 10:00 a.m., a voice came over the loudspeaker and announced their flight was canceled.
Now we really could have given up, but the girls knew if they did, we’d all walk away from the experience disappointed and defeated. So you know what they did? They rented a vehicle and made the eight-hour drive!
This entailed them getting ready for their Broadway show in the car! They sent me hilarious videos of them doing each other’s hair over the car seats and told me they went into a gas station and changed into their dresses in the bathroom.
On their drive, they encountered rainstorms, flooding, and detours, but they persevered. It was a race against the clock, but they made it to the show just in the nick of time! (Literally!)
We had an incredible time in New York together! It couldn’t have been better!
But wait, the story gets crazier…
The SAME THING happened on our way home! Our flights were canceled again due to a random patch of bad weather. And once again, we rented a vehicle and drove home.
Most people would have given up and missed out on an incredible trip… but I was so proud of those girls who refused to let disappointment paralyze them from making progress. They persevered!
And you know what the best part was? As we all talked about our favorite parts of the trip, everyone chimed in, “The road trip together.”
So the next time you want to take a backseat to disappointment, remember:
- Dwelling on disappointments steals our happiness, but it doesn’t change our circumstances.
- When we refuse to let disappointment keep us from our goal, we are free to discover a new plan of action.
- It may not be what you planned, but it could be better than you ever imagined. Keep a positive outlook!
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.