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Swing and A Miss: Chapter 14
Life Is a Great Teacher
Life is a great teacher
Life is a vast number of things and is an incredible teacher. We have so much wisdom to be gained if we will only pay attention. Every situation is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, others, and so much more.
Disappointment is also a great teacher. Once we have calmed down enough to take another look at our situation, we can begin to learn from it. If we are willing to be honest, we will learn about our weaknesses as well as our strengths. How gracious life is to allow us to learn for as long as we are alive.
What did I learn from my disappointment? Oh friend, that list may be too long for this one chapter. More than anything, I learned I was not using the gifts and talents I have been given, not fully anyway. I learned, and was reminded, of what I love to do. For years, I ran from it, falsely believing if I returned to a field I had left, I was a failure. Lesson learned. There may be seasons in life we step away from something, but that does not mean we are to never return.
Also, I learned my mouth needs to stay shut more often. Dang, I knew this, but boy did I seem to forget over the course of a few months. The thing is, I have strong opinions about things, and am not one to be dishonest when asked what I think. While I live in the south, I am not prone to answering questions like a stereotypical southern woman. A southern belle I am not. It has been said that I am too honest, and maybe I am. My husband once informed me I do not always need to share everything I think about a given topic. He is probably right. I tend to overshare, and forget some people are easily offended. Who knew not everyone can hear information and not personalize the information shared?
Additionally, I learned I need to pay better attention to warning signs. There was information told to me I should have never been told. There were comments and remarks spoken to me that never should have been shared with me by my supervisors. I knew too much, knew their feelings more than I should, and was promptly placed in a horrible position. It wasn’t fair, but if I had stopped them and said, “I don’t think this is information I should know,” I would have prevented a lot of disappointment. A coworker told me I had been placed in the most impossible situation. But, looking back, I allowed myself to be deposited there. I am just as much to blame. And that’s a lesson I needed too.
Do you know what else I learned? I learned God is always good and is for me. He will use what I think is a horrible situation to move me to the places he has for me. You see, I never would have left if everything had not fallen apart. Out of a sense of loyalty, I would have remained. I would have endured the headaches every day and the misery of knowing I was not doing what I was meant to do. This book would not have come into being, and I would be holding onto false hope.
But God being gracious and kind, has used my disappointment to deepen my faith, strengthen friendships, and to give me clearer direction and purpose. I am confident I will look back one day and say, “Wow, look what God did in that situation! Look at how he brought purpose to every bit of it!”
The lessons we learn can be massive, and they can be small. They can be reassuring, and they can be convicting. Some lessons will remind us who we are, and some will teach us we have a ways to go. Disappointments can teach us the areas we still need some growth and some work, and they can teach us we are stronger than we thought.
What lessons have disappointment taught you? If you’re smack dab in the middle of what, the wounds may be too fresh to learn from right now. Think back. What did you learn about yourself? About others? About your strengths? Weaknesses? Who God is?
If you find yourself saying, “I learned nothing! I learned I cannot do anything. I learned people will always let you down,” or anything of that nature, you may need to take a deep breath and look from a different perspective. You, friend, are more than capable of making great decisions. You have been created on purpose and for a purpose, and everything you need to accomplish that purpose has been given to you or will be provided when needed. Life is not out to destroy you, and neither are people. Sure, there are mean people in the world, but most are doing the best they can in any given moment. I hope you learn that.
What are the lessons you have learned about who you are and who you want to be? Pay attention to those lessons, and apply them. Let those spur you on, to help you take the next step, and to move your forward.
Here’s the deal, we are not going to do all things well. I can freely admit I did not handle my own situation in the best possible way. But, it’s done, I’ve learned, and am moving on. I will not beat myself up for what I cannot change. Yes, I have made apologies to some because I know my words and actions may have affected them negatively. I can own that. My close circle has heard me confess things I wish I had done better, and where I should have done better. And, I have repented in prayer, and asked God to show me what I could not see within the situation.
Take a minute, grab a journal (or any piece of paper), and a pen. Now, write down what disappointment has taught you about who you are, who you want to be, what the next best step is for you. And if you are willing to really take a deep dive, write down what you learned about who God is. Then, take a deep breath, look over your lists, and in one sentence summarize what your situation taught you. Finally, read your sentence out loud, ponder the lesson you have learned.
I think you will see, like me, nothing is wasted, and what we walked through was worth it.