What are You Celebrating? Dealing with Disappointment and Shame

celebration disappointment gratitude shame Mar 27, 2024

Have you ever had something go the opposite of what you imagined and then your head trash overwhelms you with disappointment and shame? In this week’s podcast, I (Janine) share two stories where I wanted to celebrate the wrong things and how the Lord showed me the right thing to celebrate.

In the first story I share how a message I preached at the Heaven in Business conference in February didn’t go quite as planned. I finished the message, got off stage and was hit with a strong sense of disappointment and shame at how the message had gone. The enemy loves to come in and remind us of our seeming failures. After wrestling with the feelings of disappointment over the next few days I finally asked the Lord how He felt about my message. I had wanted it to go well and somehow felt like my future was limited by the less-than-stellar sermon. He had a different perspective.

Whilst I was feeling somewhat ashamed, He was celebrating my obedience to Him in following His voice. He was happy with my response when I was feeling overwhelmed by my sense of having failed. His pleasure was so great that He showed me a photo of me preaching on His wall, showing a moment He was proud of. And He told me that my words were enough for Him to work with to do what He wanted in the room. I realized that I wanted to celebrate accomplishment and He wanted to celebrate obedience and trust.

And I realized that my disappointment was due to feeling that I had blown a great opportunity to impact people’s lives and to potentially see more doors of opportunity open for preaching. As I talked to Him about it, I realized afresh that my future isn’t limited by one message that didn’t go as planned. He already knew how it would go and my future is secure in His hands.

Apparently I didn’t quite get the lesson the first time round because this week I’m re-learning the lesson, this time with one of our kids. Our youngest Holly is about to graduate high school and is waiting for decisions for colleges to come out. Yesterday I recognized that I was feeling quite stressed about the remaining decisions coming out, even though Holly already has two great options that she is excited about.

As I took time to think through why I was feeling overly anxious, I realized that not only do I not want to have to help Holly walk through another round of disappointment, but I really want an opportunity to celebrate her as she comes home for the Easter weekend. I want her to get into a great college so I can celebrate her achievement and I want her to get into a great college so that it will open doors for her in the future. Sound familiar? Again, as I talked to the Lord about it, I had to realize that the same crazy thinking was at play as I had aimed toward myself. The truth is that Holly’s future is secure in God, no matter what college she goes to. He is able to open doors that no man can open, even if she goes to the worst college in the nation, and she is far from going to that kind of college. I am growing in my ability to trust the Lord for her future (and mine) no matter what I think it should look like.

The other thing I realized is that I can totally celebrate Holly this weekend just for being who she is and for all her hard work in applying to colleges. The Kingdom celebrates people for who they are, not for what they accomplish. So, I’m off to bake a fabulous cake to celebrate Holly and Friday night will find us eating cake and celebrating like the Kingdom does instead of how the world says I should. 

What about you?

How do your values line up with the Kingdom?

Does what you celebrate line up with what the Lord celebrates?

What areas do you need to grow in trust of the Lord, in spite of what seems like the ‘right’ way to you?


 - Grab a copy of Finding Hope in Crazy Times - daily stories of hearing God. This short book with 30 devotional-style chapters will greatly help you celebrate the right things!

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