The pain is acute. It’s physical. The lump in the back of my throat. The overwhelming feeling of tiredness coupled with the fear that I won’t actually be able to sleep. Then fear for that moment when I wake up the next morning and remember what happened the day before. The weighty feeling dragging my stomach down towards my pelvis. It’s disappointment.
I’m exhausted. I don’t know if I’m sadder to lose him or to lose the opportunity to break free from dating. I don’t want to go on another first date. I don’t want to set up a dating profile. I don’t want to laugh at some idiot’s jokes. I don’t want to feel someone out to see if we could be compatible. I want the last weekend we spent together. I want to sit under his arm and knit while we watch a film. I want him to look at me in the dress I put on specifically for him and tell me he’s lucky to have me. I don’t want anyone else to do that. I don’t want to let anyone else in to do that.
So how do I plug this pain? As a recovering addict I’ve historically tried a number of things. Alcohol and drugs; even entertaining the idea creates an issue far greater than the one I’m currently facing. Although there’s nothing like a break-up to remind you of the merits of black-out drinking. I could eat a lot – except I can’t. In high-stress situations, the first thing to go is my appetite. I could call someone else I know would give me attention and affirmation. But all I would want is for that person to be him. I could call friends. Call my mum. Pray. Watch TV. Spend time with my niece and nephew. I could do all these things, but I don’t want to do anything. There is nothing I want to do. Apart from check my phone for a message I explicitly told him not to send me.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
For some single Christians hoping to be married they can feel disheartened and disappointed if it doesn’t happen for them. People pin their hope on marriage so even a mild flirtation or short relationship can end in bitter disappointment. For some, not being married is the greatest source of pain in the their lives.
Disappointment is a universal human experience. Anyone waiting for a prayer to be answered can feel disappointed as time passes and it it not answered in the time frame that they would hope and expect. God has a time plan for each of us but waiting on God can lead to disappointment. We do not know Gods thoughts or ways so can’t answer why!
Learning the art of lament can help to guide us through our disappointment. The bible talks at great length about this process and it is mentioned in a third of the psalms, Job, the prophets and even Jesus himself uses it.
Lament is the process of praying from a place of pain. Not to minimise the pain but to sit through the anger and hurt with God inviting him to be a part of it.