An Appointment With Disappointment
by Melinda Lancaster
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“We walk by faith and not by sight.”
II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
It had been a long road with many appointments along my journey. After spending over eight months in a cast, the conditions of my leg had improved significantly. It had been grossly swollen and covered with sores at the start, but the sores were now gone and with each cast change my leg was looking more normal. I went from hiding my ugly leg to wanting to show it to the whole world. My hope was stirred at the thought of being cured, and I no longer dreaded my monthly appointments.
About a week before I was due for my next cast change, I began to experience sensations vaguely familiar to me from flare-ups with the “unnamed infection” that had plagued me for almost six years. I brushed them off immediately dare I risk becoming an alarmist, yet as the days grew nearer to the next unveiling of the leg, I found myself secretly fretting over what might be going on underneath the cast.
Thankfully, there was only one tiny sore when they removed the cast. It was really nothing much at all but in light of past experience, I began a course of oral antibiotics and made a follow-up appointment.
I continued to feel a “disturbance” going on beneath the cast and hoped it was my imagination. I had been continually moving in an upward direction, and the momentum had continually picked up. I knew that things had to continue to progress or else I might go sliding quickly downhill. If that happened, I did not know where I would land but I did know that “the crash” would hurt.
The long-range goals were to get my leg healthy so that I could have the surgeries necessary for me to walk again. That was the goal, the destination, the appointed place of arrival and though at the beginning of our journey it seemed far away, the positive direction I was heading in was bringing me nearer all the time.
Once again, I had an appointment to have my leg re-examined and my cast changed. I had redirected my fretting to praying by that time asking that if there were any changes that they would be for the good. My goals were intact, my destination was clear, and I believed that my arrival to the appointed place was very near…until they removed the cast.
I was overcome with a flood of emotions as things did not look they way that I hoped they would and with the emotions came a feeling that initially sent me reeling as I realized that this visit to the hospital was different from the rest. I would see the usual doctor and the usual nurses but I also had an “appointment with disappointment.”
My leg was once again fighting infection and though my goal and destination remain unchanged, the appointed place that I was traveling towards slipped very quickly from my view.
Disappointment is nothing new to the human race and something that we all experience from time to time. It usually involves an unexpected interruption of some kind that stops or reroutes us while on the way to a specific goal. When disappointment occurs, it seems to erase that appointed place of dreams and destiny from our immediate view.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we see examples of people who experienced disappointment…people like David, Eli, Saul, Moses and also Mary, Martha, Peter and the other eleven disciples, just to name a few.
Disappointment is a universal thing yet the experience and outcome does vary because it is an outright attack against an individual’s personal dreams. Dreams that have been placed in our heart by God…dreams that determine destiny.
Second Corinthians 5:7 instructs us to walk by faith and not sight…something we need to remind ourselves of regularly and especially when disappointments come our way and stand between us and our dreams. We must keep walking on— no matter how things seem. If we will do this, we will bring an end to disappointment. However, if we do not do this, disappointment will ultimately bring an end to us.
I know that there will be more “appointments with disappointment” along life’s journey, but putting II Corinthians 5:7 to work in my life will determine whether the appointments are brief or extended.
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I don't have an infection in my leg, but the insight here does go to the heart and I was able to identify and received encouragement from your article - God Bless you and I pray all goes well with your leg.
Oh Melinda, I can well imagine the disappointment you felt. Your response was beautifully balanced and your message beautifully conveyed. With love, Deb