“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. None of us are immune from feeling discouraged in our parenting. Emotions like this can seem intense and very real, but they are not reliable. Disappointment should not define us. It is not meant to weigh us down. Instead, let me encourage you to use it to your advantage. Discouragement can be a signal that prompts each of us to make headway in a positive direction. Below are some steps that I walk through when I am feeling discouraged:
1. Believe in God’s Plan.
“'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
4. Listen & wait
"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14
5. Search for the blessings
"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:19-20
6. Believe He can use this season/circumstance for good
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
As you continue to process your discouragement, consider the following questions:
- Have you grieved?
- Have you prayed for discernment?
- Are you expecting something from this person/situation that you could only obtain from the Father?
- How can the Lord use this disappointment in your life/His kingdom?
If you want to keep digging in on this topic, I have found Psalm 103 and Nehemiah 4 to offer great perspective when I'm feeling down.