Breaking Free from an Identity of Disappointment

Invite the Holy Spirit to displace this mindset.

I had the opportunity to attend Bethel’s Healing Conference, headlined by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. There were so many healings. One woman who had facial injuries confessed to being pain free after receiving prayer! Another man’s shoulder was miraculously healed. Even my daughter-in-law, Colleen, experienced healing in her knee after twisting it during Christmas Break.

I didn’t make the last day, but the most impactful session for me was Bill Johnson’s sermon during the second night. He spoke about navigating disappointment. He opened this teaching with the story of his wife, Beni, who had passed away from cancer two years before. It was a heavy message, and you could tell Bill was emotional in getting through it.

In this teaching, Bill described how people sometimes partner with an identity of disappointment. He said, “I meet with BSMM Alumni all over the world. I love hearing their testimonies, and seeing how they’re still walking with God. But I also hear the stories of those who turned away. Those who couldn’t handle a difficult season and are now living their own lives.” 

Bill diagnosed this problem as being unable to handle disappointment, and I could tell it broke his heart. I resonated with this idea myself, having gone through my own seasons of discouragement. Scripture tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continually,” and “give thanks in all circumstances.” This sounds doable when everything is going well. But what about those times when it feels like our prayers don’t get answered? What do we do then?

Bill suggested that people who can walk with God through tragedy are less likely to abandon their faith. The Bible says we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” When we enter this valley, do we pull on our relationship with God and make it through? Or do we settle in our despair and give up? 

I’ve mentioned how hard it was for me to have to schedule my knee surgery. I had so much faith that God would heal me. After all, I’d prayed for countless people who received healing in their knees! Yet, for some reason, I didn’t receive my miracle.

It was hard for me to not feel abandoned, but what Bill said was so profound. He ended his session by saying, “Some people in here have actually partnered with an identity of disappointment. You’ve worn it like a cloak, almost proud of it.”

I felt a stirring in my spirit and began praying as he brought up this revelation. I realized this was so true. In Sozo, I meet with people all over the world. Some of these individuals have experienced horrific abuse, and it’s difficult to not adopt a mantle of disappointment or victimhood. But, discouragement, disappointment, and a victim mindset are not conducive to our identity in Christ.

Bill closed the night by leading everyone in what was essentially a congregational Sozo. He had us break agreement with this identity and declare the Lord’s truth over our hearts. It was a powerful exchange. 

Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit if you have partnered with offense in any way. If discouragement, disappointment, anger, or unbelief has hardened your heart toward the Lord, repent and break agreement with these mindsets. Then invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with His joy. 

Are you in a hurry?

Slow down and embrace your role in Christ’s story.

If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I’m truly excited about being a part of Jesus’ narrative. This recent shift in perspective has been so powerful for me. It’s redirected my focus from what I need to how to serve God’s plans.

To start this journey, I’ve explored Jesus’ story in Matthew 1, delving into the generations leading up to His birth. I couldn’t help but notice a profound realization: God is not in a hurry!

You see, it took many generations from Adam to Jesus. God’s plan was to disempower sin, yet He waited thousands of years to bring the answer. What’s up with that? Why didn’t He bring Jesus sooner?

Reflecting on my own life, I notice that I desire faster results. I get frustrated when my hopes don’t manifest quickly. But God’s timing is so much better!

I’m now asking Him in waiting seasons, “What do you want to do in this situation that wasn’t a part of my original plan?” This helps me realize that I get to play a role in His plans for me each day.

In Matthew 2, we’re told of Jesus’ many hometowns: first Bethlehem, then Egypt, then Galilee. With His arrival at each location, a specific prophecy was fulfilled. 

Disruptions in our lives might seem like obstacles, but God can use them nonetheless. Just look at history! There were countless opportunities for Jesus’ destiny to be derailed. Yet, each time, God’s plan prevailed. Can we entrust Him with the responsibility of bringing His plans to pass?

Stay hopeful in the midst of waiting

I want to encourage anyone who feels impatient or disillusioned: you cannot thwart God’s plans. His promises will come to pass. Your job is to remain joyful and steadfast, continue in prayer, and believe His outcome is on the way. 

Jesus wasn’t hurried or anxious. He steadily moved toward the fulfillment of His promises, and His answer for your struggles is on its way. Partner with God’s peace and realize He is King of the impossible. He will get you to where you need to be.

I pray you will fully align with God’s story and embrace your role each day. Instead of wondering, How will His plans work out for me today? trust in His timing to position you in His narrative.

Who are you in Christ’s story?

Discover your role.

It’s easy to view yourself as the main character in your own story. Especially as Americans, our mind focuses on me, me, me most of the time. We ask: How do I advance my career, get my kids through school, get noticed as a minister, or even pay my bills? 

It’s a self-centered drive that’s reinforced in our daily prayers: God open doors for meGod heal meprovide more finances, and even, God help me to represent you well.

In these past few years, I too have slipped into this mentality. My prayers have focused on my ministry, my family, my finances, and my knee pain, which ultimately resulted in a total knee replacement.

This inward perspective has aimed my prayers at what I perceive I need rather than what God knows I need. But last year, during a women’s meeting led by Libby Gordon, I believe I was realigned to Heaven’s perspective. Her excitement of being in Christ’s narrative ignited my spirit to ask, “Whose story am I in?”

To be honest, I realized that my focus was on God being in my story. Yes, He was my hero, but He was a part of my story, not the other way around. Oops.

Somewhere along the way, my ministry, work, and life shifted my perspective from me being in His narrative (even though he was my hero) to Him being in mine.

I hope I’m explaining this well, because Libby’s teaching felt like a life-changing moment. I found myself thinking, When (not if) I truly get this concept, everything will change. I literally saw cogs in my mind fitting into a wheel and realigning as designed!

Having a son and daughter-in-law who are professional actors, I understand the concept of playing “roles” quite well. On some days, we have minor parts as bit actors. In others, we’re background performers, who are passing in the crowd. Occasionally, we get highlighted as one of the main characters. These moments are fun, but it’s important to realize—will we understand our roles for each day? Will we “play” our roles with delight?

I believe I’ve hosted the Holy Spirit well over these past 40 years. I haven’t lost the daily longing for His presence, and I love it when He works through me to bring healing and deliverance to others. I’d even go so far to say I understand Moses’ request, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” But again, somehow my perception of God was that He was in my story.

Closing thoughts

This week, ask the Lord, “What role do You want me to play in Your story?” Maybe He wants you to reach out to an old friend and provide comfort. Maybe He wants you to be His hands in a miracle.

Whatever your role may be, embrace it with joy and anticipation, knowing that it positions you for the supernatural—because as Libby pointed out, when you’re in Jesus’ story, anything is possible!