Photo credit: Michael Mroczek


It’s happened to all of us.

The promotion we worked so hard for went to someone else.

The agent or editor query we were counting on was rejected – again.

The double-line on the pregnancy test stick didn’t show up for the fifteenth month in a row.

The perfect house we’d dreamed of fell through because someone else over-bid us.


And it hurts! And it makes us angry, and sad, and depressed, and a host of other emotions we can barely name at the time. We feel like giving up. We want to rave at the sky. We tell ourselves we don’t care. Or, maybe we do care, too much. We bottle up the emotions and cut ourselves off from friends and family.

We cut ourselves off from God. If He truly loved us, He’d give us the “desires of our heart”. Doesn’t Scripture say that?

“Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture,
Delight yourself in the Lord
And he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37: 3-4

Scripture seems clear. We trusted, we prayed, we thought we did everything right, and still…


If we’re mature Christians, we only wallow in self-pity for a short time. We’ll try to remember all the times God has been faithful to us. We’ll examine our hearts and motives to ensure we’re operating from a place of integrity.

And as for all those negative emotions that spring up from our anger and disappointment? Let us own them because our harsh and “bad” emotions are as much a part of our inner being as our “good emotions like happiness and contentment and joy.

However, we must be careful not to cross over into the territory of sin. The Apostle Paul said:

“In your anger, do not sin,”,
Do note let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Ephesians 4:26-27

Protect your heart and mind.

What does that mean? Whatever your deep hurt has been, you don’t need to keep exposing yourself to triggers until you feel better. If you’ve been striving to get pregnant, it’s all right to “take a break” on Facebook or other social media from friends who continually post photos of their babies and toddlers. You’re not being weird. You’re protecting yourself until you’re stronger.

Distract yourself with another hobby/activity. Stop obsessing over the weekend real estate ads for a while. Explore activities–especially free ones!–your city or town has to offer.

Read books in a different genre than the one (s) you usually do or the one (s) you write in. This gives your mind a break and will open up some new avenues for you.

Think outside the box.

What does that mean? Write down the major events in the past two years–five years–ten years of your life. Do you see a pattern, whether of good things or bad things? Are you completely stressed out? Maybe God has said NO to a big thing you believe you WANT because you couldn’t handle it right now.

If you’ve got a pattern of nothing but good things, maybe God is trying to teach you something else. Maybe it’s time for you to give back: to your family, your church, or your community. Maybe God said NO to a big thing you want because you need to share your blessings in other ways.

It’s not NO; maybe it’s NOT RIGHT NOW.

Is that house going to stretch your budget too far? Are you being realistic, or too materialistic?

Not having a child is heartbreaking. It’s possible God has other plans for you that involve children you’d never have met otherwise. Open your heart and mind to the possibilities.

That agent or editor you were dreaming of may not have been the right match after all, OR they had a bad day and rejected you for some reason you’ll never know about. You can try them again or move on.

That promotion may have come with The-Boss-From-He$$-o. You may have dodged a real bullet. Something else could come up in a few months you’re much better suited for.

Don’t be like Sarah

Do NOT try and go before God. We all know what misery Sarah brought to her household when she gave Hagar to her husband Abraham to try and give him an heir. God granted her desire but it didn’t turn out quite the way she had in mind. If God is saying NO at this time, write about it in your journal, pray about it, be angry for a short time, but then–leave it all with Him.

He will never leave us, even when we’re not living according to His will. Even when we try to do things on our own. But the better way, is to pay attention when He does say no to one of our heart’s desires, because He will always give us something much better to replace it.

The takeaway is:  His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Whenever God says NO to something big in your life, once your anger subsides think about all the good things that will probably come out of it. And be grateful!
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