My blessings were disguised as disappointments...what a test. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33 (AMP) These words brought so much meaning to my pain.

Disappointment can sometimes cause depression, which can like in my case, be a descent into ourselves that leads to a more mature faith in God.  In 2004, I went through what my neurologist called depression and denial for almost a year. Well, the Neurologist said I did, but I begged to differ.  Prior to those years I had built a large spiritual bank account. My mind was filled with words from the Bible, tucked away and recalled for just the right moments.

However, due to several factors in my life with one being a major auto accident, that left me with a traumatic brain injury and memory loss, and another, a divorce from an overly abusive, dangerous, alcoholic husband, I stopped doing some of the things that had added to my spiritual bank account, and found myself reluctantly withdrawing, from what reserves I had built up over the years. 

The result left me tired and somewhat depleted, and I came to know the dark night of the soul, the desert, and the wilderness experiences.  The Neurologist said I was depressed, but I refused to take medication for depression. Because unknown to them, when I appeared depressed, were the times when I was in deep meditation and communication with God. I knew of nothing else, that could sustain me more.

I had a very positive outlook and was very grateful for my life, and was always giving thanks to God.  “So how are you feeling today Debbie, how is your memory?”  “I am blessed, and feel so happy to be alive, even though I cannot remember much and cannot work.”  “Are you worried about your future?” “No, God will provide.” The Neurologist called that denial. She said I was in denial because I choose to worship and thank God for sparing my life in the accident, instead of feeling sorry for myself…I had memory loss so, I did feel sorry for myself for a little while, until I was able to start withdrawing from my spiritual bank, with stored away words from the Bible.  

Instead of taking medication like she suggested and ordered, I was determined to live through it, because I sensed that by living it, I would gain the most spiritually. I was not disappointed, because during those times I developed such an intense communion with God, it was unbelievable.

My daughter had a baby right out of high school, a few months after the accident. The thought of her early pregnancy and motherhood, almost broke my spirit. But that precious baby was such a blessing to us during those times when I was healing from the head injury. God uses the most unusual circumstances to bless us.  We just have to be open to receive them.

At one point I was very disappointed with the way my life was. I was newly divorced, couldn’t work due to memory loss and all the plans I had for my life had to be placed on hold. I trust God that I would eventually be alright again, but some doctors only know how to deliver negative reports. If I had listened to them, I would probably have given up completely and be dependent on medications that would probably hurt me more than help.

Coming back from feelings of disappointment was the hardest work I ever did in my life. At times I took one step forward and two steps backward, over and over again. I wondered if I would I ever be able to enjoy the awesome memory and brain power I had before the accident.  Some things and some people that had given me comfort and peace in the past were meaningless during this time. But it wasn’t all bad. God was with me. Some things and some people had to go.

I slowly realized that before the accident I was depending more on myself and less on God. Gradually I began to understand that God was coming to me from a new perspective, by making me aware of things in symbolic ways. Sometimes my awareness came in weird ways, and at other times through people. I spent much of my personal time alone, except for the support of my daughter and one other person. I knew this was something that only I could do even though others wanted to be of help to me.

I began to slowly realize that even though in the past, I had asked God to use me, I was not readily available. It was really not convenient as I had so many plans for me. In the past I had been unwilling to let go completely and trust and obey Him. I was micro managing my life for God, and He did not need my help. Now, in my new attempts to serve God, I recognized that I had failed my first assignment, and that the behaviors which worked for me in the past, were no longer useful. 

Another thing, which became clear to me, regarded the issue of control.  I had gone through a personality change after the accident, subsequent head trauma and memory loss.  I became somewhat controlling. I knew I did not want to control others, and only wanted to retain control of myself. Yet, learning this became one of my toughest lessons.

However, as I began to let go of controlling my life, God began to work marvelous things in me. Gradually I recognized that no longer did I have to struggle with things I previously thought necessary. I only needed to trust and obey whatever He asked of me. I had memory issues, so I knew that my plan for my life, was not exactly God’s plan for me, or He would not take my awesome memory that I was so proud of. I decided to follow where God leads and my life changed completely.  Before, I always like to help others, but it had to be convenient.  I tithed, but after I paid the bills. I used to help everyone, lend money to anyone who asked. In a word…I was codependent.  When I decided to follow the direction God had in mind for my life, everything changed. 

I became overwhelmed with gratitude for what He was doing. I was transformed and I found greater joy, peace and gratitude, than I had ever knew before. The huge disappointment of becoming a grandma so early, was now seen as a blessing in disguise. My grand daughter is such a precious soul who loves the Lord. When she was a baby, and then as a toddler, she saw me on my knees so often, and heard me praying so many times, she grew up knowing nothing else. That is still her life around grandma, and she still loves it.

One day the phone rang while I was praying. She was not quite two years old yet, but already talking like an older child. I was told she answered it in her baby voice, and when my friend on the other end asked for me, she told her "Grandma can't come to the phone, because she is talking to God."  Even then, she understood that God gets first preference. He is number one. She loves to go to church, and she worships like an adult. She is seven years old now, and I had previously given her a kid’s bible. She told me it’s not OK anymore, she needs the real one like mine because “grandma, I can read." God is good.

One day after school she called to talk. She said she had a math test that day. I asked how it was and she said, "Challenging, not really difficult, just interesting and challenging." I was amazed...those were my words. (Note to self...be careful what you say around the grand kids.) Then she went on, "I wasn't sure how to do some of them because they were new, but I asked God and Jesus to help me, (She still talks to them separately sometimes.) and Grandma, I surprised myself.  I got 100%. I really surprised myself because it was really challenging."  I said, "Well, God answered your prayers." She replied, "Jesus made Him answer." To God be the glory.

So you see, my life is blessed even though it has not always been easy. The devil our enemy, still tries to work on me full time. But now I have more ammunition. I understand better that God is able. I have no more need to control anyone or even myself, because God is in control. I love the Lord for His healing powers and His goodness in my life. He healed me so he could use me to do His work. I have learned that disappointment is delayed appointment. My motto is found in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Now I am His, and He is mine. He can be yours too, if you let Him.