Collateral Beauty in the Midst of Disappointment

by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey

I have been embracing a healthier lifestyle. I’m counting my macros, embracing healthy foods, all of it. Then I went to the Dr. and my cholesterol had went up, and the scale barely went down. I was crushed.

You can’t live on this planet and not be familiar with the feeling of disappointment. It’s the stab of emotion that attaches to an unexpected outcome. Frankly, my body is not the only area where I feel disappointed. Some of my relationships are a trial, my bank account is a joke, and my home needs repairs. I could go on, but you get the idea. As I’m sure you know, once you start riding the rocket of disappointment, it’s hard to come down.

Then, in the apex of my self-pity, I had a speaking engagement to share my testimony. As I told my story the memories came flooding back. Memories of being a drug addict, and what a dismal, hopeless life that was. Memories of my arrest and being told I was facing 10 years in prison. That was so scary. I have precious memories of my salvation, and how it was accompanied by the miracle of being instantaneously healed from drug addiction.

I can also remember the crushing disappointment of being sentenced to prison. I couldn’t understand why a God who would heal me from my addiction would allow me to go to prison. It didn’t make sense. At the time, I was enormously disappointed in God.

I can close my eyes and recall the animosity I felt when people would quote Romans 8:28 to me. It says, “God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” I remember thinking I didn’t qualify because I didn’t love God. I was mad at Him for disappointing me with the prison sentence.

I chuckle now as I think of this because little did I know, I was smack dab in the midst of God working all things together for my good. I’m astonished at the beauty He brought out of my mess. I have a career in ministry where people share their darkest secrets with me because they know with a past like mine, I won’t judge them. I get invited to share my story, and it gives people hope. And my miraculous life came from His working the most disappointing event in my life for my good.

Recently I saw this in my Jesus Calling (Sarah Young): “Give up the illusion you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told my disciples, ‘in the world, you will have trouble’…Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me; the Perfect One.” False hope is another term for expected outcome. When we get disappointed by an unexpected outcome, we miss all the collateral beauty God is bringing into our story.

Now I am able to look past the scale and see the collateral beauty God’s bringing for my body. The lack of weight loss forced me to finally find time to exercise, and I am loving it! My energy level is much higher, and for the first time in years, I have control over nighttime overeating. I am sleeping through the night, and have increased mental clarity. Those are some unexpected outcomes worth getting excited about!

Here is your challenge. Look around at your areas of disappointment, and try to see where God is working some collateral beauty. Look for the Perfect One in your life instead of perfection. He is never disappointing.