I learned the concept of the Deadly D’s from Kay Arthur years ago. She discusses them in detail in her book, As Silver Refined, as a layered strategy with a military analogy. A life-deadening spiral. And she describes how to do battle.
1. Disappointment. It all starts here. Something you expected or hoped for fell through. Something happened you didn’t expect. Maybe an irritating rumble. Maybe a shattering life quake.
2. Discouragement. Rather than facing the situation or learning from it, you want to quit trying. Give up. Turn tail. Run like the cowardly lion. Skedaddle. Hide.
3. Dejection. You feel like a leaking birthday balloon. Tired. Wrung out emotionally, physically, spiritually. Stuck in the pit. Sinking in the quicksand. And you don’t really care.
4. Despair. You’ve lost your last ounce of strength. You’ve lost the last thread of hope. You can’t see any way out of the mire.
5. Demoralization. You’ve sunk to the very bottom. You’ve lost any sense of confidence or purpose. You’ve accepted defeat. You’re disgusted with yourself. You abandon all normal function and responsibility. You’re undisciplined and live in a state of disorder and confusion. You might run in circles, make bad decisions, or just bury yourself deep in bed. Or even worse.
Certainly, the last 3 steps are stages of depression, and if they persist, a doctor visit is in order.
But for the most part, when I find myself heading toward the dungeon, I’ve finally figured out that I just have to stop it. Can’t let those pity parties last very long. When I’m sitting in the middle of the rubble, whether of my own making or something else, I need to get my eyes off myself and off the situation and back on who is ultimately in control. And that’s not me. I need to frisk my thoughts. And the sooner the better.
I’m learning to look at each disappointment as an appointment from God to bring me closer to Him and allow Him to do His refining work in my life. Every loss can bring gain.
I’m not at the point, I don’t think, of actually embracing disappointments, but I can at least acknowledge them, maybe even shake hands with them. And yes, even thank Him for them, even if I don’t feel like it.
Hope lives because He is my hope. Peace abounds because He is my peace. I can count it all joy because He is my joy.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand. Psalm 31:14-15a NASB
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14 NASB
Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King