When Following God Brings Disappointment

How often do we start to follow God, only to stop when we turn around and see the disappointed faces of our family, our friends, our world?  As human beings, we try to please everyone around us.  As children, we seek approval from our parents.  As friends, we seek attention.  It’s human nature to stop when our fathers frown on our plans, when our mothers fear for our safety, when our friends are no longer there to back us up. 

I hate it when my father listens to my plans, then rolls his eyes and makes a remark that makes me feel like I have let him down.  I have recently sent in my application to Mercy Ships’ Africa Mercy, where I would be spending about three months this summer serving in the dinning hall (as the photography position has already been filled and I have no official training in medicine whatsoever).  After a couple of e-mails back and forth with some of the staff of Mercy Ships, I was sharing some of the news and my plans with my parents, when he asked the question “Is it a paid position, or are you paying them to take you in?” (not word for word)

A big conflict between myself and my dad is the fact that what God has planned for me does not include money (or just a meager amount).  My dad’s opinion is that I should go on to Graduate School or find a ‘real job’ where I would get paid a decent amount of money. 

When I informed him that it was a volunteer position, he visibly bit his tongue and tightened his lips before walking out with another word.  But everything had already been said.  Through the way he stood, by the way his eyes rolled, he didn’t need words to tell me that he was disappointed in me. 

I can hear him now:  Why do you feel like you need to do this, what can it bring?  Why wont you just find a job and be content with where you are?  Why do you not listen to me when I tell you that you need to have your priorities straight? 

It stings.  It hurts.  But sometimes we must cut the ties that hold us down, and stretch out the wings that God has given us. 

At Young Life’s Saranac Village, the last week I was there working on Summer Staff, I told a girl that after all the words have been said, we must let go.  We cannot force people to see the way we do, we just have to try our hardest to tell them why we do what we do.  I told her that we cannot hold ourselves back from doing what God calls us to be because family and friends don’t understand, sometimes we must cut the vines that hold us firmly to the ground. 

Now I find myself listening to the same words. 

Not everyone is going to understand why we follow God and not the world, but we cannot let that hold us back from following God’s call in our hearts. 

God Bless and PEACE



  1. Kerry Said:

    Thanks for your honesty. I’ve been with MS for the last 10 years and can relate to your feelings of hurt and disappointment. In my case, God has totally turned the situation around – This last Christmas in front of my whole family I heard my father tell everyone how proud he was of me. WOW!

    All I can tell you is that in the end … If you are pursuing God’s will for your life … It is worth it. He will provide for you in ways you can’t ever imagine. Blessings on your journey.

  2. Annonymous Said:

    Like Kerry said, Thank you for your honesty. It’s hard to be so open and honest on a public blog.

    When I first joined Mercy Ships, I got the same response as you are currently getting from my Dad. I joined the ship for 5 Months and ended up staying 4 years and was amazed time and time again at how God provided for me.

    I left Mercy Ships in 1997 but rejoined in 2004 with my family. My Dad again said “it’s time you settled down and provided for your family”. I am still with Mercy Ships and God has provided for myself and my family far more so than if I had gone and got a “real job”.

    If you believe that God is asking you to step out and follw him, that is wonderful, The best place to be is in the center of His will for your life and He will bless you in ways you could never imagine.

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