Don’t Waste Your Disappointment

Following is an excerpt from my journal entries from 2010. The date was February 4, 2010. It was our first day in court with a lawyer. There were so many things for me to learn about God during those ordained days, but this one was of significance.

Disappointment is a suffocating monster. I nearly missed the right work that God intended when he released that caged beast. There would be much more for me to learn about disappointment and the focus of my hope; but on that day, I began to learn a needed lesson for what was still to come.

Contact me for a free .pdf copy of the entire journal from January 12 – February 17, 2010.
Journal Date, February 4, 2010: Port-au-Prince, Haiti  

We are told that release is sure to come today because we now have a lawyer. We have yet to talk to this lawyer and find out what his plan is. We are only aware that this lawyer has been secured [by] connections with people who know [him].

We are scheduled [for] a meeting with [another judge] in a higher court today. That seems to indicate a release may come today. Our hope is high.

We are transported from the jail to the court house around 11:00am.

We gather all of our belongings and make our way to [the police vehicle.] We are mostly in one vehicle. Laura and Charisa are transported in a 2nd vehicle.

The media is pressed [in] upon us with insulting comments about our faith and probing for any nugget of information from us to make a headline of. The ride from jail to court was fast, wild, and unbelievable. The media is on the chase after us on motorcycles, cameras in hand, nearly crashing multiple times. It’s as if the police are trying to out race the media to the courthouse.

photo reference: Associated Press

Our meeting at court today was with a prosecuting judge of some kind. This prosecutor has the ability to declare us innocent if he decides [we are.] He questions us for about two hours. Nikki and Silas are by far the best in dialog with the [judge]. Both are pleasant, respectful and articulate.

Our lawyer has done little and speaks little on our behalf. He spends a good bit of time on his mobile phone. I found his involvement interesting. He left the room with the prosecutor and they are gone for about 10 minutes. When they returned the prosecutor told us that he finds our story believable and wishes he could release us. Instead of release however, he informs us that we now have two charges against us. This is a shock. First charge is illegal trafficking of children. Second charge is kidnapping. Because we have two charges now he does not have the legal right to release us. We will have to go back to jail and go before the next prosecutor above him.

We are still on a ‘roller coaster’ ride of encouragement and disappointment all day long.

As we board the [police vehicles] to return to jail, the insults from the media begin again. Some are asking how we are doing but mostly insulting comments of our faith. This causes me to internally consider many things. Yet I have to pray against my flesh to second guess our task and purpose here.

I must discipline my mind to stay the course. I must discipline my mind to weigh everything against His word.
I have to fight my mind to stay the course, meditate upon His word, live from the nourishment of the Bread of Life. Disappointment comes like a dart; striking fast and penetrating deep. I must discipline my mind. I must put on the Armour of Truth to know and determine how to take in all things.

Paul Thompson, Carla Thompson
Photo: Associated Press

It is clear on the ride back to jail that we begin to irritate each other. The disappointment was nearly crushing.
The Haitian inmates were in as much shock as we were when we returned. I gather the men together to pray for each other and especially as we hear some verbal arguments among some of the women. I’m sure it is founded in disappointment.

I ask God to use our disappointment to drive us to Him. I don’t want to waste my disappointment. I want to use it for the purpose that it appears God is allowing it. Take me to Your throne of grace that I may glorify Your name.

It is also becoming apparent that the other inmates are becoming agitated that we get so much attention and that we are still here. Our prayer remains focused, our resolve to stay the course grows stronger.

We have now begun to hear reports that nine of us will be released on Monday and Laura will remain in custody. This rumor about release is appealing, but the idea of Laura remaining alone here is troubling.

1 Lord, I seek refuge in You;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me by Your righteousness.
2 Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mountain fortress to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
4 You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.

6 I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love
because You have seen my affliction.
You have known the troubles of my life
8 and have not handed me over to the enemy.
You have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be gracious to me, Lord,
because I am in distress;
my eyes are worn out from angry sorrow—
my whole being as well.
10 Indeed, my life is consumed with grief
and my years with groaning;
my strength has failed
because of my sinfulness,
and my bones waste away.
11 I am ridiculed by all my adversaries
and even by my neighbors.
I am dreaded by my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street run from me.
12 I am forgotten: gone from memory
like a dead person—like broken pottery.
13 I have heard the gossip of many;
terror is on every side.
When they conspired against me,
they plotted to take my life.

14 But I trust in You, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 The course of my life is in Your power;
deliver me from the power of my enemies
and from my persecutors.
16 Show Your favor to Your servant;
save me by Your faithful love.
17 Lord, do not let me be disgraced when I call on You.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
let them be silent , in •Sheol.
18 Let lying lips be quieted;
they speak arrogantly against the righteous
with pride and contempt.

19 How great is Your goodness
that You have stored up for those who •fear You
and accomplished in the sight of •everyone
for those who take refuge in You.
20 You hide them in the protection of Your presence;
You conceal them in a shelter
from the schemes of men,
from quarrelsome tongues.
21 May the Lord be praised,
for He has wonderfully shown His faithful love to me
in a city under siege. ,
22 In my alarm I had said,
“I am cut off from Your sight.”
But You heard the sound of my pleading
when I cried to You for help.

23 Love the Lord, all His faithful ones.
The Lord protects the loyal,
but fully repays the arrogant.
24 Be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord.[44]

Psalms 31:1-24 (HCSB)

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