Despite a humble, poor, and downtrodden beginning, author Chinasa Veronica Osunwa shines a ray of hope. In From Disappointment to Blessing, she narrates how her parents fled from war and Osunwa was shuffled through her family like a worn hand-me-down until she returned to her village seven years later, a penniless outcast.
Moving across the world to New Zealand, she suffered compounding blows of job rejections, racial discrimination, and an unfair end to her third year of nursing school. But Osunwa is a survivor and a fighter and never allowed these disappointments to deter her. Instead, the setbacks made her faith stronger, and she shares her challenges and triumphs in this memoir. She encourages others to see disappointment as a blessing in disguise and to never allow yesterday’s issues to overshadow tomorrow’s dreams, destiny, star, and visions.
Osunwa tells how God moved her from victim to victor, tears to cheers, nobody to somebody, from grass to grace, disappointment to appointment, and from failure to MBA holder. Filled with important Christian themes, From Disappointment to Blessing narrates Osunwa’s story as well as the stories of others to demonstrate how you can overcome obstacles, particularly if you place your faith in God.
|Publisher:||Balboa Press AU|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)|
Read an Excerpt
How Disappointments Come
In this world you wifi have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
–John 16:33 (NIV)
When we experience unfulfilled hopes or expectations in a parent, child, spouse, fiancé, friend, employer, job, or event — or in ourselves — we may be disappointed. Feelings of dissatisfaction that follow our unmet expectations and dashed hopes bring disappointment. We ponder what might have been in comparison to what exists in the present. Of course this differs from person to person, but the bottom line is that when we don't get the results we anticipate, we feel disappointed.
The longer you live, the more you will experience disappointments. We do not live in a perfect world, and life has it that there will be situations, circumstances, and events that will bring sickness, devastation, trouble, and pain. It's a guarantee.
Generally, even though our lives are different, Christians and nonbelievers alike go through the same things. We enjoy life's pleasures and suffer its disappointments from time to time. Be that as it may, you don't go through life seeking or expecting frustrations. Yes, you are aware that they happen, but you don't want to be the kind of parent to tell your pre-schooler, "Listen, kid, this life is filled with let-downs. Billy down the street will sometimes refuse to play with you. I might die and leave you ..." That would frighten rather than prepare them.
Common Catalysts for Today's disappointments
Disappointments are to the souh what a thunderstorm is to the air.
There are life's little disappointments that we can all afford to ignore or even laugh about, such as losing the Wi-Fi signal again and again or discovering that you've just poured orange juice in your cereal on the one morning when you woke up late. And then there are some profound disappointments that cause you to experience sadness.
We are in an extremely busy and competitive world in which we always have things that facilitate disappointment. In no particular order, below are a few:
social network concerns (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
weight watching (gain/loss)
A person who is always looking over the fence to see what the Joneses have or are doing tends to fall into a trap that opens him or her up for unhealthy competition. Our self-talk might be, for example:
"The neighbours bought a new car last month and just came back from a week-long holiday in Vienna. I think we can buy a boat and go to Africa on safari."
"Mrs White lost fifteen pounds. That dress looks amazing on her. I must lose twenty and find a better-looking outfit."
"Susie Q. got five hundred likes on her photo. I'm going for one thousand."
Whatever the case may be, whether it's in academics, careers, relationships, etc., when we don't get the outcome we expected, we feel disappointed.
Nevertheless, just as thunderstorms serve to cool the earth, make rainfall, and eliminate pollution from the air, disappointments come to bring some balance in our lives. We cannot get everything we want every single time. There's always going to be someone richer, leaner, smarter, better-looking, and more popular on social media than you.
Beyond Your Control
Not all disappointments are superficial though. Some are not within your scope of control. For instance, you may feel betrayed and deserted, or you may be in grief at the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you discover a spouse's infidelity, your parent disinherits you, you have been laid off from work, or the church fails you; you're at your bleakest moment, and it's very easy to despair. How can you get through this? These events or actions are out of your control yet affect you.
Some of these events in Biblical times are listed below and are followed by examples of modern-day trauma:
when Joseph's dreams earned him being sold into slavery and his integrity was rewarded by imprisonment
when Jacob's faithfulness was rewarded by Laban changing his wages ten times ...
when David's prowess provoked Saul to jealousy and Saul sought to kill him
when Jephthah was ostracised from his family
when Daniel's faith in God was rewarded by his being tossed into the lions' den
when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's faithfulness was rewarded by their being thrown into the fiery furnace ...
when Elijah's truthfulness in God's prophecies was rewarded by Jezebel's pursuit of his life
when the Shunammite woman's yoke of barrenness was broken only to have her son die
when Hosea's faithfulness to his wife was rewarded by her repeated prostitution
when fishermen toil all night yet their net remains empty with no catch
when the business you have built for years just collapses overnight
when your hopes of a long life together are met by your fiancée leaving you at the altar
when you suffer one miscarriage after another
when your labour, patience, and faithfulness in your marriage are met by divorce
when your sacrifice as a parent towards your children goes unnoticed
when your loved one falls sick and, no matter the prayers, still succumbs.
The moment you come face-to-face with a devastating situation beyond your control, consider it an opportunity to begin to control some of the details of your disappointment. Regardless of how spiritual we are, when the storm rages, it is important to not only find a way to get through it but also to steady our emotional footing while we navigate. With our emotional response under our control, we will then be able to watch and see whether this is a detour or a change of season in our lives.
Think about the children of Israel. God brought them out of captivity only to take them through an alternative, longer route. God, in His infinite wisdom, was saving them some discouragement so that they would not return to slavery. "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt" (Exodus 13:17 NIV).
When disappointment strikes, do you see it as God's way of shielding you from a bigger, more devastating problem? God, who sees the end from the beginning, can see further and broader than your imagination. For that reason, we may experience diversions from time to time — and these may not always be pleasant.
Before we follow the detours in Joseph's life, let's take a look at disappointments in the light of seasons.
There is a Time and Season
Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognise when something's time has passed and be able to move into the next season. It is normal to expect wonderful things in life. When we enrol for a course, we anticipate passing the exams. When we begin a business, we look ahead to it thriving. When we fall in love, we expect the relationship to stand the test of time. When we have babies, we imagine them growing up into model citizens. No one looks forward to a life that is permanently disappointing; even when things are tough, we keep hoping that they will get better. One time we may be down, but we expect to get up. Such is life here on earth.
Just as there is winter, fall, spring, and summer, as long as the earth is still in place (Genesis 8:22), life will continue to happen in seasons — and we too will go through some changes. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything.
There is a time for everything,
–Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 (NIV)
Seasons of greatness, peace, and prosperity are wonderful, but what happens when you see the opposite? How do you handle the woes and trouble that life sometimes brings? What do you do when your dreams don't manifest as you had hoped? How do you react when the path you thought was right is full of obstacles? How should you pray when you suffer through no fault of your own? Those are some questions that pop up when we find ourselves down that road of disappointment. Remember: God's time is the best. Allow God to order your step. (Proverbs 20:24 says, "Man's steps are ordered by the Lord.")
How Disappointment Relates To Pruning
Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.
There are some people who need a nudge to notice a change of season in their lives, and disappointments can be the messages that will help them adjust their direction. When times shift, God expects us to be in step so we do not miss out on what He wants to do in our lives.
In orchards, trees of low vigour need pruning, not just to create pleasant shapes but also to help them bear high-quality fruit. Where pruning is absent, heavy upper foliage shades the lower parts, holding back development of fruiting wood and ultimately limiting fruit production to the tips of the high branches where sunlight has access. Not only can harvesting be difficult; it is dangerous as well. A pruning programme allows more branches to bear fruit and also keeps the trees at a manageable height.
If you're a Christian that has never been pruned, get ready, because you will be pruned soon. When the winds of disappointment bend you out of shape and seemingly threaten to snap you in two, you will need to know how to stay rooted. God has not promised you smooth sailing, but He will walk with you hand-in-hand to the other side of fruitfulness.
Jesus, the one who even the winds and waves obey, said, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:2 NIV).
Although painful and discouraging, disappointments can be looked at as our seasons of pruning. When and how they happen can be said to be God's pruning programme for us. We may be pruned — sometimes fairly heavily — in order to be encouraged to grow and bear fruit. During this time, our diseased or broken branches are removed. Interestingly, the more buds are cut off, the more vigorous the new shoots will be; and new growth occurs right where the cut is made!
Training The Young In Faith
When fruit trees are pruned, certain side branches that will become the framework of the tree in maturity are encouraged to grow. Likewise, disappointments can be used to develop a specific fibre of maturity in our Christian faith.
Apostle Paul, in his epistle to Timothy, his younger colleague, wrote, "An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall" (1 Timothy 3:6 NLT).
A young believer who is denied leading or running certain programmes in the church by the older, more experienced believers, may feel disappointed. However, this is designed to be a blessing in the future because any potential branches of pride will be cut off at this stage — if they are willing.
Restoring Negligent Or Older Believers
Any fruit tree that has not been pruned for years will remain unproductive as long as the trunk is not void and the tree is not diseased. For it to be restored to bear fruit again, pruning is vital.
Similarly, sometimes we grow up to a certain point in our Christian faith and then we plateau; this is particularly true of those who have been in the church circles for a long time. They are neither hollow trunks nor diseased trees. They have not stirred or challenged their faith and cannot experience or produce anything new. Listen; none of us is too mature or too old to bear fruit. If we allow times and seasons of pruning throughout our lives, then we will still bear fruit even in our sunset years. "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green" (Psalm 92:14 NIV).
Remember Not To Forget
Sometimes when we have eaten and are full, we can lose sight of what is important. In times of plenty and victory, we may find ourselves focusing on His presents rather than His presence. Consequently, there comes a time when God allows the sun to set and we lose some or all of what we considered valuable. Here, because it is dark, we can't see clearly, so we have to make some effort to seek Him.
Pitfalls to Avoid
When going through your period of pruning, allow yourself enough time to embrace what you need to discover at that particular instance. Failing to do so, life has a way of making you repeat the test over and over. You will not graduate to the next class until you have learned whatever lesson you needed to be taught.
Additionally, remember when you were young and you got a cut, your mum or dad placed a Band-Aid over it? I'm sure by now you know that leaving open wounds can lead to disease. It is a healthy practise to cover your areas of pruning. Avoid isolation; surround yourself with believers who will encourage you to fruition.
Bottoms Fall Out
Whether things are sailing smoothly or the bottom has dropped out, He is always trustworthy. You can count on Almighty God to keep His everlasting Word.
Although his life had a series of detours, Joseph maintained hope because he had dreams. Do you realise that the reason you experience disappointment here and there is because you have a certain hope? I have heard it said that you can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air — but only for one second without hope.
Look at Genesis 37. The story reveals that Joseph was openly his father Jacob's favourite. While this does not go down well with his brothers, God gives him a dream of elevation and the boy blurts out everything to his siblings. He seems so full of himself that his brothers hate him. In verse 8, this is where disappointments as a "Training for the Young in Faith" come in handy. Joseph comes across as a spoilt young man, and his brothers plot to do away with him and deceive their father into thinking he was killed by a wild animal.
He is sold into slavery and ends up into Potiphar's house (Genesis 39). His life takes a drastic turn in less than twenty-four hours! Anyway, his servitude gains him favour with his master, and life begins to make a little bit of sense. Suddenly bottoms fall out when Mrs Potiphar tries to get Joseph to commit adultery with her. Rejected, she accuses him falsely. The young man would have lost his life here, except this was a detour; instead, he was imprisoned.
While in prison, he gains favour with the prison keeper (Genesis 39:23), who learns of Joseph's divine gift of interpreting dreams. Interestingly, Joseph interprets a dream for one of his fellow prisoners who, upon his release, was to return the favour and put in a good word for Joseph to Pharaoh (Genesis 40:14). It appears as though Joseph was getting tired of the dungeon, yet when his friend got out, he forgot Joseph (Genesis 40:23). How disappointing!
Nevertheless, "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men" (Proverbs 18:16 KJV).
Discreet and Wise
In Genesis 41, Joseph's reputation paves the way for him. He is summoned to give the interpretation of a dream that deeply disturbed Pharaoh, which neither his magicians nor wise men could decode. He accurately interprets it symbol by symbol and is promoted (Genesis 41:40-44). Note that by this time (Genesis 41:33, 39) Joseph has become discreet and wise because of the experiences he has had. He knows when, how, and to whom he should speak. According to God, Joseph is mature for that dream in Genesis 37.
Drought hits, and while there's plenty of stored food in Egypt, Israel is running low. Joseph's brothers (yes, those who sold him for twenty pieces of silver!) come seeking grain and food to prevent their people from dying of hunger (Genesis Chapter 42). They don't realise that this prominent man they are bowing to is indeed their little brother. He commands them to return with Benjamin. When they did, he reveals his identity (Genesis 45:1). The brothers show great remorse for their deeds, Joseph forgives them, and it is a wonderful reunion.
Excerpted from "From Disappointment to Blessing"
Copyright © 2017 Veronica Chinasa Osunwa.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
When Delay Isn't Denial, xix,
Chapter 1, 1,
How Disappointments Come, 1,
Common Catalysts for Today's Disappointments, 2,
Beyond Your Control, 3,
Chapter 2, 7,
There Is a Time and Season, 7,
How Disappointment Relates to Pruning, 8,
Training the Young in Faith, 9,
Restoring Negligent or Older Believers, 9,
Remember Not to Forget, 10,
Pitfalls to Avoid, 10,
Chapter 3, 11,
Bottoms Fall Out, 11,
Discreet and Wise, 12,
The Annihilation Plot, 13,
From Disappointment to Blessing, 15,
Chapter 4, 19,
When Stuff Happens, 19,
Delayed Answer to Prayer, 21,
Once Pleasant, Now Bitter, 21,
Guilty Pleasures, 23,
Turn Around, 24,
Chapter 5, 27,
Disappointed? Been There, 27,
Horatio Spafford, 27,
Joyce Meyer, 28,
Terry Gobanga, 29,
James Robison, 30,
Life's Not Fair, 31,
Maya Angelou, 31,
Left at the Altar, 32,
Health Threatened, 33,
Chapter 6, 35,
My Story, 35,
The Blessings in Disguise, 38,
Job Hunting, Nigeria, 40,
Stepping into the Nursing Career, 40,
Opening Doors to Overseas, 41,
Would You Rather Ask?, 42,
My Worst Shared Dinner, 43,
Another Disappointment from My School, 47,
Untold Hardship, 49,
God and Disappointment, 50,
Jesus and Disappointment, 51,
Near Disaster at a Wedding Celebration, 52,
Voice of the Lord Mission, Gashua Branch, Breakup, 52,
Victory Christian Centre, New Zealand, 53,
Other Stories of Devastation Turned Around, 53,
House Hunting, 54,
Bachelorette Sam Frost, 55,
Chibok Schoolgirls Abducted from School, 55,
Two Children Kidnapped from School, 55,
Young Man Crippled, 56,
Blessings in Disguise, 56,
Missed Flight, 57,
Saved by the advice of God's Oracle Apostle Professor Johnson Suleman, 57,
Set Up by a Prisoner, 57,
Sharing this story curled from The National Christian Choir September 26, 2016, 58,
Motherless Boy Buried Alive, 59,
Living a Limitless Life, 60,
Apostle Professor Johnson Suleman, 60,
Chapter 7, 61,
Everything happens for a reason, 61,
Dealing with Disappointment, 61,
Turn That Disappointment into a Blessing, 63,
This, Too, Shall Pass, 64,
Disappointed? What to Do?, 66,
Don't Lose Hope, 70,
Mental Stability, 70,
Chapter 8, 75,
What do you do when life gives you lemon?, 75,
Nelson Mandela, 75,
Victor Moses, 76,
From Rubbish Heap to Archbishop, 76,
Balak hired Balaam to curse Isreal, 77,
Nollywood Actor Leo emerges from the disappointment of a terminal stage kidney disease, to blessings, 77,
Abraham Lincoln, 78,
Oprah Winfrey, 78,
Malala Yousafzai, 78,
Rev Dr. Uma Ukpai Kidnapped and Forced To Drink Acid, 79,
Student told by teacher he would not make it, 80,
What do you do when life hands you the disappointment of infertility?, 80,
Born Without a Womb and Ovaries, this Woman Beats the Odds and Gives Birth to Twins, 81,
After 46 Years of Marriage, 81,
Pastor's Wife delivers a miracle baby after eight long years, 82,
From 33 years of Infertility ... to Triplets, 82,
From Four Miscarriages ... to Mother, 83,
True life story: Woman without a Womb Gave Birth to Three Children, 83,
World Fell Apart, 84,
What others are saying about disappointment, 85,