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Expect People To Disappoint (A Guest Post)

I’m a teeny bit overwhelmed by life this week, in case it wasn’t obvious by the guest posts on the blog. Between stomach flu, colds, birthdays, new jobs, kids’ schedules, and life drama, I’ve been tapped out. I was thrilled to find this guest post from Jessica Bowman in my inbox this morning. And for the record, I completely agree with her take on it.

Expect people to disappoint you. Then you won't be disappointed.

Expect People To Disappoint You. Then You Won’t Be Disappointed.

This is the message that Joy In This Journey posted on Facebook recently, asking our opinions, yea or nay.

For the record, I’m yea. A big, fat, packaged-and-ready-to-ship bottle of yea.

Why? Why is my sunrise glass half empty? Well, here’s the thing. I don’t see it that way. From my perspective, accepting the fact that people will disappoint you is a way of extending preemptive grace.

Ten years ago I would have thought this a terribly downer of a mindset. But ten years ago I was painfully green about the world and certainly didn’t expect to be disappointed. Not by life, or circumstance, education, or marriage. Life was going to be rainbows and sunshine.

Guess what? Life hasn’t been rainbows or sunshine. I mean, sure, there has been occasional good weather, but existence isn’t a perfect forecast. Life is cloudy. Living is stormy. And if your paradigm insists that you’re never going to need an umbrella, then you’re going to get wet, friends. Accepting the fact that ponchos are needed in this journey is responsible, in my opinion. We must prepare ourselves for life’s proverbial thunder storms, y’all.

But don’t misunderstand me, if I meet you for the first time, I won’t be shaking your hand expecting the worst in you, personally. I will shake your hand understanding that the worst is in all of us. It’s in me, and it’s in my husband, and it’s in my best friends, and it’s in my parents; it’s in all of us.

One of the most painful parts about growing up, about maturing, is being hit by an unexpected spiritual storm front. When we walk around ignorantly positive, then those transgressions that will absolutely come either way, will hurt much more. It’s the betrayal that’s so disconcerting, I think; That takes the will out of your lungs to breathe. It’s because getting hit hurts worse when that idol falls from such a high pedestal.

So, no, I don’t think I’m being a spiritual Eeyore to expect people to disappoint. It’s not a depressing perspective, it’s actually a comforting one. Just like knowing I’ve got an umbrella in the car is more comforting than thinking I need to walk in the downpour unprepared and uncovered.

Grace is my covering. And I have enough room for you too, if you want to walk under it with me.

jessica bowman***

Jessica is an unschooling mother of 4 who has been married to that cute guy who knocked her up when she was 17 for the past 12 years.  She loves hooping, house church, and theology.  You can find her blogging at




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