Every success is preceded by…

Today, I share a guest post from my friend, Kathi Lipp. Kathi has recently released a book that has been a blessing to me, “Praying God’s Word for Your Life”




And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


I recently created a “Life Map”. I was instructed to pick the eight “best” events in my life. Not my kid’s events, but things that were directly about me, my plans, my goals and dreams. (If you’re a mom, you get how hard it is to think about your life not in light of your kids.)  It took me forever to come up with list. Here are some of the things that were included:

  • ·         Marrying my husband Roger
  • ·         Being an opening speaker for Max Lucado
  • ·         Publishing my first book
  • ·         Working overseas as a missionary in Japan


Some pretty cool stuff. Things that I had prayed for and hoped for. It was so cool to see the gifts that God has trusted me with over the years.


The next step was to list the eight biggest disappointments or heartbreaks of my life. (As you can imagine, this list was much easier to come up with.) Some of those items included:


  • ·         Being told by a trusted coach that I would never be more than a beginning level speaker
  • ·         Being fired from my job as a manager of a retail store
  • ·         My divorce from my first husband
  • ·         Having my first book proposal rejected by fourteen publishers


I still feel the pain of each of those rejections in the pit of my stomach just from typing the words. I do my best not to think of those times, because when one comes up, ever single rejection comes up and joins it. Let’s just say this was not my favorite part of the exercise.


The final step of this process was to do a timeline of all those events during my lifetime, and see if there were any patterns that emerged. So first I put in all the victories (because those are the fun ones.) Then I started to plug in the disappointments. And indeed, a pattern emerged.


Each and every success was proceeded by one of those heartbreaking, devastation disappointment.


Does that make future disappointments easier? Probably not. But it does provide one beautiful thing: Hope.


And hope is a beautiful thing.

Hope reminds me:

1.    Progress is usually public but the pain of disappointment is almost always private. When it seems like another person’s life is filled with rainbows and unicorns, I remember that for almost all of us, we’ve had to go through some unpleasant stuff to get to the good stuff.

2.    When you feel like something is over, it just may be the in-between. Most likely, the end, isn’t. God has a bigger plan than we can understand standing on this side of disappointment.

Stay with it Trust God, and wait for the rest of his plan.


Is there one disappointment/success that stands out in your life? We’d love to hear 🙂





  1. I am 49 years old, and my husband and I filed for divorce last week. This is the greatest disappointment I can think of in my life. I have a 15 year old daughter that I am trying to bring through this process, and knowing how vulnerable and impressionable she is at this time causes me a lot of stress. She is such a good, loving, kind girl, and I pray this situation doesn’t veer her off course.
    I belong to a Bible study, and my group has worked with me to understand under my conditions, leaving my marriage is justified in Scripture, but I still torture myself with “maybe I should have done more” “maybe I could have tried harder” moments.
    Reading your post this morning helps me consider there will be a better time for me after this. That is so comforting. Thank you.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Oh Shelly, I cannot imagine how broken hearted you are. God, please fill in her broken and hurting places, looking to you for comfort and courage for her future in You. Amen!

  2. My greatest disappointment or burden right now is my husbands health. His cancer has returned after 6 and a half years, an operation is the best course for him to take and he is not doing very well. Starting any kind of treatment like before is not an option. They have yet to decide when they are going to do anything. Please pray that his health will not deteriorate any faster than it already has. Thank-you

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Oh Roxanne – my heart breaks for you! I really cannot imagine the weight of this pain and burden on your heart!

      Jesus, we ask for a miracle. You can heal Roxanne’s husband. Do what only you can do, Jesus. You performed miracles when you were on the earth; you are still performing miracles today. Hold up Roxanne and her husband. Give her the strength and courage to be his strength and courage through You. Thank you powerful Lord! Amen

      1. Lynn thank you so much for your prayer. It brought tears to know some one cares. Along with the burden of his illness is financial stress and loneliness. Its like the people who are closest to us don’t know how to react so they just stay away. That is painful and disappointing also. Again thank-you and God bless you.

  3. My largest setback/disappointment in life happened in May of 2013. My husband and I were involved in a motorcycle accident and both of us were almost killed. He broke over 27 bones, and I had a head injury and lost my left leg below the knee. Our entire lives are changed, Our children were with a babysitter so we could go for a ride and we never came home.
    Its been six months, and I am back to work just last week. I can see how God is using us to make a difference in other people’s lives. I’m starting to believe that our biggest setback may lead us into our biggest success! I am looking into taking a class to be certified to visit other amputee’s in the hospital to provide support for them, and our children have learned to not take so much for granted and are more giving to others. Recently I have found myself thinking about taking thanks to our Lord. Not for our accident, but for all the blessings it has brought into our lives.

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