Here is a sample from my book, Help! I Have a Prodigal.
In this book, readers identify and deal with the emotions from their prodigal situation through an interactive time with God.
I pray that God will minister to you through this excerpt.
Judy R. Slegh
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash
Seeing the potential in someone and the loss of that potential because
of poor choices may cause disappointment. As our prodigals fail again
and again, disappointment may arise. Missing family events or tension
during family events can contribute to this too. We may partner with
disappointment when we attempt to mend relationships, but it fails.
Violet, a passionate, Christian single mother, made sure her son, Reginald, attended every church activity as he grew up. She felt this would solidify the principles she believed in and would connect him to godly men as father figures. During his teen years, Reginald pulled away to be with young gang members in his neighborhood. He joined the gang, and Violet felt deeply disappointed in her son and with his choices. Reginald rejected his mother’s concerns and distanced himself, saying she was controlling him. Violet was disappointed with her situation and with God. She felt He hadn’t protected her son. This created a mountain of heartache and offense that needed to be destroyed. In prayer with me, she discovered God was disappointed too. This amazed her. As she released her disappointment, she heard God say Reginald had made choices against both of them. This
brought her into a renewed partnership with God, which created relief and peace. God intended to parent Reginald with her.
According to the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, disappointment is feeling sad, unhappy, or displeased because something one hoped for or expected didn’t happen.
There can be many sources of disappointment. As you read the
following, underline the sentences that seem correct for your situation.
You may feel disappointment when you see your loved one turn
away from their God-given gifts and talents. If you had invested time,
energy, and finances toward these talents, you may feel disappointment when they choose to fail or trade their interests for distractions.
Disappointment and frustration can occur because of a lack of knowledge in effectively helping a loved one win the battle back to
normalcy and victorious living. You may see continued failure in your
loved one’s life despite your attempt to help. It could come when you
realize your sacrifice of time and finances results in a failed outcome,
such as a treatment program. It is particularly hard when your loved
one has victory over addiction and then succumbs to addiction again.
You believed they were free, and now it isn’t true. You could even
start believing the lie that it is your fault your loved one chose their
destructive path because you didn’t have the resources or wisdom to
deal proactively with the situation.
When your attempts to love your prodigal results in negativity and
further breakdown in communication, you can fall into the emotion
of disappointment and frustration. You become disappointed in yourself as you fail to respond correctly in conversations. You might even attempt new methods of communication with the hope of discovering a positive way to interact with them, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t create the connection you had hoped. There may even be a desire to wallow in self-pity, since the sacrifices you made to connect with them were fruitless and not appreciated.
Disappointment may come from family issues arising from your
loved one’s choices. Your loved one may have missed important family
events, which destroyed relationships. This can cause further disappointment as you partner with the emotional breakdown of other
In all of this, it’s important to acknowledge these emotions and
receive healing for emotional, verbal, and physical wounds.
Reading this section may have highlighted some of your disappointments.
Let’s ask Holy Spirit to help us.
Pray this out loud:
Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts, so I can process this
completely. Retrieve moments that have contributed to
the disappointment I am feeling right now.
(You may want to review the sentences underlined above.)
On a separate sheet of paper, please write down additional disappointments along with the associated memories.
Are you ready to forgive and let them go?
When ready to forgive and release it all, pray the following out loud:
Father God, I confess feeling disappointment and
heartache over my loved one’s choices. You see the
litany of things I have written down contributing to
these feelings. My loved one has chosen to go their
own way, despite my attempts to intervene. I forgive
them for not recognizing my efforts. I release feelings
of disappointment due to their choices. I am disappointed
my investment into their life hasn’t produced
the fruit I expected. At this time, I choose to forgive
them and release all rights for justice and restitution.
I forgive them for causing disappointment in other
family members. I release all identified emotions bottled
up inside and tell them to go, in the name of Jesus
Christ. I release my loved one into Your sovereign
hand. In Jesus’s name.
Father God, I choose to release the memories brought
to my mind and the associated hurt and disappointment.
I ask for Your healing balm to come and minister to the
memories and the disappointment I am allowing myself
to partner with. Father God, is there anything else I need
to process for freedom from disappointment?
If yes, continue to work through these things by forgiving the person
and releasing the memories. This can be done by simply saying out loud, “I forgive _______________ for disappointing me when. . .
I choose to release disappointment and any other emotions associated with this. I choose to bless them with_______________”
(Wait on God to guide you in this blessing. Your heart should agree with the blessing.)
If no, move to the next prayer.
Father God, I repent for allowing disappointment to
be a focus. I oust the influences of the enemy that I
made agreements with, by the authority Jesus gives
me. I renounce all lies I believed regarding my loved
one’s situation. I kick out all wrong attitudes right now.
Holy Spirit, fill up any area cleansed in me with Your
presence and peace.
All pray aloud:
Father God, I want to partner with Your perspective
for my loved one. I know You can work all things
for good for those who love You and are called according
to Your purpose. I firmly believe You have
a good, divine purpose for my loved one that they
don’t even comprehend right now. I choose to partner
with this reality and choose to position myself to
see things from Your perspective (truth) rather than
what I have seen in the past. I ask that You weave
the pieces of my disappointment into Your tapestry
of grace and glory. I choose to walk in the reality of
Your guidance and sovereignty, Holy Spirit. In Jesus’s
Spend some time right now thanking and praising God for what
He has done for you.
Upon finishing this section, we have released disappointment. As
time goes on, we may encounter new disappointments.
Let’s take time to listen to Holy Spirit’s instruction. He desires to
teach us if we are open to Him.
Holy Spirit, speak to me now about these questions. I am open to
hearing from You.
Let’s ask God the following questions:
If I encounter disappointment again, what should I do
about it, Holy Spirit?
Father God, what perspective should I align myself to
after finishing this section?
Thank You, Father God, for this information. It gives
me comfort to see the situation from a new perspective.
Help me to be diligent to keep this focus from this day