She sent me a little message.
If you all hadn’t been praying today, I would have been freaking out right now. This is not what I expected. This is not what I had in mind.
It didn’t look how she thought it would. Have you ever been there? Your job? Your marriage? Motherhood? Friendship? Finances? An event or milestone?
Expectations are a killer. We all have them. A zillion of them. Some we have because of the way we were raised. Some we have from television and movies. Some we have just because of who we are.
I know all about stuff turning out differently from what I expected. I’m a words person. So I expect if people like me or my work, then they will “use their words.” (Yep, I have preschoolers.) They’ll say, “wow, what an amazing job, I don’t know what I would do without your help.” They’ll say, you are beautiful, or smart, or funny, or good.
You know what? A lot of people aren’t words people. And I mean A LOT! I have friends and family and even a husband who aren’t words people. So an action, or even an inaction, is their way of affirming value. But that doesn’t look how I thought it would. It’s not what I expected.
I had expectations for being a mother. Do you know when I get discouraged? When my mothering, and their children-ing, looks nothing like my stylized expectations. I had expectations for my marriage. Do you know when I am most disappointed? When my singular, univision expectations don’t translate into real life marriage. This happens constantly to me. The book writing or the event planning or the work project or the [insert what you will here] didn’t turn out like I expected…
Maybe this is a girl thing. Maybe this is a human thing. (Or maybe it’s just a me thing, in which case, just read tomorrow’s post on fall fashion.)
I got my friend’s disappointed message just about that same time I received this beautiful note in the mail:
Do you see that? Choose Joy. Say God I trust you have my good and your glory in mind.
What if the death of our expectations means the birth of something we could have never imagined? What if the best can’t come because the good is in the way? Average stands in the way of exceptional?
Our expectations, even the best of them, tie us down. They burden us with an imagined way things should be instead of living in the now of the way things are and could be. We, and that means me, foreclose options and possibilities because of our limited sight line.
What if we released all those expectations today to the One who can deliver so much more if we will free ourselves from the daily disappointments and disenchantments of our preconceived notions? Sometimes, it’s exactly when it doesn’t look how you thought it would that it takes your breath away.
Ephesians 3 – Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…
II Timothy 1 – He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
Romans 8 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated…and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God…
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.
Christine Wright says
Well, that (ahem) hit home!! Thank you for those verses and words…I do need to let all those expectations go – and allow something beautiful to be born!
And did you know Joy is my word of the year?? LOVE the photo!!
It was actually all for me. I’ve been struggling with being let down from my expectations and our discussion just really helped me illustrate what that can look like in something other than relationships….