Home » Posts tagged 'expectation'
Tag Archives: expectation
I’m feeling random today. Prepare yourself.
I guess it’s because I spent a day and a half cleaning my room. This means that my body was occupied but my mind was left to wander all over the place. My wandering mind can find shenanigans too easily.
And yes, I actually spent a full day and a half cleaning my bedroom. A full day and a half! You see, when I get upset or have a lot of change I start piling things around my bed. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until one day I walk into my room and I can no longer see the floor. I call it “nesting.” I’m literally building a protective nest around my bed. It’s one of those unconscious things I do when I can’t deal with all the things.
And I’ll be honest…I’m struggling to deal with all the things.
Even though all the things are good.
- New place to live. Inexpensive. Great Roommates. I have the biggest room, mostly because I have the most stuff. Most of the stuff is books and art supplies, and a 5 foot stuffed alligator that a really dreamy friend won for me in England during a study abroad. Good times bringing that home on the airplane.
- New job. First full time job in over a year. Pays well. Benefits. Good coworkers, including a dreamy one who is the just the sweetest. Interesting work, most days. I learn every day, because it’s completely different than anything I’ve ever done. And I get to organize things in spreadsheets! (Don’t mock me I like organizing things, and I like spreadsheets.)
- New car. 2 years old but new to me with low miles. It’s the color of Yoda and gets like 35 miles to the gallon. I LOVE IT!
- New church. Well not exactly new, I’ve been there for conferences and to visit friends, but now it’s my church. The people are fabulous and the word is good. But for some reason I cannot settle in there. I don’t know why. It’s been a battle. God confirmed that it’s my church. I have peace about it. And yet I don’t want to go. So weird.
Do you see anything bad in this list? No. Me either. And yet I’m struggling to get into any sort of routine in this newness. And I’ve been lacking in the joy area lately. No joy=No strength. I’ve been trying to figure it out, and I realized two things:
1. I’m struggling because after the past few years of reoccurring unemployment, having my car repossessed, having my house auctioned, and my credit sliding into the 500’s, I simply do not know how to not struggle. I keep waiting for my job to go away or some other trauma or drama to occur.
God used these crappy years to show me His faithfulness and provision. He used this to show me that I don’t have to be afraid. In feast or famine He’s there. He never leaves. He didn’t cause my issues, but he used them to teach me and turn things around for my good.
Despite learning all of this and coming out of it with a new perspective, I cannot settle into my new life. I think that’s part of the other reason my room was a disaster, I wasn’t unpacking or getting comfortable here because I was waiting for it to turn ugly with my roommates, or to be kicked out or something.
I’m not a low expectations kind of gal. I’m a dreamer with a big imagination. If I don’t keep tabs on my thought life…I can be caught rehearsing my best original screenplay Oscar speech. Seriously.
I’m so frustrated with myself about the expectation of calamity and drama. I know that we receive what we expect and believe. If I expend all my energy being afraid and worrying, I’m actually agreeing with the Enemy’s plan for my life. His plan is to steal from me, to kill my dreams and bring sickness my way, and to destroy my joy and peace.
But Jesus came to give me life and an abundant life at that! (John 10:10)
So what is my deal? Why am I building a security nest? Why am I sad?
Am I not believing God? Do I doubt Him? Am I ungrateful?
No. No. And no. I believe God will do all He said He would do. He just does it in His perfect timing (Which is not my timing, clearly.) I’m so thankful for my job and home and car and everything else that I’ve been blessed with. God is good to me!
So again what is my deal? Or as David puts it, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again-my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
This is where my second realization comes into play:
2. My new life isn’t what I expected.
Aw crap. There’s that expectation word again.
I had a similar breakdown when I turned 25. My life isn’t what I expected and I’m not where I expected to be at 40, and I’m sad about it. Some of that has to do with me feeling like I’m failing and like I’ve missed opportunities. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time dealing with my issues that I’ve not been doing anything beneficial for the kingdom. I feel like a failure. I feel worthless.
I know that these are lies. I know that I am valued by God. I know that I cannot fail unless I quit. I know that preparation time is not wasted time. But I’m still struggling with it.
Some of it has to do with God’s timing. I feel like expired milk. I feel like Mary and Martha telling Jesus that if He’d have gotten there sooner, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Except that I’m saying, “Well Jesus, If you’d only given me what you promised in my 20’s then I wouldn’t have to be starting over again at 40.”
But I know Jesus is good. I know He doesn’t withhold good gifts. So why all the waiting?
“But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples,“Let’s go back to Judea.”John 11:4-6 NLT
The first point of this passage is that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. And I know that Jesus loves me just as much. The second point of this passage is that when the situation looks absolutely hopeless from a human point of view, when there’s nothing more that can be done, that’s when miracles happen. That’s when God shows up and displays His glory for the world to see.
Points to ponder while you wander… You are loved. It’s never too late. The bigger the problem the greater display of God’s glory.
PS If you’re so inclined, read Lazarus’s story in John chapter 4. It’s an amazing story!
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Today I realized that I can be amazed every single day. Awe and wonder is literally a lifestyle choice. I can choose to look for and experience joy in the everyday. I can choose to expect miracles. I can choose to say, “Father God, what awesome and wonderful things do you have planned for us today?”
I am the only one who determines how I receive from God and perceive the world around me! Only I have the power to decide whether I embrace the awe and wonder of life or whine and complain about it. I am all powerful in how I choose to react.
I know the faith walk ain’t for sissies. Believing God when all the evidence points against it is difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt and disappointed. But that’s exactly the time to look for awe and wonder in your life. That’s when you need to choose to expect good!
Why do you think Jesus called those little bitty kiddos the greatest in Matthew 18?
Think about it? Little kids just believe, and they walk around amazed by everything they see. Everything is new and exciting. That’s exactly what childlike faith looks like. That is what pleases and impresses Jesus.
What if today you expected awe and wonder? What if you went around knowing that our Father has good surprises for you everyday, hidden amongst the ordinary and mundane? What if you truly believed God is for you and not against you? What if today you just believe that God loves you? What if you just received His love like a toddler being picked up and cradled by their daddy?
I will leave you with this…the Greek word “know” in Romans 8:28 actually means to see therefore to know. It is connected to the word optomai (op’-tom-ahee), which means to gaze at something with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable. It means to be amazed by what you’re seeing. This isn’t a factoid to put in your knowledge bank, it is something you witness and are blown away by.
“And we stare long in amazement,in complete wonder, that the Creator of everything loves us so much that He causes everything in our (those loving and living for Him) lives to work together for our good benefit.” Romans 8:28 Jill Translation
Today’s Deep Thought: You Get What You Expect.
I used to think that keeping my expectations low would protect me from disappointment. My thinking was that if I didn’t expect much I couldn’t be disappointed. If I didn’t expect relationships to last, when they inevitably ended, I wouldn’t get hurt.
Low expectations mean you aren’t disappointed. Right? WRONG! Low expectations mean you don’t know who you are! Low expectations of God mean you don’t know who God is!
I didn’t understand that I was a blood bought child of the Most High God with covenant rights. I had authority. I was deeply loved. I had the right to go BOLDLY to the throne of my Father. Despite all this, I was living like a slave. Hoping that if I kept my head down and did everything I was told I’d be able to eek by. My prayers were basically me begging for crumbs. I felt like I couldn’t ask God for what I needed or tell Him how I felt. I was lucky that He forgave me in the first place and allowed me back in the sheep fold. I didn’t expect any more than that, that was enough.
Then I learned the truth about expectations-you get what you expect. I expected nothing so I got nothing. I sought nothing so I found nothing.
What are you seeking? What are you expecting? What are you asking for?
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
Are you living like a slave begging for crumbs or are you approaching the throne of your Father boldly? What are your expectations of the promises in His Word?
REMEMBER: Hope is the joyful and confident expectation of good! “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5