While getting ready to meet a friend for lunch… “She’s going to think this outfit is ugly and notice the weight I’ve gained.”
Discussing politics with an acquaintance… “Surely she will change her mind once she hears this!”
After applying for a job and getting called for an interview… “Hiring pool must be shallow; they called me out of desperation”
Driving home after a long day at work… “I’m sure the kids will have the dishwasher emptied and the kitchen clean so I can start dinner.”
On and on and on it goes, mistaken expectations and the disappointment that inevitably follows has the power to tear me down emotionally, damage or even sever relationships, and even stunt my growth as a child of God.
What’s a girl to do?
A few weeks ago, I was blessed to be able to attend a Christian Women’s Conference. It was organized locally, and having attended larger conferences in the past, and in my usual self-talk script, I wasn’t “expecting” much. In fact, I almost didn’t go.
Shame on me (I know, I know, I’m a “mature Christian” and I have the moxie to waltz into a “Christian” conference with a chip on my shoulder, expecting this to be an epic waste of time).
Was I ever wrong! In fact, I was wrong in the most ironic sense – proof to me yet again that God has a sense of humor.
The theme verse for the conference was,
Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”
The focus taken from the verse is that often (ok – pretty much always) we allow our expectations (high and/or low) towards individuals or experiences to take precedence in our thoughts. These failed expectations then negatively affect our attitudes, our outlook on life in general, our relationship with friends and family, and ultimately mar our witness and even muck up and stunt our relationship with God.
The solution is straight forward; replace all my expectations with God’s (and His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light” Matthew 11:30).
This concept is so simple but it blows my mind when I think about how it can alter the outcome of every interaction and each relationship we often struggle to control. When we surrender our expectations to Him, and allow all expectations to be filtered through Him, we will be free from the burden of worry, doubts and fear.
It’s not our job to affect change in others; God will take care of that in His way and in His time. We just get to love em’ up, be His hands, His feet, extending His grace and mercy… even if our pants do are a bit too tight from that extra 10 pounds.