Letting Go of Expectations


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Far back, as long ago as I can remember, I believed perfection was the key.

I remember spilling a bottle of milk on the kitchen floor as I attempted to “help” my mom with the groceries. As a devastated three-year-old, an expectation formed in my soul and proved itself over and over in my life that if I could do everything right, say the right things, act in a certain way, all the wrongs in my life would be miraculously fixed.

No more bad stuff. If I could just get it right.

So my disappointments ran pretty high. Since no one is perfect, and I certainly wasn’t, my sense of achievement topped the charts too. Driving myself to accomplish more each day, and in a more perfect way, a failure to measure up left me spiraling down into a depressed state.

But not for long.

Because that wasn’t allowed in my perfect world. Especially as a Christian. Someone who believed in God, shouldn’t feel fear, anger, frustration, sorrow or exhaustion. Right? Only joy and gladness were granted space in my mental box of “rightness.”

My false beliefs bled into other areas of life.

I not only expected myself to get things right, but couldn’t understand why other people messed up too. Eventually, I learned to have grace for them, but not for myself. And if others did things wrong that affected me? Well, that was unacceptable.

Recently, I’ve seen myself from a better viewpoint – God’s.

He’s been showing me the places I expect so much from myself and reassuring me that he loves me for me, not for what I can do right or better or even at all. He’s been helping me rest in his perfection so I can let go of mine.

I’ve had a few opportunities to practice.

Relationships are great for that. Whether it’s family, friends or work situations, God gives us places to work out what he’s freeing in our hearts. I love that he is so kind and caring to point out our “stuff” and lead us into new ways of coping.

He’s teaching me to let go.

In his loving kindness, God’s gently told me that I wasn’t hurt in my past because I did something wrong or didn’t do something right. He’s said that I can’t fix my past by controlling my present or future. I can’t keep bad things from happening by making everything right or perfect.

Instead, I’m learning to expect from Him, not me.

Jesus is perfect. He loves me. He promises that because I’ve believed in him and accepted his dying for me, his righteousness covers me. In everything. Past, present and future. No matter what I do or don’t do right, I’m still covered, loved and delighted in.

That’s good news.

And it frees me to be me. The good stuff, the flaws, the sorrow and joy mingling together. I can rest in that place of freedom. I can choose to rest there. Every day there are places of choice.

You can choose too.

“It is for freedom that Christ sets us free.”  Galatians 5:1

 


11 thoughts on “Letting Go of Expectations

  1. I love your heart for God. Thanks for sharing so openly you can not imagine how often what you write resonates with what God is speaking to me. Sometimes I think that our name isn’t the only thing we share. Seems like we struggle with some of the same things. Anyway thanks so much for your transparency. You are truly amazing.

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  2. I agree with Laura Martin. I wonder, do you know the struggles I go through, too, Laura?
    And then, I realize and know, it’s God speaking to me as I struggle with trying to be perfect. Thank you for sharing from your heart. That’s not an easy thing to do!

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    1. I don’t, but God does! 😉 I love that we are not alone in our struggles. God sees all of us and no matter where we are, Florida, California and Canada, God speaks to our hearts through each others’ challenges! Isn’t he an amazing, loving father? Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I so needed to read this. I struggle each and every day over my past and trying to get my heart to believe that all the bad things that happened were not my fault. I steered clear of God for many years because I could not understand how I could love him and hate myself. I began a blog in order to help me get my thoughts and feelings out and it worked for a while. I’ve now gotten bogged down in the bad stuff and am trying to look at the lighter side of the crap.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! I understand those places of trying to reconcile what we believe about ourselves from life experiences versus what God says is true. Those lies we’ve lived in feel SO true, don’t they? It’s a challenge to see a different perspective and embrace it – even if we can accept it with our mind, our broken souls still resist. Writing is a great way to heal. I journal daily, blog and also find healing in writing the books I’ve published. It’s amazing to me how much junk is in our hearts. I’m so grateful that God never lets go of us and continues to assure our broken hearts that he loves us and made us to be so special and delightful to him. God delights in you, my friend! You are lovable and beautiful to him just as you were made, even with the scars life has carved into you. It takes us stepping out in faith to receive that, doesn’t it? I’ve found great help in writing I Cor. 13:4-8 as a love letter from God to me and from me to myself. Also, Jamie Winship has some incredible messages about true identity that have radically changed my heart in the past month. I’m praying for you as you find and love yours!

      Liked by 1 person

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