Three months into 2015 and it’s going well, yet not at all as anticipated – in many ways.
As I typed “anticipated” I didn’t like that choice of wording, but it was a fitting description and so I stuck with it. The reason it wasn’t my favorite phrasing is because it implies that I had specific expectations that haven’t been met – which is not entirely true. I’ve learned, however, that sometimes the expectations I have for something or someone are often realized in the development of the outcome of specific circumstances. That is to say, when things take a turn in a certain direction I tend to realize how many expectations I had in the first place.
I’ve been learning lots of things about expectations lately, some of those insights include:
- Realizing unmet expectations is a necessary and beneficial process, but not always the most comfortable.
- Not having any expectations is unhealthy – in certain circumstances there should be a level of expectations and those should be discussed.
- Discussing expectations leads to healthy and helpful communication practices.
- Filtering expectations through the lenses of Scripture and prayer is the only way to truly realize which expectations are out of balance.
- Moving toward the expected outcome takes work – yes lots of effort, strategic planning and intentional communication and invested support.
I’ve been thinking through this concept of a lot lately and am in the middle of a “realizing” and “refining” stage of my expectations for several areas of life right now. It’s been a process through which the Lord has humbled me, encouraged me, corrected me, grown me, loved me, instructed me and more. It has, and will continue to be, absolutely worth it.
With that, I’ll leave you with a few passages that remind me of the expectations I should have in the Lord; expectations that He would be glorified, that I will not be ashamed of Him, that He will hear my prayers and that His word is true and helps us understand all other expectations:
Philippians 1:20English Standard Version (ESV)
20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Philippians 4:6English Standard Version (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Hebrews 4:12English Standard Version (ESV)
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.