by Dani Catherine
As the New Year approached, I started to think about the goals that I wanted to reach within the next year. I decided to look back at the goals I wrote down for 2013 to help guide me, and noticed that none of those goals were 100% fully reached. I was disappointed. Why was I disappointed? Why did I feel resentment?
Expectations. That was it. I expected to be further in my career. I expected to be engaged. I expected that I would be physically in tip shop shape despite 2 knee surgeries within 6 months. I expected too much from myself, my relationships, and my career. Instead of goals being goals, they became expectations. And they quickly started to become expectations from God.
I started to become aware of the expectations I had, and remembered something I read in the past- that had stuck with me, but never really “sunk in.” In One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, I read:
“Expectations kill relationships—especially with God… Is it only when our lives are emptied that we’re surprised by how truly full our lives were? Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing—and are filled. This breath! This oak tree! This daisy! This work! This sky! These people! This place! This day! Surprise! … Are there times that a sense of entitlement—expectations—is what inflates self, detonates anger, offends God, extinguishes joy? And what do I really deserve? Thankfully, God never gives what is deserved, but instead, God graciously, passionately offers gifts, our bodies, our time, our very lives.”
How ashamed I felt, knowing that I expected such “things” when He promises us something so beautiful. Could I let go of my expectations? Could I let go of what I think I deserved? Challenge accepted. For 2014, my goals are not “things” I want, or to reach a milestone. My goal is to release expectations and be grateful for every moment, knowing that each moment is a gift from God. I don’t want to look back at 2014 as I did at 2013 feeling disappointed and resenting others; I want to look back and say “Wow, God surprised me everyday with moments that I never expected…”
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Do you ever feel disappointed because your expectations are not met? How can you release those expectations? Share your comments below!