Releasing Expectations to Walk in Grace
Expectations. We all have them. We have an idea of how things should go. We hope for a particular outcome based on efforts.
We can’t help but fall into expectations based on what we’ve already learned through past experiences. But sometimes those expectations are more like vows declaring, “I’ll do this, because of that.” We end up forging a set of beliefs related to those situations experiences, and often those beliefs are not consistent with the promises of God.
We forsake what we know about who God and how He operates according to what the Word says is true in exchange for what we feel about God because of what we experienced.
It’s like the flooring that was in a kitchen of a rental house we once lived in. The landlord decided to renovate and thankfully gave us the opportunity to pick the new linoleum. I was happy to find a lighter color to replace that awful red brick. At the time of the demo, I stood there amazed. Underneath that dingy brick top layer was a light floral pattern. Below that one was a dark stone style. Below that one was a lighter version. Each renovation was the opposite of the previous one.
We’re the same way when it comes to relationships and the opportunities before us. We quickly identify what didn’t work and make vows to do things differently. But our vows never work because we’re only one part of the equation.
While we can control our own response, we can’t make other people do things differently.
We can’t make external circumstances accommodate our internal expectations.
If we try, we'll end up creating a set of expectations for ourselves and others that leads to undue pressure and disappointment. So what should we do instead?
What if we became aware of our silent expectations and surrendered them to God instead each time? And what if we choose to believe God's Word concerning His character and commands, promises and provisions as we face uncertainty ahead? Would we then be able to embrace each moment with unfolding grace?
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 MSG
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
The more aware we are of our expectations, the more we can release them all to God.
When we get honest with God about our own personal needs and concerns, fears and hopes, He will be faithful to respond to our heart's cry. Most of all, that simple release will result in a kind of sweet joy and steady peace that comes with a looser grip on that which we can't control, no matter how hard we try.
Because there is more,
At the heart of The Better Mom is the message that Jesus calls us to live not a weary life, but a worthy life. We don’t have to settle for either being apathetic or struggling to be perfect. Both visions of motherhood go too far. Ruth offers a better option. She says, “It’s okay to come as we are, but what we’re called to do and be is far too important to stay there! The way to becoming a better mom starts not with what we are doing, but with who God is inviting us to become."
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