Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Unmet Expectations



It was a very challenging weekend for me. The news about my sister, Bobbi's pregnancy came as a shock to most of my family. This just is not what we expected.

All too often, I find that I want God to not just consider my expectations, but make life play out just as I have imagined. I form expectations about any given situation and just assume that God will work it out the way I want. Thankfully, that's not how God works. He is God and He knows what is best for me.

But let me tell you, it hurts to have unmet expectations. I was disappointed many times throughout my weight loss journey when things did not go as planned. I would eat really well and have a gain! There were other times when I made poor food choices and I would lose. I wanted the weight to come off over night and it took over a year. I wanted to lose 1-2 pounds per week. However there where some weeks where I only lost 0.2 pounds, I would think to myself, "Does this even count as a loss?".

I am sure that you have a list of things that have not gone your way, talk to God about it. Then we must learn to change our expectations so that we expect God to work in each and every situation in our lives. What used to be disappoint to us, now looks like the hand of God at work in our lives.

Our expectations must be realistic and flexible. I am not a very flexible person so this is challenging, but I want to begin to work on this in my life. I hope that you have the courage to do the same.

Below is Monday's Proverbs 31 Devotional that was such an encouragement to me. I hope that the Lord uses it to encourage you as well.

. . . . . . . . . .
Faith over Feelings
23 Aug 2010
Tracie Miles

"For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5b (NIV)

I spent months working on it, with big expectations and high hopes. But in the blink of an eye, it was crushed. This reality tore into my heart like a jagged knife, ripping my dream into tiny little shreds. Disappointment was so great; it was difficult to process my feelings. I had worked tirelessly on this project and now I was not only feeling disappointment, but rejection.

Disappointment soon turned to irritation, then resentment. I didn't FEEL it was fair.

Why didn't God answer my prayers? Why had He placed a dream in my heart only to allow it to crumble? Why had He let this happen? Why me?

I knew I needed to have a good attitude and not give up, but I did not FEEL like doing that at all!
Questions continued to pummel my brain. What is the use? Why try again? If God didn't answer my prayer after all this time, why bother to keep trying?

You see, I allowed my feelings to overtake my mind, and let my FAITH take a back seat.

All I could think about was how this disappointment made me feel, instead of what God may be doing that my faith could not see. I felt things weren't fair, without remembering God's ways are best. I felt a longing for immediate results, instead of trusting God's timing is perfect.

I soon realized my feelings were getting in the way of my faith. So I went to Psalm 25 (NIV), and allowed the following verses to wash over my spirit.

Verse 1, "To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;"

I felt discouraged, unworthy, hopeless, rejected. So I poured my feelings and my soul out to God. And He listened.

Verse 2, "...in you I trust, O my God. Do not let m e be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me."

God reminded me to trust Him, not a desire or a dream. Not the world's view of things. Not my abilities. Not my timeframe. Not my ideas. Just Him. I prayed about my enemies - intangible feelings such as self doubt, insecurities, frustration, and discouragement.

Verse 3, "No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse."

Regardless of whether or not my desires become a reality, I will not be put to shame, because God is my God. If His plans coincide with my dreams, I know He will keep His eternal promises.

Verses 4-5a, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,"

These words stopped me in my tracks. I began to think more rationally. Why have I been beating my head against a wall? Why have I been consumed with anxiety and frustration? Am I allowing God to direct my paths? God gently reminded me that He is the teacher; we are the students.

Verse 5b, "...for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

If I put my hope in my own desires and abilities, I simply set myself up for failure. My only hope for joy and fulfillment comes from Christ alone. Hope can only be found in Him, not people, careers, husbands, children, church, financial success, a carefree life, or dreams that come true.

Disappointments will always happen. With God, however, we can turn those disappointments into God's appointments to trust Him. The first step is exercise our faith over our feelings.

Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

10 comments:

-J.Darling said...

Your post and picture inspired my deep thought thursday post! It's not a rebuttle, just a different aspect of expectations. :)

Living a Changed Life said...

Deep thinking is great! Good post. Was glad to read a different point of view.

Jaime ~ The Etsy Shop Spotlight said...

Wow, when I read, "What used to be disappoint to us, now looks like the hand of God at work in our lives" it spoke volumes to me and to be honest, I began to weep a little. I see things in my own life that I would practically BEG God to take away or make better and then when I look back I see that it was meant to be, that thorn was suppose to be there and if it hadn't been there, I wouldn't be where I am today. God used that thorn to change me and make me into the woman He wants me to be (and He is still using thorns to do so).

I was really glad I found your blog. I am trying to lose about 40-50 lbs and I am struggling. I can't seem to fit exercise in and when I do have time, I don't feel like it. Food is such an issue for me... it's so hard for me not to pig out, but I'm better than I use to be. Anyway, after seeing your before and after picture I felt some hope for myself. I'd love to know how you did it, how you made yourself eat well and the things you ate. Maybe some day you can email me about your plan :)

Thanks so much!
Jaime

Living a Changed Life said...

Hi Jaime! Thanks for writing me. Weight loss is such a challenging thing, but there is always hope. I will email you more of my story.

Mrs. O said...

Jennifer, this is a great post. I'm right there with you (as you know). I'm struggling right now, in more areas than just the weight. It's hard to manage sometimes, but as you said, this is quite possibly the hand of God. What I should do is stop and take notice...so that is the goal for today!
Mrs. O

Living a Changed Life said...

Hey Mrs. O! I'm so glad to know that I am not alone. All too often I am focused on my circumstances when I should be looking up to the Lord. Hope you can see Him today!

Christina Jeanne said...

This is a great post. It really inspired me. I think sometimes having expectations can work against us. Only God knows what is best for us even if we don't always agree.

Kerry McCullough said...

Hi there! Following you from blog frog. Looking forward to reading :)

Mine is http://www.nestingwithniall.blogspot.com. Stop by any time!

Jennifer said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG

Living a Changed Life said...

Thank you!

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