Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Expectations… We all have them.
We expect the people we love to be loyal.
The people we do business with to be honest.
Our children to be obedient.
Our spouses to be faithful.
Our siblings to be supportive and our parents to be loving.
This list can go on and on forever. But here’s the truth about expectations: we don’t normally get what we expect.
People lie, they cheat, they’re dishonest, they’re unfaithful, and they’re everything we didn’t expect them to be.
While it is a natural human instinct to desire great expectations of others, especially our families, the truth is that we live in an imperfect world which consist of imperfect people, ourselves included.
Yes…people have failed us, but we also fail ourselves. I know I have and more than just once. We set a goal…but we never even attempt, we make promises that we don’t keep, but yet we always expect loyalty from others.
No matter where it’s coming from failed expectations can be very painful and something very difficult to overcome. When not addressed properly it can be the cause of some of our greatest roadblocks in our progression. We can find ourselves overthinking a situation stuck in a maze of “why’s“.
In this state, we all have at least two options: we can continue to overthink and create stagnation in our lives or we accept what has happened and move beyond it. The choice is your’s alone to make.
There was a time in my life where I was constantly consumed by “why’s?” and overthinking a situation as a result of unmet expectations. I was asking the wrong questions and going nowhere. I put my dreams and goals on hold and aside from living a routine life, my time and energy was spent feeling sorry for myself. I was living in a “woe is me” mentality with no desire to grow or progress. Today, I can confidently admit that I am slowly embracing a life where I am accepting the things I can not change.
At this point of your reading you’ve probably asked: “So, what is it that you’ve accepted?” Well here it is:
I’ve accepted the reality of what is and how a situation is presented before me.
I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have control over others (or how they treat me).
I’ve learned to practice self-control, not people control.
Please don’t get me wrong: we all should desire to feel appreciated, respected, and loved. In fact, it is a desire that God created within each and every one of us. But I’ve learned that the human race cannot always promise us those things that we earnestly desire.
So in the alternative, I’ve learned to accept. I’ve accepted the truth that we have all have fallen short.
Let me clarify that acceptance doesn’t make the situation right and it certainly doesn’t make the person right, but it positions us to a place where we can surrender completely to God. True acceptance allows us to experience the power of total surrender to the peace that surpasses understanding that will guide our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus. I value the peace that Jesus offers me and I’ve realized it is my responsibility to maintain it. Today I have chosen to do that by accepting everything that I can’t control. I surrender my expectations to my Heavenly Father trusting that He will make all things work together for my good and His Glory.