Faith, Fear

Great Expectations

November 15, 2012
Well girls… it’s late.  It’s 11:32pm and way past my bedtime.  What happened to me?  I used to be able to stay up till the sun was practically rising.  I was young, wild, and free!  Now I feel like an old lady who only wants to sit on my cozy couch, drink a cup of tea and lay my head on my pillow by 10:30.  Life.  It passes by so quickly.  And I’m not even that old.  ha  So I’ll be honest… like my friend Heather wrote the other day.. I am just not in the mood to sit and write to you all.  I would much rather be sleeping.  Must be the post traveling “flu”.  The circumstances of the week have left me to write at the very last minute, so my apologies if this comes across a little confusing or jumbled.  I pray that the Spirit will speak through me tonight in the midst of my weariness and hopefully meet your expectations.  😉
Even though I’m just now sitting down to write, I have been thinking about the very essence of what I would like to write about.  Throughout the week I have been talking to a lot of friends who have been going through significant struggles.  Some battling depression, some battling indecision, a lot of insecurity and hopelessness.  And as I began to think about them and pray for them I felt like I began to look into a dusty mirror.  I began to see myself in different times of life with the same struggles and insecurities and I felt like the Lord really spoke to me.  I feel like certain feelings of depression or worry or hopelessness can stem from the very root of expectations.  We all have them dont we?  Whether we are aware of them or whether it presses secretly within our hearts and we only come to find them when they are not met.
For me It started as a little girl.  Barbies were apart of my every day life.  I would always have a romantic plot to every story I made up with them.  Barbie would always find Ken in the end and they would experience some kind of conflict that would keep them a part and build up the tension.  But Ken would eventually find her and chase after her until he had her.  They would get married, raise a family and of course live happily ever after.  Slowly this began an expectation in me for myself.  I expected to meet a guy, fall in love, he would then chase after me until he had me, we would get married by the age of 21, have a beautiful family filled with boys and girls who were all well mannered and obedient and life would be good.  But my expectations were not at all what God had planned.  When my high school boyfriend ended up not being the man I was going to marry I began to panic.  I became depressed and hopeless.  When the college of my choice ended up not being what I thought it would, I became fearful and unsure.  When my good friend let me down and wasn’t the type of friend I thought she should be I became discouraged and frustrated.  When I hit the age of 23 and still wasn’t married I was annoyed and a little freaked out.  Crap!  I was supposed to have kids by now!  All my friends are getting married!!  When I met Mike and he didn’t meet the expectations I had in my head of the tall, dark, and stable 9-5 job kind a guy that my dad was I became confused, indecisive and anxious.  When I eventually had kids and found that my expectations of what kind of mother I would be were thrown out the window- I began to believe lies about myself that led to sadness, anger, shame and again hopelessness.
God has really blessed me girls!  Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful.  However, life sure didn’t happen the way I thought it would.  It sure didn’t happen when I wanted it to.  And a lot of my expectations were shattered when they eventually lined up to the will of God.  We ask for it all the time right?  Not my will, but yours be done Lord.  But do we really mean it?  Are we really willing to lay our hearts and plans down on the line in order for God’s work to be done in our lives?  Are we willing to let go of the ideas of how we think our life should go and give complete control over to the Lord?  And are we willing to search our hearts today and see what expectations may be lingering without us even being aware of them?
” The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”- Prov. 16:9
”  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will HEAR you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”- Jeremiah 29:11-13
Hear me when I say this- The issue does not lie with having desires and plans for your life.  God has given you desires and He sees them and knows them well.  The problem forms when we hold onto those plans and desires with a death grip and expect them to happen the way we want them to.  We begin to believe that we know what’s best for our life and nothing can change that.  It’s when our desires become our idols and then God changes our plan of action so we freak out and begin to fear and begin to doubt the goodness of God.  Here is where our joy begins to shatter and we see that our hope has never been in God, but has been in ourselves all along.  I still battle with opening my grip and laying down all the expectations that I not only have for my life, but also the expectations I have for myself.  Ya know??  Aghhh-  Lord strip us of expectations!!  And I pray that as we let go, God will give us the grace to teach us how to be content in any circumstance and the grace to hear His voice when we seek Him with our whole heart.  (Phil 4)
In all of this I have come to find a few truths.  Even when my expectations happen to be met, I still find something to be discontent about.  And when my expectations are met with a different plan from God, I have come to find that His way really is what is best.  And in everything, I wish I would have laid down my own will a whole lot more to experience the peace of God’s path, rather than the anxiety of fighting against it.  I want to live my life expecting God.  Expecting Him to act.  Expecting Him to comfort.  Expecting Him to love me, hold me when I cry, listen to me, and carry me down the path that may be windy and may be bumpy, but is full of life, beauty and His promises that He is for me and for my good.  And through that I want to learn to be content with every thing He has handed to me and will hand me as I walk forward one step at a time.
What expectations do you carry and need to let go of today?  Are there plans in your heart that you need to carry with open hands and begin trusting in God’s plan for your life?  Are there expectations that you have had that have not been met only to leave  you with disappointment and hopelessness?  If so, may I encourage you and myself.  You are in the hands of the Almighty God.  He is far bigger than any plan that we may have.  And He loves you.  He is taking care of you and bringing you to a place of glory.  There are troubles and pain in this life, but there is a God who heals, comforts and is overjoyed in giving His children good things.  His plan is perfect for you and was created even before you were born.  We may not always understand His ways or agree with the life He has given us… but we can surely rely on His goodness and love and hold on to the promises that He is for us!  And He most definitely has a plan!  He will never give up on us or leave us out to dry.  He is working in your life right now.  He just desires you to take your eyes off of yourself and place them on His face.  For He sees you, He sees your desires and He’s asking you to trust Him every step of the way.  Let go of the disappointments, the expectations you have for yourself and your life, and expect God to move in ways that will bring you hope and true joy.

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  • Cory November 15, 2012 at 8:41 am

    This was so encouraging for me, thank you :)

  • Vanessa November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I really needed to read this today. I am struggling with expectation, and since last night it has been a source of bitterness an even jealousy for me. So, thank you for sharing this, it really gave me a lot to think about.

    • Lauren November 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

      I highly recommend that u read the book “Greater” by Stephen Furtick . It is a great book !!

  • Lisa November 15, 2012 at 9:19 am

    love this Kelly—oh that we would be content like Paul said in EVERY SITUATION! May we count our blessings daily knowing that God is always good, and always in control, even when it seems our lives are not. Thanks for posting such encouraging words!!

  • Leah November 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

    John Piper says in his study “Desiring God” that a sense of entitlement or expectation is a form of pride. It’s an interesting way to think about it. We pity ourselves when we don’t have the things we want because we think we deserve them. Unfortunately, we sort of don’t deserve anything, but because God loves us much more than we can imagine He blesses us.

    Really appreciated this post. It’s definitely been something I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m learning to trust God and lay down my expectations.

  • Emily November 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    This really encouraged me. I needed it today. So, thank you for writing!

  • Lori November 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I TOTALLY needed this today. Wow. Thanks, girl! :)

  • tina November 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Ha! How true it is Kelly. My plan was to marry at 25, have 1st chile around 26/27; 2nd child at 29/30; 3rd child at 32. Here is what God had in mind. I met my wonderful husband at 26, married at 28, had my son 2 months prior to my 30th bday. Did I mention he was 12 wks early?? Due to this my 2nd child was not born until I was 33 (he was 13wks early). We stopped there. Lol. I will be married 18 yrs this coming Feb. My boys are happy and healthy. No onewould ever know they both entered this world at just over 2 lbs each. Life is good and God is Life. 😉

  • Becca November 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Kelly! I really needed this. I’m in my final year of high school and I’m going to be heading off to university next September. I’m excited, but I do need the occasional reminder to place all my future expectations on Him. Thank you so much!

    • Angie L November 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      I wish I would have trusted God with my plan when I was younger. Instead, I married a man who was not who I thought because I was looking for my tall, dark and handsome prince. He was abusive and I decided to end the marriage. I felt like a failure and depression set in. I couldn’t forgive myself for the big mistake that I had made and on a daily basis(for about a year) told myself that I was not worthy. Then one day, while I was driving in my car something came over me. I said out loud, “God, I finally get it. I surrender! I need to trust you and I’m leaving it up to you.” About a month after, I met my husband who is the man that God intended for me. We now have two boys and life is awesome.

      I have no regrets now, like I had before. I know now that everybody has there own path to a relationship with God and I had to take that curvy road to find mine!

      Thanks so much for this post. I hope many young women read this and surrender their life plan to God.

  • Katherine November 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Wow, Kelly! You are so encouraging! You are seriously my role model!

  • Erin November 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Can I just say that is exactly what I’m dealing with? I try to plan my life around my timing and have a hard time understanding that God’s timing is the perfect timing and I don’t need to worry. Thanks so much for your post it was so encouraging!

  • Sara Marie Franklin November 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

    This is a struggle that I have really had for so long. I have over 500 barbies and only two Ken dolls. My barbie role playing was always barbie making it on her own with her lot of friends to enjoy it with. Funny thing is that is exactly how my life turned out and that wasn’t my plan. I wanted the ken in my life and the perfect dream home and the children that went with it. I have to admit, I always wanted to adopt the kids-until I was in my 20’s and now found out that I can’t have children and would have to adopt. That made me so sad until I realized that if I can love other people children like my own – that anyone that I could hold in my arms and call them my child would be the loves of my life. Iam almost 36 and really wanted that person that loved me for me and the family of my own that I never had as a child. As I sit here with tears in my eyes I just realized that I have that just not in the form of a husband and children. I have two best friend that totally love me for the whole quirky insane person that i am and I have a very close “choosen” family that I could not live with out. Thanks Kelley for the reminder and encouragement that we are given what we need and that plans are all well and good as long as we don’t have the death grip.

  • Jenna November 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, thank you. And thank You, Abba, for Kelly’s gift of writing, the gift of this blog, and the gift of personal direction in our lives! This post was so encouraging to me, especially since I will be gradating high school in 2014 and really don’t know what I will be doing. Through this blog, I have grown to be thankful of the place that I am in life…For the longest time I really just wanted to be married and have my own kids and my own family, but I know that Christ is preparing me and my heart for all of that to come, and it will happen in a more beautiful way that I could ever imagine. Plus, seeing how busy you ladies are with your kids and tours, it makes me feel so free! I’m much more content now with my place in life than I was about two or three years ago. Thanks for the influence you’ve had on that new perspective!
    (Also, as a side note, my future daughters will not own any barbie dolls, just to let y’all know! 😉 )

  • feliflower November 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

    When we learn to allow God’s will into our lives,it becomes easier.Not because the mountain has been leveled but because our will to climb it has been increased.

  • Olivia November 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks so much for this, Kelly. Its what I needed to hear. Right now my family is in a big indecisive place where we might have to move to a different state because of my dad’s job and I’m right at the end of high school and I really didn’t think God wanted me somewhere different than where I am right now. Where I am right now has brought me miles and miles closer to Him so it doesn’t make sense to me if we were to move. But I know I need to trust Him and that He knows what he is doing. Thanks again for this post. :)

  • Dakota November 19, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Let me say that I’m very discouraged right now. Thank you so much for this. Reading this really helps me because I don’t know what God has planned for me. My best friend and I are struggling with the same thing. Everyone we know is getting married, having babies, and starting a family. And she and I are both young. (We’re both 21.) We both have the same dreams, and she and I have both lost our dreams in the hoplessness of the notion that our wants will never happen. My best friend says that she feels forgotten by God, and that she has no purpose. I have the same problem. This however really helps me, and I hope it will help her. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me. I don’t even really know what I have in store because my life is a whirlwind of doctor visits and hospital stays because of a disease I have. I wonder how can God use a sick girl to do anything but be sick. All of your blogs however give an encouraging piece here and there. Thank you and may God Bless you for what you are doing.

  • Katrina Silverdahl November 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Thank you for writing this blog and the many other blogs you have written. They are blessings and speak to the heart.
    I wanted to share two poems that I thought would also help girls and women. I hope that is ok. Thanks and God Bless.

    Work Here

    I know that my work here is not done
    So I continue to wander down the path laid before me
    Not knowing where I am going, but trusting that you will see me through
    That you will not let me down
    For I have been tested
    Hitting bumps along my path that have made me question what I am doing
    Why am I believing in something I cannot see
    But then I feel you pulling me back
    Catching me when I fall
    When I have sunk so far down I can no longer see the surface of the water
    My heart sings for joy when you wrap me in your loving arms and tell me everything will be ok
    For I know my work here is not done
    Its only the beginning
    So I question when will I know where I am going
    Who I am supposed to be
    And what lives am I to change?
    You answer my child I know your hearts desires
    I know the plans I have made for you
    I know that the beauty and possibilities of your life will all unfold in due time
    So be patient
    Trust that I won’t let you go
    Even if you feel I have I am always with you
    For I know your work here is not done!
    By: Katrina Silverdahl 6/18/10

    The Scars Within

    The pain that lies within is
    Unmistakable, indescribable
    It penetrates deep within
    Deeper than my heart
    Deeper than my soul
    Why can’t I get rid of this feeling of loneliness, of shame, of not being good enough?
    But what is good enough?
    Why do I always feel like I am not perfect?
    But what is perfect?
    Not being perfectly built in the eyes of humans
    Having beliefs that are shunned by many
    People may think my life is perfect
    However I am hurting inside just as much as others are
    I just hide it well
    But why do I feel like I must hide it?
    To be perfect?
    What is perfect?
    God says you are perfect just the way you are
    Accept it
    Be happy with it
    For until you are the scars within will take control and make you feel ugly inside and out
    Being perfect is overrated
    Feeling good about you is number one
    Accepting who you are and how you are made is number two
    Love you for your whole self
    Scars and all
    For God has a plan for you
    And God has a plan for me
    Like I always say a rose cannot be beautiful without its thorns
    And we cannot be beautiful or perfect without our scars they make us who we are
    So stop trying to be perfect
    And don’t hide your scars
    But instead let them shine
    Shine and be you!
    By: Katrina Silverdahl 5/5/11

  • Jennifer Simonton November 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Wow, this post was exactly what I needed to read. I am continually blessed by the posts that you share and they always speak into my life in such beautiful ways. Thank you so so much for sharing Christ with me and allowing Him to speak through you onto others.

  • Valerie November 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hey kelly,
    I really enjoyed this post (and all other posts you send ) but It just brings me to the question – I find that in my life/walk/interaction with GOd, I feel like I dont really have the confidence to do or plan anything just in case i may be geetting in God’s way in doing so and a lot of times i ask Him, but he takes so long to answer and even like know. Sometimes when I just pick something coz i am hard pressed for time and cant deliberate any longer, if it goes right then i take it as a ”yes” that was God saying it was correct and if it goes wrong then i feel i have to shoulder the burden for my own bad decisions. I feel kinda guilty that I’m asking you this and not Him – its just a little bit of a mess…

  • Natalia December 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I never felt so related to a post before, like Kelly you’re writing about my life. Sometimes it’s seems so hard but I always keep in mind that His will is thousands times better than mine. Keep up the good work!

  • Jessica January 2, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I like this a lot… this really gives me something to think about. Am I willing to do something crazy, something different to what I was expecting to do, and instead trust my Dad every step of the way? Thank you!

  • Talitha K February 1, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Wow, again this really spoke to me! Lately I’ve found myself asking God to let His will happen and not mine, and saying that whatever happens will be ok then, but then if it doesn’t work out quite like I planned, I still try to wangle my way to do what I thought was best. And I feel quite guilty afterwards. So just wanted to say thank you for this :) it really helps :)