More Expectationless, Less Faithlessness

With this semester taking me for a whirlwind, I am now realizing it’s been almost 4 months since I last wrote. And now the sooner the semester’s end is approaching, the harder it is to believe. But that’s just life. It goes on and I love that. Spring has crept in, and the light and warmth have begun to maintain their glow. The constant summer glare and heat will soon set in. I love the changing seasons and how I get to look forward to each one up and coming as I start to grow weary of the previous. It seems like the new ones always come in perfect timing. I am honestly never lacking in expectation and excitement for the next season. Even though I talk of how I despise the cold and sometimes all of winter, I really have no desire to stay in the same season all the time. For one, that would be incredibly boring. For two (I don’t know if that’s how you say that but hey it works), I love looking ahead and getting excited. I love looking forward to things — new things, changes in weather, atmosphere, relationships, stages of life. And while no season is perfect by any means, they are all beautiful in their own way.

I have always loved looking forward to things. Ever since I can remember I would find things to look forward to and overflow myself with excitement just because I could. In fact, it used to be that I loved looking forward to something almost more than when I was getting to experience it. I just loved looking forward to things. And I still do, but thankfully, I have grown out of over-exciting myself to the point where I have no excitement left when the day comes, whatever the event may be: a birthday party, spring break, Christmas, etc. I have gotten much better about not idolizing the expectations for that something. But then I realized that there are some times when I tend to overcompensate for my overexcitecism in that I try too hard to not to get overexcited about things. So, bottom line here, is that there is a balance somewhere in there. But the reason I air on the side of less excitement is that because, truthfully, expectations do not always match up to reality. Now I know I’m not popping anyone’s bubble nor brightening anyone’s lightbulb here. This is a well-known fact. I am just explaining how I’ve seen this theory play out in my life. In contrast to when I was little and found myself searching high and low for an up and coming thing to make me not sit still with excitement, there was a (and are) time(s), I believe, when I idolized setting my expectations as low as possible to avoid disappointment. Because let’s be honest, disappointment only stems from our own expectations not matching up to the situation at hand. When you thought you did so well on a test, because you studied for hours and you felt you deserved an A, but…You get a B-. Not a bad grade at all. But you were expectant of that A. Now on the other hand, if you put in minimal effort and still received a B-, the response would probably just be “cool.” and then you’d contently move on with the day… vs. fighting back a tear or two and venting to the next 5 unfortunate people you come in contact with preceding that class.

So, could it be that there are really only two options here? To A) overexcite yourself at every opportunity only to be let down when reality sets in the chocolate cake is just a little drier than you expected. Or B) set your expectations low or in the ground and then you’ll never be disappointed! But you may just take on the identity of the “Debbie Downer” (jk I know no one uses that term anymore) of your friend group.

Well, as you probably can tell, these are the two extremes. There is in fact a way to find balance. And in some cases, there is a way to find freedom from the disappointment and the pessimism. I have found the most freedom in having no expectations for something.

The freedom of no expectations.

For me, this has been the most freeing way of going through life, because it involves taking things as they come, living somewhat in the moment or day by day. It could look like simply being happy in the times that you are while allowing yourself to feel “not okay” when you’re simply not. Living free of expectations for yourself, your life, and for others. I could honestly probably write a novel about just this. I won’t for the sake of time. Maybe some day. But I am currently a full-time college student and a young life leader with a part-time job and some relationships I don’t want to see go down the drain 🙂 So not right now. So I suppose expectations can be necessary, and in some cases, impossible to avoid (i.e. if you know the water is cold you know it’s gonna be cold when you jump in it), but if you have never tried going into something, especially something out of your comfort zone, without much expectation, I strongly suggest it. I’ve gone on a trip to Cuba, into starting college, into my current relationship, and to a week-long worship school full of complete strangers with little to no expectation. And in all of those situations, during those first few steps I was taking, even without a well known “perfect” vision of what I was getting into (and keep in mind I am an INFJ), I found myself thriving. And come to think of it, I actually did jump into a really cold ocean on New Years Eve without thinking about how cold it was gonna be too much and it was great too! In the absence of expectation, there is a void. We as humans need something to cling to. This is why God calls us to have faith.

Replace your expectations with faith.

When we are uncertain of the road ahead, whether likely to be good or bad, we can take heart in knowing He has already been there before us. He goes before us, ya’ll. When we try and predict what something will be like, He laughs (or maybe cries) because He’s already seen it and He knows what’s coming. We ought to take comfort in this. We ought to line our expectations up with His, and all that requires is knowing He is good.

Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good of those who love Him”

Cling to this verse if that’s what you need to do. Cling to it until you know for certain it’s true. Love Him, seek Him, and trust Him. He will do the rest. So yeah, I guess I better wrap this thing up. But also, it’s the day before Easter, and how cool is it that Jesus rising from the grave was something that literally SHATTERED every expectation of every human who has lived, lives, and whoever will live. He is alive for eternity, you guys. What a plot twist. Jesus defeated death for us, so that now we can too. Whatttt. So cool. We did not deserve that, but He loves us more than we can ever imagine. That just shows how sad it is when we think we have reason to fear or worry. Even when the season your in currently seems so difficult and like it might never change, know it will. It’s okay to feel the pain, but have hope and find joy in His love on the Saturdays, knowing that it was on the next day that Jesus rose from the grave. Waiting for Sunday may seem impossible, but have hope because He still loves you, darling, and He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Alright now I’m finished (or “It is finished” am I right?) haha oh dear. I will now close this novella/blog with a quote from Martin Luther.

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf of spring time.”

Happy Easter, friends.

Also if you want to see what cool thing God is doing in my life right now, check this out!!!

https://www.gofundme.com/sendmeto21project

-Leah