What are Your Expectations?
I have a funny story to share. Growing up my parents had some standard boxes that they would use to wrap gifts in. They might have been a toothpaste box, a shoe box or other repurposed container. Over time you knew that what was pictured on the outside of the box wasn’t what was on the inside. My expectations had been set to look beyond the packaging. Until one Christmas when I was seven years old. The standard supply of boxes didn’t quite match the size of a teddy bear I was to receive. My Mom borrowed a toaster box from my neighbor to wrap the gift in. When the time came, and I peeled back the wrapping paper the box wasn’t what I expected. I sat there in disbelief with the assumption that I was now an owner of a toaster. Could I use one in the future when I moved out on my own? Sure. But that time was far off. I tried to hold back my disappointment, but it was evident. I was encouraged repeatedly by my parents to open the box, but I resisted. It was bad enough to receive a toaster, I had no interest in taking it out of its packaging. Eventually, I opened the box to find my teddy bear inside. I was delighted and relieved. It was a big lesson in managing expectations that things aren’t always what they seem and that there can be something valuable behind something we feel is a disappointment.
Fast forward to my life as a college graduate. I had dreams to marry, have a career and start a family. What I didn’t realize is that I had begun to turn those dreams into expectations. And with those expectations I tied a timeline and my sense of worth. When parenthood didn’t come at the time that I expected, I was crushed.
I would say that many us can relate. We often, without realizing it, get stuck into thinking that our worth and value are tied to our status. “When I’m engaged” or “when I’m married” or “when I’m a mom” or “when I have this position” then I will have earned or retained my appropriate value. In our timeline too of course. And when this doesn’t happen, a loss of our perceived value occurs. And that’s right where the enemy wants us. It’s where we’re most vulnerable to his lies. Lies that we have to intentionally fight back against with truth.
Fighting back the lies with truth over my identity is a big piece of my infertility journey. I had expectations that I would be able to get pregnant quickly once we decided we were ready. And when my expectation wasn’t fulfilled, I started to realize just how much worth and weight I had placed on the ability to become a Mom. It was a slow process of shifting not just my expectations but completely re-aligning my foundation of my worth and identity. (I share in much more detail in Chapter 8 of my book: https://a.co/d/hvQcQ76.) Below are some suggestions that I would make as we fight back against any lies that we might believe in:
Step One - Get honest. What are the lies? What expectations or beliefs are you holding onto that need to be realized and labeled as a lie?
Step Two - Replace the lies with the truth. Scripture is rich with truth because it is our truth. Dig into God’s Word and find the scriptures that speak life back into who you really are.
Step Three - Repeat consistently. We have to renew our minds on a regular basis so that we are filled with the knowledge of who we are and whose we are.
We learn over time that life doesn’t go as expected. But surrendering our expectations to God and standing firm on the foundation of who He is and who we are in Him gives us the ability to navigate life with a fullness of joy. So don’t let your status define you. Let your Creator define your worth. He’s already established it and shared the truth of it. It’s just your job to claim it. 😊
Sharing a few truths below to get you started.
In Christ you are:
· A child of the King (Galatians 3:26)
· Loved beyond measure (Ephesians 3:18-19; Romans 8:38-39)
· Free (John 8:36)
· Beautiful (Psalm 139:13-16)
· Worth it (Romans 5:6-8)
*** Also, join me on Wednesday, March 15th at 8:00pm ET for a Facebook live event. We'll have some trivia about the book Love Always Wins, I'll discuss any questions you might have and we'll end with a devotional. Here’s a link to register for the event: https://fb.me/e/11wcLJFYZ
Can't wait to see you there!
Submit any questions that you'd like to discuss during the event here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QQVZ2PW