expectations : a big ugly bag full

Expectations.

Such a heavy, weighty word laced with all forms of selfishness.

It is a really difficult one for me. Expectations……fair, unfair, spoken, unspoken…..They all lead down the same path to disappointment one way or another.

It breaks my heart over and over again and yet I don’t learn. I carry around my bag of expectations like a high priced Gucci bag that I have somehow earned and somehow have the right to show off, walking around slapping those I love with the weight of it.

It is gross.

I need to repent.

I need to be rid of this ridiculousness.

But it is tricky, especially because we don’t live on a deserted island all alone. We live in constant relationship with others. All healthy relationships have to have a give and take. We have to be there for one another, serve one another and love one another. But what if we feel taken advantage of, unappreciated or unvalued by those we love? We have all been there. We have felt the sting of feeling forgotten in a friendship, unappreciated by our children, overlooked by our spouse, frustrated by our parents. The list goes on and on.

How do we deal with that?

How do we throw out our ugly overpriced bag full of expectations gone unmet?

One glimpse into our world for advice on the matter and we will find a plethora of inspirational quotes and mantras telling us that if the person we are in relationship with isn’t treating us right then we should walk away. We should cut it off at the root and not turn back, for we were too good for them anyways.

We live in a world that tells us that more brokenness is the way to “fix” what is broken. This way of living just doesn’t work. It only breeds more selfishness. It only takes pieces of our hearts and hardens them, turns them black and lifeless.

Are there things that we can do within a relationship to help stop the disappointment of the unmet expectations? Sure. We can try. I for one, know that I could be a better communicator. But even on my best days of laying my heart out there in the most loving fashion, I am only human. I mess it up. Those that I love fall short, AS DO I. It is inevitable.

But…….(thank God there is a but) Jesus flips the paradigm. He teaches us to love in a way that feels completely unnatural.

Talk about a man who was unappreciated and undervalued! When I think about all that he went through while here on earth and all that he endured for me on that cross,  I feel like a total moron for thinking for even one second that I been unfairly treated. I am brought to my knees thinking of the ridiculousness of the things that I deemed appropriate to withhold my love for.

The truth of the matter is, that our human hearts only know how to love full of brokenness.

Love with expectations woven into its fibers just won’t stay in one piece.

If we can learn to lay it down and let Jesus truly invade our hearts, healing can come. Relationships can be restored and we can stop carrying around all of that extra weight of those heavy expectations.

Dear friends, this is not a one time deal. This is a breath by breath, moment by moment, day by day surrender.

HIS way to love is oh so hard and unnatural for us, especially when we try to do it with our own strength.

My hope and prayer is that I can learn to let him help me, learn to let him knock down walls in my heart daily so that HIS love can come in and all of the dead hardened pieces will fall away.

 After all…….His word tells us:

Love does not insist on its own way…….

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.