Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Expectation of Hope

|| "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." Proverbs 27:1 ||


Nothing this year went how I expected it to.

For instance, I did not expect "man buns" to become a big thing (unfortunately they did). Or for people to demand that I watch them do a stupid dance move (I'm proud to say that I have never whipped or "nae naed"). Or for people to demand to know what my shoes are (that was probably the most annoying thing). Or any of the other weird things that have happened this year.

But more seriously, there was a lot of disappointment. In different ways, with different things. That's not to say there weren't great things that happened, because great things did happen. Like, I got a cat and went to NITOC. But not so great things happened too.

Maybe it's just me, but I always have these unspoken expectations at the beginning of each year. At New Years, at my birthday, at the beginning of the school year. I expect all the things I've been waiting for to finally happen.

But a lot of those things didn't happen.

Some of them almost did, but came one step short. Or a lot of steps short. Some things faded away, other things grew in ways I didn't foresee.

Things have changed a lot in the last year. My priorities, my friendships, my relationship with God. Everything feels different.

I expected things of other people, I expected things of myself, I expected things of God.

But, as it turns out, I'm really bad at predicting things. Unfortunately for me, I day dream. A lot. I like looking ahead to the future, even just the near future. This leads to expectations. Expectations, too frequently lead to disappointments.

I misunderstand things and misinterpret things. I say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I ask the wrong questions, I put pressure on myself and other people. That's not fair of me. It's selfish. You don't owe me anything, any explanations. I have no right to ask, to expect that much of you. I'm sorry I have.

I want to be right about things. I don't want to be surprised, but that's usually the case. Life moves slowly, but when we look back it feels like an instant. Memories can be deceiving like that, and memories fuel expectations.What has happened, what people have done, change how we expect them to continue.

I have expectations for next year, even if I'm not sure what they are. But I have no idea what will happen next year. I can control so little. What I can control doesn't usually feel like enough to make any difference.

I guess that's why we have to live in the present. Worrying about the future doesn't change it. Worry keeps you from taking action. Worry holds back more good than bad.

So the expectation I choose to have is that of hope and faith. Hope that I'll make it to the other side. Faith that God holds the days of my life. Hope that extends beyond disappointments. Faith that is stronger than fear.

Sometimes the plans we make and the plans God has are two different things. We have to be willing to release our expectations, to have faith that His calling is greater than your five year plan, greater than the college we've had you've had your heart set on, greater than what you think you're capable of.

The future will come, and when it comes it will be different than how you expect. But nothing lot surprises God. He saw that plot twist a mile away when I didn't notice it until after it happened.

I don't know what's gonna happen next, but I know I'll need grace to get through it. That's what's up.

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