College has been the hardest season of my life. Approval and performance have been my oxygen. Day-in and day-out, my commitments have felt like an endless list of pressured demands. In the early years of this particular season, I thought if I could try harder, perform better, and chase lesser things for immediate fulfillment, I would finally reach the thick, black finish line. But to my surprise, the line continued to move back and it grew more distant with every step I took. It wasn’t until God abruptly ended a chapter in this season of my story that my paradigm and perspective shifted.
As tough and painful as this chapter was, I decided to bookmark it. This way, I can easily find my way back to assess and to see the goodness and growth. Without this chapter, God would have never gotten my attention to turn from my performance and perfection and return to Him. God would have never had the opportunity to show me how my expectations of myself and of others provided the framework for promoting performance-based endeavors.
For me, there has always been a little gray space between my expectations and my reality. This is the space that encourages my performance-based self to keep trying, to put in more time, and to rely on my abilities. I then believe that once I do all of this, my expectations will finally become my reality. If you can relate, can I whisper something into your soul that God desperately wanted me to know in my hard season, and even today? Formulating expectations is exposing our desperate attempt to gain control. Control over ourselves. Control over our circumstances. Control over our opportunities. Control over our relationships.
We cannot take a step further in our calling and in our God assignments if we don’t make an immediate shift from expectation to expectancy. Let me explain…
When we have expectations, we are relying solely on our performance and abilities. But when we are expectant, we allow God to join us on our journey. We are expectant that He will show up, that His purposes will prevail. And even when God feels distant, there is an expectancy that exists, promising that He is in control. Alive. Dynamic.
We must have a constant and living expectancy in our relationship with Jesus so we don’t have to resort to our personal expectations and responsibilities. If we do resort to these lesser things, we neither know or trust Him and choose to live in fear. We create certainty out of uncertainty with responsibility and expectation.
God gives us the ability to respond to our circumstances by being present with us.
To be free. To love. To serve in every situation.
Each moment is different and unique and wonderful. He is our ability to respond if we extend an invitation to Him, inviting Him into every circumstance and situation.
What I wish I knew in those early years of college? That I have nothing to prove. I can lay my expectations for myself and for others down, because everything in my life is connected to God. In Him, my life is moving and dancing along with the wind to His glorious beat. When I turn from lesser things, like performance, perfection, and comparison, I have the opportunity to return to Jesus. And you do too, my sweet friend. He is the One who fills every empty place and fulfills every longing. Our soul can sweetly sigh because Jesus provides the rest, acceptance, and fulfillment we have been searching for.
I am so excited to see how God will move this month during the series What I Wish I Knew. I will be featuring a few of my favorite bloggers + giving away a few of my favorite things...all month long!
This week, I will be giving away Rustic Cuff to THREE of my readers. Leave a comment below to enter!