Thursday, August 13, 2015

Unmet Expectations

Have you ever felt disappointed? unconsidered? left out? uninvited? unheard?

I would venture to say everyone can answer that with a YES! We have ALL found ourselves, at one time or another, with unmet expectations. And it's not really a great place to end up.

If I am honest, this happens daily in my my marriage, in motherhood, in ministry. It happens almost annually around the holidays, or on my birthday. It happens when company visits or when I vacation. It happens with family and with friends. It happens surrounding major life events. Unmet expectations and I are, unfortunately, quite acquainted.

It is so easy for me to mentally paint a picture perfect [fill in the blank: day, nap time, Christmas, date, visit, wedding, phone conversation, discipleship meeting, party, play date, Bible study, etc.] in my head and then when reality strikes, it looks like a Picasso next to my Monet.

The question is not whether or not we will face disappointment, rather the challenge is how to respond to the it.

For me, I run through several options...
A. Cry.
B. Share my selfish thoughts.
C. Laugh.
D. Put on a happy face, yet allow my heart to fill with bitterness.
E. Gossip.
F. Gratitude. Joy. Contentment. Humility. Understanding.

And, ideally, I choose F. (although A. is likely when pregnant...). When I am hit with disappointment, I so long to respond with a humble heart--one that recognizes I actually am undeserving and not entitled to whatever it is I did not get. But, unfortunately, I cannot say that I always do. Because I am still in process. Time, seasons of life, grace, relationships, and the being able to empathize have all aided in growing me in this area. But again, F. is not always my initial response. And for that, God pours down His grace. He continues to mold me more and more into His image. And the process ain't always pretty. But the outcome is absolutely worth it.

How do you handle disappointment? I would encourage you to check your heart next time you come face to face with it.

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