Unmet Expectations

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Look at us.

Look at those bright smiles.

So excited and expectant for a great journey ahead.

So unaware of the news we were about to receive.

This is a picture of my line sister and me at the airport, shortly before we found out that our trip to New Orleans, LA had been canceled. Not delayed. CANCELED.

I thought that I would be writing a post about our lovely adventures, decadent food, beautiful sightseeing experiences, etc.

Unfortunately, that’s not what this post is about.

Because life is life, and life happens.

We did not make it on that plane, and I have a feeling that we weren’t supposed to.

Maybe we were spared from something.

The airline said the flight was canceled due to “mechanical issues,” but who really knows if that’s true?

All I know is that there’s no use crying over spilled milk.

So I tried to keep a positive attitude, despite the seemingly sucky situation.

Others with and around me weren’t as optimistic, understandably so.

Most were angry, upset, confused and just plain irritated.

We coordinated our schedules, saved money, planned for the weather, stuffed all of our items in backpacks (we were on a mission, ya’ll!) booked hotel arrangements, etc.

We did everything we were supposed to do.

Yet, it still didn’t work out in our favor.

No matter who or what was to blame, it wasn’t going to change the reality that we weren’t getting on that plane.

So, we had to make the best out of our time together.

 

I share this story because 1.) I told you guys I was going to write about the trip and 2.) I see so much purpose to glean from it.

Ultimately, this is a metaphor for our walks with Christ. At least it is for me.

I get angry when things don’t happen my way.

I feel upset, neglected, frustrated.

I want to be in control.

I want to think that if I “check all of the boxes,” then nothing bad will happen.

That’s not how life works, though!

I’m learning how to roll with the punches.

I’m learning how to find joy and humor in the little things.

I’m learning how to appreciate the present moment. Because that’s all we have.

Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

Now, although I would consider myself to be one of the calmer ones who was in that line of disappointed travelers, that doesn’t mean that I always respond this way.

Even after that “non-trip,” there have been situations in recent days that haven’t gone my way and I’ve been extremely upset.

I heard a sermon the other day that talked about a practical formula to channel peace. It’s pretty simple.

Control what you can control. Trust God to take care of the rest.

It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

What it really comes down to is surrender.

To put our hands up and yield to the fact that there is a greater force at work in our lives.

The biggest lesson for me, though, is to know that no amount of planning can supersede God’s sovereignty.

Even if I dot every “i” and cross every “t,” some things just aren’t meant to be.

And that doesn’t mean that I did a single thing wrong!!

That’s the part I struggle with.

I can be introspective to a fault.

It’s a great gift. Wonderful writing comes out of it. (*wink, wink*)

But I have to be careful to not be overly self-critical.

Now, of course, if there’s a situation that is awry and I have some part to play, then I will almost always make the proper steps to rectify it.

I say “almost” because I’m human. Sometimes I hold grudges. Sometimes I don’t like confrontation. Sometimes asking for forgiveness hurts, ya know?

But if I’ve done my self-inventory and can find no fault, then I need to rejoice!

I can’t stay in my head and replay the situation a million times.

It’s not going to change anything.

I have to move forward.

I have to believe that the resolution will come in its own timing.

Or, I have to be okay if a resolution doesn’t come at all.

That doesn’t change God’s goodness.

That doesn’t change my amazingness.

Sometimes we just have to shake the dust off and let things stay in the past.

And thank God for what He spared us from or what He is preserving us for.

 

I’m so grateful that I believe in El Roí, “The God Who Sees.”

There are dozens of different names for God in scripture.

Abraham’s maidservant Hagar got a new revelation of God when she became pregnant with Ishmael.

She declared Him as El Roí, because He saw her in her brokenness and sadness and blessed her with a child. (Refer to Genesis 16:13)

God sees you in your sadness.

He sees you in your anger.

He sees you in your despair.

He sees you in your skepticism.

He sees you in your confusion.

He sees you in your fear.

Believe in the God who sees!

 

We may not always know the purpose of unmet expectations, but we have to trust that everything happens for a reason.

The next time you’re faced with a disappointment, remember that you are loved by this all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God. Meditate on this verse and trust that it is all working for your good!

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Until Next Time,

Jess

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