Hi Peace Family, Jami here and I was recently reading about how the root of many of our resentments and unhappiness stems from unmet expectations. “Expectations are just premeditated resentment.” Boy…does that hit home! I am a focused, goal oriented person with a bit of perfectionism thrown in. That combination can make for unrealistic expectations from yourself and others.
I realized I was putting pressure on myself to meet certain standards that no one else was requiring of me. Family and friends reminded me that they weren’t expecting me to be perfect…I was doing that to myself. What a burden to put on someone, especially YOURSELF! I am here to tell you today just don’t do it. It will lead you to be disappointed in yourself and others too.
There is a book called “Unhitching From The Crazy Train: Finding Rest In A World You Can’t Control” by Christian author/Counselor Julie Sparkman. In it she explains how we all have a picture of how life should go. The dream job. Close Friendships. Loving, grateful children. A perfect marriage. But life doesn’t go according to our plan. So we corral and control—determined to make our picture come true. But when that dream job isn’t fulfilling, when our friends disappoint us, when our perfect babies turn into teenagers with minds of their own, when our marriage is far from perfect, what do we do? I am learning to let go of unintentional efforts to corral and control people and circumstances and replace them with God’s bigger picture. Replacing unmet expectations with a deep, soulful rest that only Jesus can bring.
That kind of deep rest is dependent on the finished work of a Savior who will never leave us alone. As we experience him more in everyday life we learn how to trust him for the rest he promises. So I am attempting to jump off the crazy train of stress and unmet, unrealistic expectations. The kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to give ourselves a break. You don’t have to be perfect and neither does anyone else in your life. We are human and all struggling to let go. God’s grace is the sweetest sound I know. So embrace it and extend it to yourself. And you (and everyone else around you!) will be a lot happier.