great expectations

i am so happy that God’s expectations of me are not like peoples’ expectations of me. when God expects something, he comes to that expectation knowing me completely. knowing every weakness, every flaw, every limitation that i have. he knows what i can do and how much to stretch me.

and his expectations always come with power to meet them. he never asks me to do anything on my own, in my own strength. and if i don’t meet an expectation, he is never disappointed, because he knew exactly what i would do from the beginning. how could he be disappointed when he knew it all along? what relief!

but people. man, they are hard. we have expectations for each other all the time. and we come up with these expectations mostly based on what we want or what we think we deserve, without consideration for where others are at, what is impacting their capabilities, or what is realistic for them.

i’ve disappointed a lot of people in my life. and most of that has been in the past few years. this illness took my capacity and flushed it right down the toilet. it took my ability to meet social expectations. it’s so hard, sometimes impossible, to be in a crowd or a group. for some reason i don’t understand, it’s like climbing mt. everest to initiate contact with most people.

i feel the weight of expectation pressing down on me in every social situation, and where i used to excel in those situations, i feel completely incompetent in them now, and i start to panic and want to run. or i just avoid them first altogether.

i’ve been listening to “all that i can say” by the david crowder band a good bit lately. and i’ve interpreted the chorus in a way that maybe most people dont:

And this is all that I can say right now
i know it’s not much
And this is all that I can give
yeah that’s my everything

i hear that and i think, “i know that everything i got is garbage, and that it’s so far from enough, and that i can’t tell you all that i should, and i can’t talk to you enough, but it’s all i’ve got. see that over there? that’s it.”

when i tell God that, he’s not surprised or disappointed. he takes me just as i am and loves me, and all that i can give, even if it’s nothing, is enough for him. i come to him meager and small and empty, and that’s enough for him. because he is glorified in weakness, and he knows that i am just dirt.

but, when i tell people “hey, this is all i’ve got right now” it can be an entirely different story. they don’t see everything, they don’t know all that is true and my best is often not good enough.

well, i’ve decided that i need to figure out a right way to say (for lack of a better term) “screw it.” i’ve got to learn how to let go of the expectations of others and not let them weigh me down, without inappropriately disregarding people. how to do that exactly, i don’t know. but i do know that if people can’t understand that i’m sick and i’ve got limitations, and judge me because of those limitations, it’s unlikely that i’ll ever change that mentality, and frankly, i don’t have the energy to do it.

i’ve got to accept my limitations too, accept that my best is good enough, and choose to expend my limited capacity where it matters most. and i’m just not convinced anymore that convincing my critics is that place.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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3 thoughts on “great expectations

  1. Rachel,

    God never gives us more than we can handle, even though sometimes it feels like he has. Everytime I feel stressed over finanical problems and panic issues and depression, I look back and say I made it through. With the help of God Almighty. Live up to what God calls you do, not what others want from you, because most of the time they dont have a clue what they are talking about. Well anyway. that is my two cents worth

  2. thanks for reading, mary. i think God has definitely allowed much more in my life than i could handle, and still does all the time, BUT he has always given me his grace and power as well. he’s never allowed more than he is willing to see me through, never more than he is willing to give me enough of his power to get through. good thing, because i’d be in big trouble otherwise! 🙂

    i’m not sure where what God allows stops and where what God gives/authors starts, but i am not sure that all our trouble is authored or given by him. i think some of it is allowed by him, but is the result of sin’s impacts on this world. it doesn’t matter really though. i’ve got to do the same thing either way: trust God.

    have a great week, mary!!

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