So when two writer friends posted writing prompts for this week that seemed to go hand in hand, I could hear a “sacred echo”. Suzie Eller’s prompt is “I’m Expecting” and Kate Motaung’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is “Dream”.
What is it about expectations that can thrill us with all the possibilities and then chill us when they are unmet? Dreams and expectations are wrapped around hope and when those dreams come true, we are filled with it and when they are dashed, our hearts are emptied. Faces and attitudes usually reflect either way.
We should definitely have expectations and dreams. They propel us forward. They give us what is needed to move toward what God has planned for us – God given dreams – glimpses into where He is going with our lives, our families, our ministries and careers. Yet when our expectations of how those dreams will play out dominate our feelings and emotions, discouragement and discontentment can seep into our hearts if we forget who needs to be in control.
Marlo Schalesky wrote in God Have You Lost Your Mind?,
“So what do we do when life as we experience it clashes with our expectation of what life should look like, how God should act on our behalf? We glimpse God’s dream for us, we surrender our own dreams, and then our expectations paint a glorious picture of everything wondrous that life will be. But it isn’t.
Wait a minute! We believed. We surrendered. We know what is true. Yet life looks nothing like we thought it would. And God looks nothing like we thought He would! What then? What do we do when experience and expectation conflict?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that God explodes expectations.
He is the God who calls us to leave our expectations at the door and come in to sit at His feet.
Excerpted from Wrestling with Wonder by Marlo Schalesky, copyright Zondervan, 2014.
Suzie Eller wrote in The Mended Heart,
Maybe Jesus has been gently nudging you in a new direction for a long time….calling you to make an absolute U-turn and there’s nothing gentle about it.
In momentum there will always be adjusting, pruning and realignment, for we are transforming from old to new.
And I love this from Suzie:
Take comfort. You aren’t the first person to feel in limbo. Something is taking place inside of you, and this limbo period might just be an important part of God’s ongoing work.
Whether our dreams are coming true and are expectations are being met or life looks nothing like we thought it would right now. God alone directs our steps and He is the one who brings His plan to pass with great timing.
Can we surrender our hopes, dreams and expectations to God’s timing? Can we trust God? I’m determined to sit at His feet even when I feel like I must tie myself to His chair.