When the Expectation Is Unbearable

Expectations can be the best motivator or the biggest failure. Perspective is the difference between the two. I have to admit, I tend to favor the latter of the two. For me, it’s as if I’ve lived two different lives sometimes. There is the pre-hurt days of Amy, and the post-hurt days of Amy. Circumstances do that to us. When life seems full of more ups than downs, that day can come when everything changes. For me, the day(s) that happened are very real and still impact me everyday. My somewhat naive, slightly unaware life – one I very much enjoyed, mind you – completely left the day I experienced the hurt of betrayal, the loss of trust, the realization that the promise to “always be there for me” came with conditions. The days that followed felt foggy, impossible to believe I’d ever trust anyone again, and most of all, hopeless. Wasn’t my life supposed to be an investment in another life that actually made a difference? Yet, here I was, bruised and scarred, afraid to trust.

For years the hurt of my past has haunted me. It has stopped me in my tracks for YEARS. I’ve kept my heart very protected, bound in layers and layers of cushion, so that the hurt would somewhat bounce off, right? Right? The thought of being hurt again is suffocating sometimes, squelching out real living most times.

218850The enemy, while not all knowing, does know some stuff. He hits me in the face daily with accusations of “You are not enough,” “You are a failure,” “They don’t like you,” “You’re not meeting all of the expectations”. He’s a terror like that, invading the thoughts, filling the mind, doing whatever it takes to stop us from really living, from helping others to really live, too. Lately, the discernment that is God-given has collided with the lies I’ve allowed myself to believe the enemy speaks to me daily. While I know a title can hold certain expectations, the expectations have now become my title, the banner hanging over me that says, “You’ll never measure up”. Not being there enough for people, not speaking when I may not even see someone, not praying for someone when I don’t even know there is a need – some expectations true, some all in my head. Isn’t like the evil one to make us just insecure enough to render us unusable?

The words popped off the page at me, screamed “These are just for you!”

“When we know who we are, we are not defined by the opinions of others. When we know who we are, we are not defined by our successes, failures or by our circumstances. When we know who we are, we can change the world with Christ’s love!” ~Amy Ford

I wish the words  instantly changed things back to pre-hurt Amy days. They don’t. Within them is the challenge to take the hurt, the heavy-to-carry expectations and see that the love of God is within them, too. What passes through His hand is FOR our good, the hard and the easy. The weight I carry around of “maybe I should be more” falls off my shoulders when I lean against the Cross. For you, too, my friend.

Maybe today you are carrying around years of failure and mistakes. Maybe the enemy is using every opportunity to whisper words of death in your ear. Maybe you’ve missed years of real living because you’ve listened way too long. The truth is that we will never measure up to what man thinks we should be, but God says, “YOU ARE ENOUGH”. After all, He made us, and says to us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” James 1:17-18

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