Heavenly Expectation

Heavenly Expectation

ex·pec·ta·tion·it·is
noun
  1. a fake disease I made up to describe my crippling desire for things to be exactly the way I expect and want them to be.

I have a bad case of “expectationitis” and I get it really bad during the holidays because I LOVE traditions and the holidays are full of them.

Every year, around Christmastime I have to intentionally pray that God will give me the patience and open mind to experience His season the way He wants me to, instead of the way I want me to. And, if I’m being really honest it’s hard…and most times, I end up trying to control things. I don’t want to, but it still happens.

I’m convinced this is how the enemy gets me, he makes me feel like everything has to feel and happen a certain way- when in reality everything that will happen has already been orchestrated by God to happen that way and is usually unexpected.

God’s plans are always greater than my expectations. It’s a truth we all know, but “expectationitis” can still sneak up. This Christmas was no exception, but I really do believe God taught me a valuable lesson during this holiday season that He will use to shape me throughout the rest of the year- because this is something I really struggle with year round.

As I have gotten older, God has started to open my eyes to why He placed the feeling of expectation in our hearts during this time of year in the first place. It isn’t so that we can eagerly expect to hang certain ornaments with certain people on a certain day or watch that one movie we love to watch on Christmas Eve.

The feelings of expectation are not for what and how we celebrate, they are for Who and why we celebrate- Jesus.

I always have to remind myself that we may know the ending of Jesus’ birth story, but the people who lived in the story didn’t have this same knowledge. They were desperately waiting in expectation for the Prince of Peace to be born and save them from themselves. I can only imagine the joy they experienced when they heard the Savior was born and their promised hope had come.

Even though I already know this part of His story, I still desire to have that same expectation for Him every year.

My prayer for all of us is to not let the enemy get us hung up on our own fleeting expectations, but instead for God to guide us into Heavenly expectation and adoration for Him on December 25th and every day after.

Our reason for expectation isn’t always easy to remember during the chaos of our everyday lives but it is always true- whether we choose to realize it or not- because He is always constant.

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death.” -Philippians 1:20

Photography by Ashley Linch
 

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Purple Emotions

Purple Emotions

I have “Expectation-itis”. Or, at least, I think I would have that if it weren’t something that I made up…

Creating massive, un-reachable expectations for those “once-in-a-life-time” moments is a really bad habit of mine. But, I believe that we all have this “bad habit” within us to some extent. 

Birthdays.

Anniversaries.

Graduations.

Weddings. 

These are all of the joyful occasions that we learn to celebrate with crazy enthusiasm (and lots of cake). They are the rare, good parts of life that allow us time to focus on the beauty of this world & the people we share it with. As a society, I don’t think we do that very often. We don’t reflect on the beauty.

Humans are so good at getting caught up in what doesn’t matter. Trust me, I know. Actually, I think that “Expectation-itis” is the enemy’s attempt at ruining the pure joy God has for us in celebrating the life we get to live. 

The reason I am talking about my “Expectation-itis” is because I am graduating high-school in exactly 52 days. Prom. Goodbyes. Yearbooks. The Last Day. I know plenty about the expectations I’m supposed to have and the expectations everyone else has (A.K.A. senioritis…I just like my word better). But I don’t know how I feel about all of it. 

I mean, there are parts of me that are excited & curious about the “post-high school” world, but most of me is not ready to leave yet. High school has been so wonderful to me. All of the friends I have made, the teachers I have bonded with and the experiences I’ve had have impacted my life in an amazing way. How do I bring some of the best years of my life to an end?

I know why I’m going to miss it so much, I just don’t know how I’m going to feel once it’s gone. Especially since I’m surrounded by so many people who are counting down the 52 days to “freedom”. I’m almost positive I’m the only one who is going to miss it.

I’m sure once I look back at this, after I’ve graduated and have moved on with my life, I will think this was a silly thing to be perplexed over. I mean, I’m trying to choose between the sad & blue emotions of leaving or the excited & red emotions of moving on…but instead all I am is confused and really purple. There is no black & white, or in this case blue & red. I’m at a stand-still with these emotions based on my past experiences with my “Expectation-itis”. I know how much I expect of big moments (like the one happening in 52 days…) and how much of a let down it is when those expectations aren’t met. So, I guess I decided I wouldn’t let my brain get that far by freezing my feelings towards the situation. And that’s not working either.

Sitting here, writing this out has opened my eyes to the situation, though. As I think about the moments that make up why I’m going to miss high school, I realize they are all spontaneous & sincere. The best moments I’ve had are the ones that weren’t restricted by my expectations.

With or without expectations, the next  52 days will go by. Instead of worrying about the number of days and what is beyond them, I am going to choose to celebrate & bask in the beauty of this amazing time.

I’m not bringing the best years of my life to an end. No. I’m getting to transition from goodness to greatness. And that is something to be excited about.

I, Rachel A.K.A. One Emotionally Purple High School Senior, pronounce that the next 52 days (and beyond!) are going to be “Expectation-itis” free & joy-filled.

I hope yours will be too.