Expectations can rob us.
Ironically, we are surrounded by these expectations. We think that by a certain age you: have to be married; have a certain type of job; have to have kids, not get divorced. It does work out like this for some.
When life doesn’t work out in these specific patterns, that, let’s face it aren’t necessarily rare but are patterns we see in the lives that surround us, it can be challenging. We have that Simple-Kind-of-Life-Gwen-Stefani moment.
You can feel like you did something wrong, somewhere.
It is a waste of time to try to figure out how you could have lived a life that was quite literally not possible for you (especially when due to circumstances out of your control). I see people do it all the time to different degrees. So many people are fuming at the life they didn’t have but were “supposed” to have.
I will never forget an OB-GYN who said my not having children by this age was my fault and selfish. Like I was supposed to grab some random man off the street while 23 and been like, You, right now, father my children.
I think these life expectations and pressures are often promoted by religious communities, and not maliciously. Hilariously, I find this to be true more and more these days, the ideas promoted in these communities don’t seem to match the kind of characters being cultivated in those communities. The expectation does not match reality.
I guess, all this to say, a life not lived can haunt you, if you let it. You can feel that things are off, when in reality, they really aren’t.
Life’s realities can be complex and sometimes abrasive so our soft, and at times, unrealistic desires.
Where we should rest is that place where we realize that with every step, we sought guidance. And if we lived in obedience to God, then where our feet have taken us is no accident, it is providential. Even if we are wronged, God doesn’t cease to be in control and able to turn something bad into good. But that’s the thing, it may look very different from what we expected.
Wishing for what couldn’t have been will rob us of the life that can be. A life that can break every expectation and mold and show God’s glory and goodness in a mind blowing way. Living out of pattern is not for everyone, but if it is your path, then know that it is time to full embrace it. Not wishing for what we thought would be the dream life but by surrendering to the plan He has uniquely set out for us.
When we look at the stories of Moses and Abraham, their lives followed no traditional patterns. They were mold-breakers. They were wanderers and anomalies, and sometimes things took a lot longer than what was natural. They had their unfulfilled desires, they were flawed, but they were sincere with God. God counted them as friends. Their paths were weird, long and lonely. The journey was also transformational. They walked their unique paths in faith, with God, and at the end of the insane trajectory, God was still beside them.
Focusing on what “should be” makes us miss what “could be”. We should be curious and courageous enough to take off our sandals as Moses did when he found himself in an unexpected place. God’s presence is there. We may have thought our path would be different, not realizing that where we are standing is holy ground.