Three truths to consider when expectations and reality don't match up
Sometimes expectations and reality don’t match up.
I attended a writer’s retreat a few years ago, longing for some spiritual refreshment and encouragement on my writing journey. I expected to have a relaxing retreat, feeding from nuggets of wisdom that were easy-to-digest, low-hanging fruit.
Instead I got a generous portion of truth and encouragement that was sometimes difficult to swallow. It was a weekend seasoned with both tears and laughter.
Despite the disconnect between what I thought I’d receive and what I did receive, it was a wonderful experience. I was a bit uncomfortable—in a good kind of way. I was stretched to view things, and myself, in a different way.
I'm happy to share the truths I learned with you!
Truth #1: What we are—rather than what we do—determines our value. Think about that for a sec. We’re often too consumed with doing, doing, and doing that we don’t step back and view the big picture. You're value doesn't depend on what the world sees. Your value exists because you were made in His image. (You're good enough, as you are!!)
Truth #2: God uses both our strengths and weakness. That, my friends, is an affirming statement. When the world says we fail or we don't live up to expectations, or when we think we've failed, that does not mean that God is through with us—that we can't be a part of His big-picture plan. Sometimes our weaknesses force us to rely on someone else. And that relying can be a blessing and an affirmation for them. It's possible that our weaknesses allow others to shine.
Truth #3: We are more important than what we do or don’t do. Whether or not we accomplish our to-do list, we're still important, and we still have value. So, give yourself a break.
Those three truths took a weight off my shoulders. The reality is that we don't have to strive for something to be valuable. We can just be ourselves: our imperfect, always-trying, sometimes-failing, often-successful selves.
To be honest, I think we often don't view ourselves in a balanced way. We're not perfect, but then no one is. Our imperfections may just be part of our appeal.
When you think about it, is it a surprise that God views us differently than we view ourselves? He sees, even our imperfections, as lovable.
May I make a suggestion? Tomorrow morning start your day with this prayer, “Loving God, show me the truth about myself, no matter how wonderful it may be.” Tomorrow may turn out to be one of your best days yet!