“Expectations will steal the gifts that are sitting right there in front of you,” Jada Pinkett Smith. While we are constantly waiting for a situation in our lives to change, are we missing what could potentially be the very thing we are wanting to be different? Moving past our expectations of a situation can be challenging. At the end of the day, we want what we want, but what is it in this moment you can take a second look at and learn to appreciate its beauty, even while feeling…uncomfortable?
Yes, facing challenges are inevitable. It is not the challenge itself that defines us but our ability to respond appropriately to the challenge. How do you respond when faced with challenges? Do you retreat within yourself, only finding comfort in the solitude of your thoughts? Maybe you’re one that relies on your spiritual foundation to help gain insight or find encouragement. There are also the avid list makers, writing down every possible solution to each problem and plausible scenario; many of us are a mixture of all previously listed. What if the goal, when faced with a challenge, is to acknowledge and appreciate its happening instead of allowing the expectations of what may lie ahead to rob us of the moment.
The most beautiful growth we may ever experience happens in the midst of pain.
We have a tendency to wait for the next thing to happen or to “get through” an uncomfortable experience in order to take action. To think the next phase of life will not have its own set of challenges is a set up for failure. Sometimes the very skills we need at the next phase are taught to us during those moments we want to give up.
What can we offer ourselves and one another during these times? Ask these questions:
What is it about this situation that is making me uncomfortable?
How does the reality of this situation differ from my expectations?
If this situation involves someone else, have I made my expectations known to the other person?
What did I accomplish today, in the midst of this challenge, that brought me joy or gave me strength and how can I replicate that action/behavior tomorrow?
The beauty of challenges, if you are brave enough to look inside, is your ability to learn more about the special character, gifts, and strengths given to you by God. Our expectations of people and situations rob of learning about others, the world around us, and more importantly ourselves.
Shared with love,
P.S. There was no specific verse mentioned in this text. There are many examples in the Bible of reality and expectations clashing, overcoming challenges, and seeking direction. I could point out any number of books or stories including Job, Moses, Jesus, etc. I encourage you to get in the word to find the numerous examples covering this topic. If you enjoyed this article please don’t forget to leave a comment and share it on your social media page.
Picture by Artsy Solomon