Hey sis, can we have an honest moment? How many times have you prayed for something and it did not happen? Or maybe it did but things didn’t turn out how you thought it would? In those moments, it can feel like God has let you down.
If this is you, I see you. I’ve been there many times before and I STILL have those moments. I’ve had those moments of asking God, “why?” I’ve had those moments of frustration disappointment, and wanting to give up on God.
But I’ve come to realize that it all boils down to our expectations. There’s HIS plan and then there is OUR plan. They rarely, if ever, go together. We have this expectation that God will come through. We expect God to fix the situation and make it all better. We pray in expectation that God can and will reverse what happened. But what happens when he chooses not to?
Disappointment. Frustration. Tears. And maybe even resentment set in.
What if I told you that there is a difference between expectation and expectancy? There is a difference between the God that we WANT and the God that “IS.” I’m learning that expectation is often based on believing that God is going to come through BUT in the exact way that we picture it. Expectancy is knowing that God’s got you so you allow yourself to go with the flow believing that he will come through at any moment. It’s less about timeline and more about moving with God. I know girl, it’s so hard to move like that because it is in our human nature to have our own plans and expectations but I’m learning that faith moves out of expectancy.
So how do we battle that inner struggle? How do we deal with the disappointment?
It’s like this. Let’s say that you want to be married one day. Your expectation or goal is to be married by a certain age. Let’s say age 30. So with this goal in mind, you pray to God that he sends you the right person and SOON lol. But what happens if God’s plan is that you meet your husband at age 32? But in the meantime, you get frustrated because time is moving right along and no husband. Not even a date lol. Then, you start to feel disappointed and get mad at God for not answering your prayers. So you try to make things happen or even get tempted to settle for anyone.
Or maybe you prayed and prayed for that dream job. You kept applying and God kept closing that door. You start to get irritated with God. But what if He saw that “all that glitters ain’t gold?” What we don’t realize is what looks like rejection can truly be God’s protection. The things is we often don’t realize this until after the fact.
Can I be honest? In this season, God has had to check me. I was the woman who wanted to be married and in med school by a certain age. But I’ve had to learn that there is a difference between God‘s timeline and our timeline. The hardest part for me has been admitting that I often pray for God’s plans but on MY terms. God checked me on that because he’s like either you want my plans AND my timeline OR you want your plans and your timing. You can’t mix or match. You can’t have my plans and YOUR timing. It doesn’t work like that. (Y’all I got in my feelings after that lol.)
But looking back, I can honestly say that God hasn’t failed me. He never told me that I wouldn’t get married AT ALL. And he never said that I would get into school immediately (I did get into medical school eventually and in his timing! And I can see why things played out that way.) But the key is that He just didn’t do what I wanted and give it to me WHEN I wanted it.
I wanted to share a piece of a devotional I read that I think is SO timely——
“How often do we place our expectations on God, assuming He’ll work according to our timeline and plan? This habit isn’t great for our faith because God RARELY moves on our schedule, and His answers rarely match what we envision.
We need to understand the difference between placing our expectations on God versus trusting in His plan and being expectant that He will see it through to completion in our lives. Placing our expectations on God can set us up for disappointment, frustration, and resentment when they go unmet, but having a healthy expectancy of God can feed our faith.
What desire has God placed in your heart? Whatever it is, find comfort in knowing that God wants to do MORE than meet your expectations. He wants to exceed them. Take heart in the fact that God can do far more than we can even think to ask of Him. Expect God to move, trust His process, and watch your faith grow.”
Sis, Let Ephesians 3:20 and Galatians 6:9 be your verses for the season.
I want to end with this. Sis, if you feel disappointed by God because he didn’t meet your expectations—-please know that you aren’t alone. And you aren’t crazy for feeling that way. It can be incredibly frustrating when God makes us wait longer than we expected. It can be incredibly painful when you pray for a loved one’s healing and God decides to heal that person on the other side of earth. And it can be incredibly disappointing when you’ve been crying out to God and it feels silent on the other end.
But here’s a gem that I’m learning. It’s okay to have your plans and goals. But please know that God has His plans too. And they may look completely different. So be flexible! Give God room to switch things up and do what he needs to do. It saves some of the disappointment. And also know that if God says “no” or makes you wait a little longer—-there has to be something on the other side that WILL be worth it. I know it can be incredibly hard but try not to get jaded. I’ve never regretted waiting on God. There has to be something that he wanted you and I to go through. And the thing is we may not know “why” we had to go through it.
It’s so so tough but sometimes, we have to be okay with not knowing “why.” We have to be okay with letting go. Because faith is trusting in advance what will ONLY make sense in reverse…
Hang in there, sis.