High expectations are an interesting thing because on one hand it speaks of the fact that we think of someone quite highly in a certain area of our lives. But what happens when that person lets you down? When that guy, who you really believed liked you, didn’t call or text. That must have hurt. Or how about when your colleagues, friends or family members act in a way that confuses you, puts your back up or just deeply hurts you? What goes through your mind in those moments?
When we speak of people bondage we immediately think of someone whose actions are dictated by what others say and think about them. However, I would like to propose a different type of people bondage; our own high expectations of others. Our emotions get so tied into a particular instance or experience where someone deeply hurts our feelings or disregards them; and because we expect them to actually think about us, it drives the pain of the already pulsating wound even deeper into our hearts.
It’s hard to get over it.
We don’t want to get over it.
But at the same time, we know we must get over it; and so we want to get over it. It’s a mess.
Quite frankly I am a hot mess at times. I sink into a deep hole of self-pity coupled with the thoughts and belief that I deserve to let myself feel this way because I have been treated inconsiderately. My emotions are flying all over the place and I am really, really, really trying so hard to stay anchored to Christ and His healing word.
On one such occasion I took myself to the feet of my Savior and I asked “Lord why is this situation really getting to me? Why do I feel so deeply overcome by all of this- and so emotionally connected to it.”
He showed me two things;
1. I care. Which is a beautiful thing.
2. I expect way too much from people without realising it. I am in bondage.
It is one thing to expect the best to come from somebody, but it is another thing to anchor my entire hope on them. It was a difficult thing for me to understand initially, and to some extent I am still wrestling with it. Why would a parent not want to give the best of themselves to their children? Why would parents not want to be kind, loving, supportive, stern, compassionate and gentle with their children? Why would a friend not want to wholeheartedly love another friend and invest in that friendship?
I placed a lot of hope in people and desired to place them on a pedestal to be worshipped. I desired friends that would be there no matter what, friends that would understand me; parents that would soften their heart toward me. In all of this I was seeking perfection in people’s behavior There was no grace or mercy in my expectations.
I suppose it was so that I could feel a sense of stability and confidence within myself. When I couldn’t find this in people, I began to grow deeply frustrated, even bitter in some cases; without realizing that the I was the one that I should have been frustrated with.
The Lord showed me that all hope, expectation and faith must be in Him alone. I must not split up my hope and put 50% in Jesus, and 50% in my boyfriend or my father or my mother. What then happens when that person lets me down? Half of my world crumbles! As hard as it was to receive I needed to hear this truth and to ask the Lord to help me truly absorb this with understanding.
I really love this quote by Ian Percy, “We judge others by their behaviour and ourselves by our intentions” (Ian Percy). The truth is, we all want people to treat us well, love us, be on their best behaviour, understand us and what we are going through and behave as we would desire them to.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (emphasis added); not with half of your heart, or a quarter of your heart. Our hearts must lean into Jesus all the time, everyday, constantly. It is hard when we are not accustomed to it; however this is the only place that provides stability and assurance. Nowhere else. The shelter and covering that is felt and known when we put our trust truly in Jesus to supply and fulfill all of our deepest needs and desires is incomparable to anything else.
My prayer for you today sister is that you allow God to help you release others and sink into Him. Oh if we knew how much He longs to be our everything, we would run to him alone- everyday. Xo
My name is Alethea Quartey. Just a young woman who loves Jesus and seeks to live for Him everyday. I am passionate about Christ’s work in the believer- especially young women who have to navigate through the terrains of life with Him. I am in awe of His grace, His goodness, His love, His beauty and His mercy. I blog at The Echoes of Her Heart which is an organization that connects with young women and helps guide them back to the feet of their maker in order to realise their identity, worth and purpose in God.