I'm beginning to believe that positive pregnancy tests are actually just a deep rooted myth.
Nobody actually gets those two pink lines, right? It's all just an elaborate fairy tale. Because after almost four years of this, I've certainly never seen it.
Without getting into too many details, this past month was pretty disappointing. All the signs pointed to the strong possibility that I actually ovulated (which doesn't usually happen), there was some personal significance of this particular month, and I was so, so hopeful.
But the month came and went with a garbage can full of stark white pregnancy tests, and once again I'm disappointed.
As I lay on my husband's arm feeling sorry for myself, I noticed that he didn't seem nearly as crestfallen. Two years ago, that would have made me angry... but in the past few years I'm understanding that my husband lacks something that I cling to so tightly-
I come into everything with expectations.
I have a picture in my mind of how a conversation is going to play out, of how the meal is going to taste, of the size of our family, of how the giant scope of our lives will look.
And my Trevor? He doesn't have that so much.
I kind of envy him.
Because while I'm at the mercy of those preconceived notions about everything, he's rarely disappointed. He's rarely irritated when plans fall through, when people mess up, when life zigs instead of zags.
Expectations make life difficult. Expectations constrain contentment, limit imagination, put rigid structures in place, and are the cause of so, so many misunderstandings.
As human beings, most of us have them, though. Most people have certain ideas about how life is supposed to go- about how things are supposed to be.
It's no big surprise, then, that so many people were turned off by Jesus.
I mean, after all, the Messiah was supposed to be a certain way. There were four-hundred some years of expectations built up, passed down from generation to generation- the anticipation of an entire country, an entire culture, centered around how they thought this Messiah would look.
And then God Himself showed up on earth, the son of a poor family, who had no political power or military training.
Jesus was nothing like they expected.
Instead of crashing through the Roman government, Jesus spoke of respecting leaders. Instead of climbing the social ladder to become influential, Jesus focused much of his time on the poor and diseased, and spent his days surrounded by a group of twelve men, most of whom were uneducated fishermen.
And he told stories. He didn't stir the crowds to rebellion or start riots. He told stories.
We call them "parables," which makes them sound all religiously and (ironically) puts certain expectations into our minds- especially if we grew up in the church- but really all they were was stories.
Why? Why did he tell stories?
"This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’"
Jesus told stories to crash through people's preconceived notions; their expectations.
If they were coming to Jesus for what they wanted, they wouldn't find it in him.
Jesus didn't fulfill the aspirations of the majority of the crowds. This Messiah wasn't what they bargained for, he wasn't what they wanted. They had certain expectations of what he'd be like, and when he didn't fulfill them, they were out of there.
The Truth wasn't the truth they wanted.
The Gospel wasn't the good news they were looking for.
They missed the biggest, world-changing, eternity-altering message of Christ, because it wasn't what they thought it would be.
My expectations are the very same way.
Yeah, it's easy for me to view the Bible through the benefit of time and think I'm nothing like the crowds who just wanted the things they wanted... but honestly, I'm just the same as they are.
My expectations will harden my heart if I let them.
I see it happening.
I expect my husband to respond a certain way and he doesn't, so I'm angry with him. I want my relationship with my sister to be easy and it's not... and I wonder whether it's worth it. I think that the way I want my life to go is best for me, and I question God's goodness when things don't go the way I planned.
It's very hard to retrain my heart and my mind to let go of those things I expect.
But I'm trying, and I'm asking for the grace to come with eyes open, ears ready to hear.
I need fresh eyes, discerning ears, a soft heart. I want to see what God has for me, untainted and undisguised by my expectations.
I want a life full of the unexpected.
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