Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37:4, NLT
Friend to Friend
For too many years I proclaimed that God was my Lord while resisting surrendering everything to Him. It’s no surprise I felt the need to be in control, especially in the aftermath of my childhood marred by abuse. It was my survival strategy to determine every next move and make sure it came to fruition. From the outside it looked like drive and perseverance, but when you pull back the layers, it was really an unhealthy habit rooted in lies. I believed I had to be my own protector. I was convinced it was up to me to make anything good ever come to fruition in my life.
The problem with that kind of stinking thinking is that my life was riddled with unrealistic expectations for myself and everyone else along with an endless amount of disappointment.
I was continually measuring my performance. I was consistently striving towards a fairy book dream. My perfect little house was never quite perfect, never mind dream of a white picket fence. My well-behaved and perfectly dressed children never existed. My husband was never quite devoted to me in the way I thought he should be.
My childhood ideas of what life should be like could never measure up to my reality.
I never took into consideration details like earning an income, caring for a house, struggling with health, and healing from heart wounds.
Maybe you can relate.
Maybe your expectations – even dreams – haven’t measured up to your reality.
Well, then, let me ask you a question God impressed upon my heart to release me from my expectations.
Is it possible that God has given you the desires of your heart, but they are packaged differently than you expected?
Sure, I wanted the perfect house and frolicking children and a devoted husband, but at the heart of the matter, what I really wanted was to be loved unconditionally and dwell in emotional and physical safety all the days of my life.
In Christ, I’ve found all that and more.
In Christ, I know what it means to be loved.
In Christ, I can experience emotional peace even in unstable times.
In Christ, we can find the desires of our heart fulfilled as we release to the Lord the expectations we’ve carried for far too long.
No, your house might not be what you want. Your relationships may not look the way you hoped they would. But your expectations can be adjusted when your Savior’s love enters in and writes a new story on your heart.
Dear Lord, forgive me for living with unrealistic expectations and refusing to yield my life, my dreams, my desires to Your will and way. Help me, Lord, give it all to You. Help me clear out the junk in my heart so that You may dwell more fully. Help me to embrace this life You’ve given me, where Christ can be my all in all.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Is it time for you to surrender your expectations for your life to God? What would happen if you yielded your heart to His work and will, embracing the good He has for you in Christ?
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Elisa Pulliam is a coach, author, podcaster, and speaker passionate about helping women savor life every day and cultivate a meaningful legacy. She is the founder of More to Be, a ministry devoted to helping women experience a fresh encounter with God and His Word so they may live transformed and impact this world with kingdom hope. She is also the founder of It Is Well, where she helps women simplify the transition into wellness by cultivating a whole food and toxin-free lifestyle for themselves and their families. She is enjoying the adventure of being married to Stephen for 22 years and raising their brood of teenagers together. Connect with Elisa at MoretoBe.com and ItIsWell.us.