Monday, February 14, 2011

Broken Expectations (A Love Story)

I want to share with you something that rocked me.

This is a quote from God-sized dreams, a post written by a lovely lady named Holley Gerth. I'm falling in love with her words. Especially these ones:
"It’s a story of broken expectations, of little being much, of nothing working out the way anyone planned."
Now I'm a sucker for a tragedy. I love some good drama, but I wasn't prepared for this story. Because she's talking about Christmas.

Christmas with all the hope and joy? Christmas with the celebration of friends, family, and food? Christmas with the lights and music?

But it's true.

I know it's true because I cried on Christmas Eve. I know it's true because I was mad at Christmas this year. I was mad because I was disappointed and tired when I should have been full of joy and hope. I was mad because God was not meeting my expectations.

He does that doesn't he?

But He doesn't leave it at that. Here are some more words that I'm going to borrow.
“I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”
--Jon Acuff, Stuff Christians Like: "The soft X"
Today is Valentine's Day, another holiday intended to be a celebration of love that, amidst saccharin-sweet marketing messages and cheap paper hearts, usually falls short of our expectations.

Expectations are a killer. If we are disappointed often enough, we learn that it is safer not to have them at all. But let me offer you a bit of hope: when God breaks down our expectations, he doesn't leave us alone amidst the rubble. But that doesn't mean that it is any easier; the aftermath of disappointment is always painful and rarely short-lived. Whether we are the ones disappointed or the ones offering comfort, it is important to recognize this.

But here's another thought: The birth of Christ couldn't have fulfilled expectations.

Messiah was a first in history, something that had never occurred before and will never be repeated. Prophets had been sent, kings had been anointed, deliverers had overcome oppression; but there had never been a Messiah before.
If you are a living a life that never disappoints and always meets your expectations, you are living a life without novelty. Unless you are disappointed, this is as good as it is going to get. Maybe your love-life isn't meeting expecations because you weren't designed for a paper-heart romance.

Let your Valentine's day be filled with the freshness of a new kind of love, something unfamiliar and, yes, maybe even painful or frightening. Let Christ break down that house of banality you've built, let Him show you something new.

Can we learn to be disappointed together?

--Sarah Elizabeth

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