Showing up is good. Expecting things to go well is good. Planning on being fed is good.
But what do we do when none of these things turn out good? How do we find the good and enjoy where we are at when it looks nothing like we anticipated? Is there a way to find peace in your struggles when it is a million miles from what you dreamed of?
You can expect the good and look to people to take care of you and make sure your experience is excellent but you might come up empty handed. Why? Simply put. . . Satan. But really, humans are flawed and as much as we want situations to be perfect, beautiful, and inspiring- that is not always the outcome. Our expectations of things are likely going to be much higher than the actual experience.
So how can we beat this and enjoy the madness when the setting, people, time, chaos, etc. isn’t what we planned?
Set your pride aside and instead of planning on everything being perfect: strangers coming up to greet you or the food tasting exactly right or everyone showing up and speaking words of wisdom over your life, plan on it being half as good, maybe even a quarter as good. But don’t be discouraged, instead spend time in Jesus’ word, fill your heart with His truth and come as you are.
Say what is on your heart without fear of judgement. Encourage those around you, even if you might be the one needing encouragement. Reach out to someone new even if it fills your introverted soul with terror. Share your story of psycho kids, too much yelling, and crying alone behind the locked bedroom door.
This is what will bring freedom.
I know because I was the one who lacked intentionality, the one who expected people rather than Jesus to feed me. The one who was silently battling post-partum depression hoping someone would magically know instead of asking for help. The one who decided that everything was wrong simply because it wasn’t exactly how I would do it.
It’s insanely easy to critique every scenario imagining you could do better but not being willing to say some things that might help. It is simple to think that it is everyone else’s responsibility to make sure you’re happy but the truth is, it’s not.
Your joy will be found in Christ and from there your intentionality will flow which will result in your freedom.
So today, before you think about everything that went wrong, first think about how today might have been for someone else. And had you rather spoken up about some concerns or shared your battles you might have found someone to say, “me too.”
I encourage you to look at yourselves and ask, “How can I put myself to the side in hopes of being present, intentional, and loving?”
Since doing this myself, I have been able to enjoy things so much more. When I decided that it wasn’t all about me, I have been fed and cherished, I have found people to come alongside me and encourage me.
I have found freedom and it feels so good.