Below, I share a little bit of what the Lord has been teaching me in this season. If you’re short for time, go to the bottom for an update and prayer requests. Love, Marie 🙂
AS I PREPARE: LETTING GO OF ALL EXPECTATIONS…
God’s been teaching me a lot about changing my expectations of Him, myself, and others. With my break between graduation and going to my internship at IHOP, I have had a lot of time to think and notice what I’m actually thinking about it. And, I’ve realized how often my thoughts are critical, judgmental, and filled with a “life should be fair” attitude. These realizations have led me to pray for the Lord to help me in this area.
What I’ve begun to realize is that God wants me stop putting unrealistic expectations on Him, myself, and others. For example, I used to really struggle with not feeling fully celebrated and appreciated by people. So I would go into interactions with others thinking something like, “they better notice all I have done for them and bless me the same way,” or “I really hope they see what my needs are and minister to me.” And if things did not go the way I thought they should, I would become angry, disappointed, and discouraged. Sometimes I carried these things long enough to create depression inside myself and an anger with the Lord.
Recently, a thought came to mind, what would happen if I didn’t place any specific expectation on people and just trusted that God would bless me and take care of me? As I have slowly put this into practice, I have had been stunned by the results: God really does bless me and take care of me…I was so lost in my critical spirit and frustration at what people were NOT doing for me that I missed out on how God was blessing me! Making this change does not mean I let people walk all over me or take a passive approach to life, but it truly frees me to not worry about my life or how things will turn out—because, they ALWAYS turn out good with God! All we have to do is ask Him for His favor and blessing.
As I’ve shifted my expectations about others, the Lord is helping me do the same with Him and myself. Recently, I read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, which has encouraged me to believe every day for God’s blessing and favor without putting conditions on how that should happen. Today, I listened to a Graham Cooke teaching that also talked about not putting conditions on people when we give to them. In Luke 6, Jesus says to give away without expecting anything back. What?! What about me? Who will take care of me and bless me with words of encouragement? The simple word “surrender” has helped me get this. You give to God and others with no expectation on them to give back, yet fully knowing that the One that created you knows your need and will take care of you.
Some of my heroes in the faith have demonstrated these principles. Heidi Baker lives in Mozambique, Africa and has an amazing ministry to broken and hurting children and people. She went on a one way ticket with her husband, not knowing where their money would come from to fund their ministry, yet the Lord graciously supplied their need and continues to do so! Pastor Adam Cates of Big House Church continually speaks of surrender, giving up your rights, and letting God promote you. He emulates what he says through how he pastors our church. He has not taken on any specific advertising campaign or done anything to promote it. He consistently pursues God and His Presence, the Lord shows up, and that is what draws people in.
I share all this to say, let go of any critical spirit and expectations you have on people and God, ask God to bless and take care of you in the best way He knows how, and watch Him show up! And also, apply these lessons to yourself and be set free from the need to be perfect!
I leave in 5 DAYS!!!!! I’ve been asking myself, is this really happening? Am I ready? Will I be able to maintain the level of peace and joy I’ve experienced in the past few months? What in the world is going to happen after this three month internship? It all comes back to what I was writing about…I CHOOSE to trust God, knowing that HE WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND BLESS ME. I COME TO HIS THRONE BOLDLY, asking for provision, wisdom, and guidance. And in humility, I am asking for your prayers, love, and encouragement through this huge transition in my life!
Please pray that the Lord would continue to pour His Lessons of Love, Surrender, and Trust in me as I take this next step of faith. Please also pray for safe travels this Saturday through Monday as I drive my car out to Kansas City. Pray for divine relationships and grace for this transition. Lastly, pray that I would be open to receiving ALL that God has for me in this season. Thank you for your love and support—you mean the world to me.
In His Amazing and Abundant Love,