No Expectations by Bridget A. Thomas

As a child, when my birthday was approaching, I was often focused on what gifts I might receive. I remember my father telling me two things: (1) That they were going to cancel my birthday that year 😉 and (2) That I should not expect anything. My birthday was never cancelled and I always received presents. But my father was right about having no expectations. However, I don’t believe this just pertains to gifts or birthdays. I believe this is good advice every day of our lives.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Ann Voskamp: What messes our life up most is this expectation of what our life is supposed to look like. This is so very true, in big things and in small things.

Imagine someone who wanted to get a college degree, but life took them down a different path and they never accomplished their goal. They expected to get a degree, but they didn’t. Or maybe someone divorced and their “happily ever after” was shattered. They expected to be married for life, but this didn’t happen. These are examples of big expectations in life that didn’t come to pass. And too often we allow things like these to bring us down. We might think thoughts like: If only this had happened, I would be happy. If only this hadn’t happened to me, my life would be different.

But then there are small daily events where expectations come into play as well. Suppose someone spills coffee on their clothes and then they allow the mishap to dampen their mood for the day. They did not expect to stain their clothing, but expected their day to go perfectly. Or let’s suppose someone is walking into a store and the stranger in front of them lets the door drop in their face, which makes them angry. They did not expect someone to be rude to them. These are subconscious expectations that we have on how things should have went. Then when they don’t go the way we expected, we allow them to unsettle us.

How can we let go of these expectations that bring us down? Start by recognizing them. Some of these things might trigger a change in our mood, without us even realizing it. So go about your day and pay attention to the expectations that surface.

Second, always remember one important thing. No matter how things went in your life, God is still in control. He can and will work things for good. This helps us to move on when our expectations are crushed. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT).

Third, make a decision. When something did not go the way you expected, you have a choice. Will you allow it to steal your joy? Or will you move on and keep your peace? This is simple, but it is not always easy. It takes determination and strength.

It is important to let go of expectations in our lives. Too often we allow them to snatch our peace and rob us of the blessings that are right before our eyes. So the next time you are discouraged because you believe something should have gone differently, lay your expectations at the foot of the cross. When you hand your expectations over to God and allow Him to work everything together for good, you will feel peace and joy in your life.

© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas

big wooden cross on green grass field under the white clouds

Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

About Bridget A. Thomas

Bridget A. Thomas is the author of numerous books which hit the top of the charts and continue to help many people find true contentment in life. In her spare time, Bridget enjoys reading non-fiction, fiction, and classic literature. She also enjoys crocheting and watching baseball. Bridget and her husband live in Florida, but often travel to the Smoky Mountains in search of black bears and other wildlife. To learn more about Bridget, visit her at bridgetathomas.com.
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18 Responses to No Expectations by Bridget A. Thomas

  1. somto says:

    This post hit the core. Expectations rob us of joy and peace. May we always lay them at the feet of the Father and rise up into the light of life in joy, in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. somto says:

    Reblogged this on Transformation Place and commented:
    Choose Joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perth Girl says:

    A wonderful and powerful reminder. May we learn to leave those expectations at the foot of the cross. As I was reading it made me think that having those expectations and getting disappointed when they don’t come through is us tying our joy and happiness to our circumstances. For me, it is a process to not let these kind of things rob my joy.
    Thanks so much for sharing this Bridget 😊💙.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent point! Too often we definitely do tie our happiness to our circumstances! I pray that we can learn to choose joy and to base our happiness on our relationship with our Heavenly Father! Blessings to you, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vicki Hinze says:

    So glad you are back, Bridget! Missed your insightful articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bridget! You are back! Yay!!! I’m so glad. That is an unexpected blessing! Yes, you are right. If we don’t expect anything, we won’t be disappointed. However, as one who has endured divorce and other unmet expectations, I can tell you that after a grieving period, one can move on from there and expect more blessings no matter the form.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy J. Farrier says:

    Such good insights. Thank you, Bridget. I’ve missed your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Judy says:

    Welcome back and what a great way to jump in. I blessedly had a wonderful counselor who helped me to reframe my expectations. A lifelong process. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. juliearduini says:

    Expectations has been the key word, theme, and lesson our family has worked on during this quarantine. We thought we were decent communicators but being home more taught us we were not. Expectations has been huge and now that we know that, we’re really practicing better communication skills. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing that! I love to hear stories like this, when the Lord has us on the same wavelength! It can be difficult to remove the expectations. But having that awareness is key. Blessing to you and your family! ❤

      Like

  9. Pingback: Daily Reminders – Bridget A. Thomas

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