Sea of Expectations

by Rhonda, February 15, 2022

Christmas of last year was the worst Christmas of my life.  Fresh off of a separation from my husband, the holidays felt forced.  They weren't going to feel the same, I knew that much, but it didn't stop me from trying. I decorated the house, baked cookies, and played music.  I put forth my best effort, smiling through the tears.  Unfortunately, nothing helped and my effort to "fake it until I made it" didn't work.  I certainly didn't fool my family.

With Christmas staring us in the face in just a few days, the kids and I decided to take a vacation instead. We just couldn't endure a Christmas at home reminding us of what we'd lost.  So, we packed our bags and took a vacation to a secluded condo overlooking a beautiful lake.  

But, as it so often happens, you can't outrun your pain.  I wasn't just overwhelmed by the fresh pain of separation, although that would have been enough.  I was also emotionally raw from a job that was unfulfilling, a relentless feeling of failing my kids, and trying to please everyone that came my way.

I think when divorce happens, there is a need to be everything to everyone.  You want to prove to yourself that you're a good person.  You need to take care of everyone who was hurt or impacted by the decision to split.  I didn't just want to help my kids, I wanted to heal my kids.  But, the harder I tried, the worse I felt.

So, on January 1st, in a condo away from my home, I retrieved a blank journal from my suitcase.  I stepped out onto the balcony early in the morning and I asked God to give me a word for the new year.  I needed to know what He had to say.  I was to the point of collapse, and I begged him to please save me.  Everything was spinning out of control in my life.  I didn't know what to do anymore.  

Below are the words He spoke to me that I wrote down.  I've read them hundreds of time since, and each time they impact my heart in a different way.  They always bring me back to where my focus needs to be. Maybe they speak to you, too:

January 1:

Everything in life has its place.  

You are trying to perform tasks and function in relationships that are out of place. 

With work, only work on tasks assigned for you.  Let tasks meant for others be their tasks.  

With relationships, you are there for guidance and wisdom, not for the intense mending of wounds or for fixing others.  Only I can do that, God.  

You are trying to do everything.  You cannot be everything to everyone.  I have not designed you for this.  You must accept your limitations or you will drown in a sea of expectations.

Your immediate family is your priority.  

When you accept your limitations and find your place, all of the other pieces fall together as they are supposed to.  

Turn things over.  Trust others to do their part.  Most importantly, trust Me to do My part.  

Here you will find freedom.

Welcome to your new chapter.  I am excited to show it to you and walk in it with you.  Here you will have some of the greatest growth, and greatest peace, of your life.  

Walk with me.

Love,

God

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


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