Letting Go…What to Do When Your Expectations POP!

Revised Version of "Congrats bqt" by Photographer: Warren Denning. Creative Director: Stan Weir. Marketing Director: Tim Vlamis - Pioneer Balloon Company. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xq3jTw
Revised Version of “Congrats bqt” by Photographer: Warren Denning. Creative Director: Stan Weir. Marketing Director: Tim Vlamis – Pioneer Balloon Company. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://bit.ly/1xq3jTw

There’s something so cheery about clutching colorful balloons… that is, until they deflate or pop. Four years into marriage, Jeff, my charming husband lost his 12 year career position. I tried to hang on to all those high floating dreams I had attached to my marriage. Doing so just tangled my life in knots.
Slowly, as I’ve learned how to let go of my expectations, God has set me free more and more. Here are some things I learned that have helped me let go.
L – Let go. Letting go. It sounds simple. But sometimes it’s really hard to release your grip on the things you have assumed you would have. In my book I go into more details of how to let go if you’re struggling hard like I was. One of the most important lessons is to recognize your expectations for what they are, deflated, done, yesterday. I had to ask myself, “Don’t you want to live?” Life is too short to hold on to all the strings of those old deflated dreams. What I began to realize as I let go, was that I could place all of it in God’s hands. He knew what was best and he knew how to untangle the mess I was in.
I – Identify what’s behind those expectations. I had to ask some personal and scary questions as I let go. Questions like, “why is this so important to me?” When I brought these to God he helped me identify issues like, fear, needing the approval of others, lack of a good firm identity in God, lack of trust that God knew what’s best for me, and even believing lies of entitlement that I somehow deserved all my dreams to come true.
F – Fight through flighty feelings. Our own Feelings will victimize us if we let them. Mine had me so tangled in a mess that I was despairing of my life. Myopia set in and I lost sight of my purpose in life. But hadn’t God’s Word said somewhere that I could take captive every thought? What I learned as I spent tearful moments in prayer and honesty with God who the Bible describes as “wonderful in counsel”, “magnificent in wisdom” (Isaiah 28-29) –was that it was in fact possible to fight my own feelings. As I identified why I was feeling the way I was, I realized it didn’t line up with my life as a daughter of the King. As a child of the King, I was in fact a real life princess, heir to all God desired for my life! As I got up out of the tangles and understood how to attach my hope to God, he gave me new dreams. As I gave him my hurts and confusion, God helped me write about them and reach out to others with the comfort he gave to me. Do you know what pure joy feels like? It’s when God transforms your deepest hurts to help others heal (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
T – Thankful – Gratitude is a choice. It might feel like a stretch, but right now, before you do anything else, I want you to think of 1 thing you can feel thankful for… one for every finger on your hands. If you can, hold up your fingers and put them down when you speak aloud each “thank you God for _____”. Do you feel a lift? Not yet. Do this again, making lists on your fingers until you begin to sense the lift.
Focusing on fragile temporal expectations, it is a little like depending on a bunch of balloons to sustain our happiness. When we learn to place our hope in God, more and more, our life becomes secure. Here’s a great verse to memorize. “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:24 NLT.

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