My heart has been wrestling with expectations of God lately. It seems that's a theme amongst others I've been in contact with as well. According to my expectation of what I thought God should do, I should have my own syndicated court room drama on the CW. Can't you hear it, "Judge Marci"? And yet, here I am. I'm in Arkansas, a pastor's wife, with 5 kids, ha. Seriously, though, what do we do when we feel like God has dropped the ball? I have some specific instances that I prayed for, was sick over, and still did not get the outcome that I expected.
One of those was my sweet neighbor's daughter, Abigail. She was born premature, fighting for her life. I remember waking up at all hours of the night begging God to intervene and give her life here on this Earth. And, yet, she has been in heaven for 2 years. I've prayed for God to not send a diagnosis of down syndrome to a friend's daughter, I've prayed for healing for a little girl's traumatic birth injury, for cancer to be gone, for certain jobs. I expected my 5th child to be a girl, but I'm loving on the chunkiest and cuddliest baby boy. I fully expected God to hear my prayers and give me exactly what I asked for. Sometimes, it just doesn't go according to my plan.
Where do we go after the let down of an unmet expectation? To that I say, at the feet of the Father. Jesus prayed in Luke that the cup would be taken, but nonetheless, not His will, but God's. Maybe I was a smidge prideful and felt entitled to have my prayers answered in the way that I thought they should. As much as I know her parents want to be chasing her now, for me, truth be told, had Abigail not passed away, I would not be who I am today. I probably would not have started running. I probably would not have been as thankful for my kids, I probably would not have learned how to get out of my comfort zone and show compassion and some humility to another mama. That baby changed me. She helped pave the way for me to walk alongside of other mamas who did not get their exact expectations met; including me, when we had 2 miscarriages in one year.
So at the time I felt like God had let me down, I know now that His will allowed a different course. He was orchestrating and bringing about good things all along (Romans 8). I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is good. Matthew 7 talks about God giving good things to those who ask. 1 Corinthians 2 confirms that God has plans that far exceed what I could or can imagine. I know that unmet expectations can bring joy. I know unmet expectations can bring pain. Sometimes it's ugly and I hate it, but sometimes it can be both? So until I die I'm going to keep learning to pray things according to God's will and asking God to give me peace when I don't understand. I might even try to convince Him He messed up. But, because He is good, I'm going to praise Him through it all.
Now, I've got to wrangle my 5 crazy kids to bed :)