Expectations aren’t necessarily bad. Isn’t it great when we know what is expected from us? When you’re in a working relationship or even a friendship, it’s great to talk about expectations from the get go so that everyone is on the same page. It avoids a lot of hurt in the future. That’s the good side of expectations. But there’s an ugly side, too. Or, at least in my case there is.
Through this sabbatical process, I’ve realized that I put so many expectations on myself. Sometimes I think I feel expectations from others, but most of the time, I put them on myself. Now it’s great to have goals to accomplish but when it starts to paralyze you, it goes from good to ugly. That’s why I was initially so intimidated about going on a personal retreat. Hearing the words, I immediately felt the weight of needing to have this awesome experience with God. I needed to come back with all these words He spoke to me, maybe even direction for the future. Relax, Jen.
It needed to be about me making myself available to God and letting Him dictate what would happen. It needed to be about rest, but rest can’t come if there’s a weight on my shoulders. I was able to relax and put it in God’s hands before I even left, but the realization of the expectations I put on myself was before me, and I had (and still have) to walk it out with God.