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Hey Girl,

Is everything going as you expected?

Yea me neither and oddly enough I'm becoming okay with it. Just like you I had plans that didn't turn out the way I thought they would. In fact I even stopped making plans & tried to go with the flow, but that didn't work out either. At 29 years of age I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I'm doing & it's ok. Life is full of surprises and many of them don't arrive until an expectation has been set. At 17 I expected to go to college & graduate at 21......I didn't. At 28 I expected to get married after dating my "dream guy"......I didn't. Was I disappointed when neither event happened, of course! Nevertheless my life has moved on, but it doesn't mean that my expectations have.

Expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen. Earlier I mentioned how I expected to finish my degree in 4 years. It's been 12 years and I still haven't, just a slew of credits & milestones along the way. My first semester of college I did what most kids do, I turned up, all the way up. I was 17, over 300 miles away from home & had no one telling me what to do. Prior to college I didn't have that much freedom in my social life. I grew up in a strict household that upheld Christian principles. When I went off to school I felt liberated. This newfound freedom was spent partying, Purple Thursdays anyone? My HBCU life was lit & I was enjoying every minute of it. I had become irresponsible to say the least & I had the grades to prove it. When it was time to take accountability it was too late my parents were no longer willing to send me back. I was expecting them to pick up the tab & they were expecting my due diligence in return. Were either of us being fair? When I examine my high school years I can easily say that I hadn't earned the right to be there. I was smart but lazy, anytime I put forth effort into something I excelled, but unfortunately it was more less than often. My grades did not place me in a position to where I should've ever expected my parents to sacrifice, but I did. With that being said my parents expecting me to become some sort of scholar on good merit was also questionable, but they did.

If an expectation is a belief that something will happen is it safe to say that some of our beliefs may need to change? Once upon a time I believed that my ex & I would get married. He was nice, respectful & independent, in my eyes he was a winner. When reality set in my expectations could have mattered less, in fact they did! When we first meet people it's very rare that we get to see the real them. Often times we are meeting each others representatives & building presumptions from there on out. In this case, all I needed was a conflict of interest to reveal who I was really dealing with. I thought that my ex was the perfect gentlemen until my expectation for him to abstain was met with discord. It had never been an issue until he decided he was tired of waiting. In that moment what I expected simply did not matter, what he wanted did! I was upset as any woman would & should be. Here it is I finally meet someone who has all of these "nice" qualities just to be reminded that nobody's perfect including me!

Perfect people do not exist! I'll repeat PERFECT PEOPLE DO NOT EXIST! To expect anything from anyone including ourselves is a setup for disappointment. If you don't believe me ask yourself how many times have you fell through on your word? Whether it was intentional or not, ish happens. Ecclesiastes 5:5 even tells us it is better not to make a vow than it is to make one & not fulfill it. It's not that we're incapable of keeping our word it's that our word is incapable of keeping us! Many times we make promises before we even understand the obligation of what we're agreeing to. Think about a job you took on in hopes of making a living only to realize that you absolutely hate it later on! Do you not have the right to change your mind about it & if you do, does it make you a horrible person? No not at all, it makes you a human being and from one human to another we really have some evaluating to do! A point of evaluation for me came as I watched graduating classes march across the stage. I used to feel so behind & disappointed in myself. I developed a resentment toward my former mistakes. Should've, would've, could've became my state of mind but my pity party wasn't helping me get any closer to that stage. I had to evaluate why I wanted to walk across it in the first place.

First & foremost I love my parents with all of my heart but using their validation as a point of reference for anything in my life was & is a no no. Each time I attempted to restart my education I'd feel a weight of pressure over me. It was no longer about me it was me trying to satisfy their expectations of me. I'd lose focus because my heart simply wasn't in it. I was aimlessly taking classes with no real desire to finish. It became a sense of "ok I'm doing what I think they want me to do". After spending 2 1\2 years at a Jr. College I confessed to my mother how I felt & what she said pressed a restart button in my life. "Your life is yours & I am sorry if I ever made you feel that you needed my approval to live it." Needless to say I collapsed into tears as I told her how many times I did things in hopes of making her happy or proud. In one moment my identity began to reshape itself as she followed up with "I did not create you, God did." Those words alone catapulted me into a place I had never been before. I had been raised in the church & knew right from wrong but I never thought I could expect anything from God!

Although my journey with Christ did not start until later on those words triggered something in my heart. I was not able to move forward until I acknowledged who it was that held my future in the palm of their hands. At 22 I found myself in a world with expectations and nobody to meet them. I expected love from guys I gave my heart to only to have it broken in return. I expected loyalty from my friends only to have their backs turned on me in the end. Worst of all I expected to die not knowing what my purpose on this Earth ever was. I was so lost! It brings tears to my eyes to think about how hurt & broken I was at that time. I remember laying in my apartment crying & asking God if he was real to send me someone my age that was really walking the walk & not just talking & he did. I met a girl who was saved, in church & she exposed me to a different side of God I had never seen before. I knew then that I could pray & expect from him in return! I won't lie & say that I've received everything I've prayed for, but I can say that most of them not received, were all the things I didn't need.

I've been saved for 7 years now and I can attest that God has truly exceeded all of my expectations. I still don't have my degree but I know my purpose! I'm not married but I am loved, thankful & fulfilled. I have peace, I have joy, I have stability & I have independence. This past year I bought a new car, I moved into my own place & started a new career in the field of my unfinished degree. Won't he do it! I expected God to do enough & he did more than enough, because he is that type of God. When I was a freshmen in college I had no idea of who I was or wanted to become. The word of God tells us without a vision people perish & that is exactly what I was doing, perishing. Fortunately I had my mother there to remind me that there is a creator who knew why I was here. So I want to say to you, that there is a God who knows exactly who you are & why you are here also. As I close out I want to leave you with one of my favorite scriptures, Hebrews 12: 2.It tells us the Christ is the author & the finisher of our faith! This means that he knows our ending before we even see the beginning.

So hey girl, what do you have to lose, toss God an expectation or two & trust him enough to see them through. Jeremiah 29:11

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