Expectations. We all have them. Many of us push against them. The “piano-playing, be-silent-and-always-agreeable” expectations of previous generations have given way to “be-at-everything, teach-all-bible-studies, be-perfect-and-always-happy, and lead-the-women’s-ministry” kinds of expectations. When we allow other people’s expectations— or even expectations of ourselves— to have the power to shape us into the kinds of women and leaders we should be, rather than the God who called us into ministry in the first place, we find ourselves quickly trapped in that prison otherwise known as a pedestal. As Gloria Steinem says, “A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.”
We have to learn to reframe expectations in the light of God’s Word. This is so freeing! Learning that many of our expectations cannot and should not be met liberates us from the confining prison of trying to measure up to impossible standards.
We need to learn and rest in some essential truths:
We are not omniscient. It is impossible to know all the answers both biblically and spiritually to all things in life, relationships, parenting, marriage and the many struggles that come from relationships. We cannot have every line of scripture stuffed into our heads. We cannot be the sole source for wisdom, counsel, and advice. We are not God; neither are you. And that’s a good thing.
We are not omnipresent. We cannot be at every baby shower, wedding, surgery, hospital bed, women’s ministry event, small group party, and leadership meeting while still making it to every soccer game, school performance, PTA meeting, date night, and birthday party. It is not possible. We cannot be in all places at all times. We are not God; neither are you. And that’s a good thing.
We are not omnipotent. It is not possible to have a life free of struggle, weakness, and heartache. It’s not in our own ability to handle, anything that life and people throw our way. We are not perfect. We are not all-powerful. We are not God; neither are you. And that’s a good thing.
Before you get in the truck: Today we’ve been reminded about what we are not. Now let’s remind ourselves who we are. Spend some time meditating on these scriptures: Ephesians 1:3-8, Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 2:10.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.
Know who you are OnPurpose!!