Deadlines, Milestones, and Expectations

We live in a world of “should’s” and “supposed to’s”. Sure, we claim that normal is only a setting on a hair dryer, but the economy we have set up proves we believe otherwise in our heart of hearts.  All around us, guidelines are written out to tell us what is appropriate and what is not. From any early age, we are taught these so called norms. “You should be this tall before you ride this ride.” “You should eat your vegetables, but you should enjoy candy more”. “You are supposed to enjoy sports if you are a boy, and barbies if you are a girl”. “You should not pee in the pool”. (Okay, some of these are actually good tidbits of advice). Not all of these things are bad within themselves, but the saga seems to continue in a deeper way the older we become. “You should know what you want to do with your life by the time you graduate high school”. “You should get married sometime in your twenties, and then you should begin having children a couple years later”. Your baby should be born on this day.” “Your child should sit up by six months”. So many unsaid rules posted all around us, and many of them engraved directly on our hearts. So what happens when our lives don’t match up?
February 24th. The girls’ ten month birthday. That was the day the neurologist told us we should write down. If our girls were not sitting up by this point, then we would know something was “wrong” enough to do further testing. I engrained this day in my brain, and as the day came closer (and we were not sitting), I felt my heart sink. However, when I woke up this morning, I had a realization that brought freedom. Our children should not be sitting today. In the world’s economy, in this side of heaven’s rulebook, they absolutely should be. But, frankly, I look around, and it is pretty clear that I would rather live in God’s economy than the one this world has set. His ways are not our ways. His time tables are not our time tables. Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed and prayed for a son. The world said that it was way past time for them to conceive, and that it was probably all wrong, even shameful, that they could not and had not. When they did finally become pregnant (both advanced in years), I highly doubt that they ever cared nor remembered that the world had said it was supposed to happen in a different way. They trusted the Lord. They had their minds set on the big picture and not just a smaller piece of the puzzle. Our specific seasons or situations may not get answered in the way we anticipate on this side of heaven, but we will trust Him to the core. Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, we will hold on to the hope that regardless of what happens in the temporary, our girls will be healed for all eternity. Ally and Bailey Grace are made perfectly in His image. They are developing exactly as He planned before the beginning of time. And although WE had an expectation that appears to not have been met; God is not surprised and is doing all things in HIS timing. As we go back to the neurologist on Friday, I am fixing my eyes on His plans and not the worlds or even my own. I had a friend remind me that in the midst of these appointments, I should be above whatever is being said at all times. My heart should be so set on Christ and the things of eternity that the temporary fades away. I believe this is good wisdom for all of us in any and all situations.

So, what is it for you? What is the deadline you have set that you just can’t seem to meet? The unspoken due date of a season set in your mind? The milestone or the expectation that “has” to be met whenever you, your family, friends, co-workers, strangers, or society says so? Friends, God has not held out on you. He has not made a mistake, never has, and never will.  If you are in the midst of a should or supposed to, rest assured that His grace and provision have triumphed over all. You may be shocked or disappointed, but He is not. He did this.  In Christ, we are promised that every disappointment, unmet expectation, or atypical  circumstance in our lives HAS ALREADY BEEN MET THROUGH HIM THAT LOVES US AND DIED FOR US BEFORE THIS WORLD’S RULEBOOK EVER CAME INTO PLAY. And, let me remind you that He has not forgotten you. He is not holding out on you. He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him. Yes, friend, even that. This is why we celebrate February 24th when we could be mourning what isn’t. Because He is faithful.  He is working. He is sovereignly responsible. And, in all things, He is good and He will never forsake us. Our expectations have already been met through the One who is, was, and always will be. Praise and honor be solely to Him. Let’s praise Him in all things today.