I knew I was in trouble when I caught myself running full blast through the front yard...barefoot...in my nightgown. He was leaving to go out. Again. I was frantic. I was out of control. I was lost and alone. I loved this man. I had not yet been married a year and my heart was in complete peril. I was 23 years old and no clue how to pull us out of the maddening cycle that we had begun. I had expectations. He had wounds. It was a match that could not be sustained.
We tried for eight years. We love each other still...though in a much different way. There is an understanding between us. I understand his heart and he understands mine. We are at peace. Unfortunately, We are not together.
Expectations are resentments in waiting. I wish I had known that 20 years ago. At 34, I’ve learned that my most disgusting trait is my unrealistic expectations. I struggle with this in my relationship with myself, my relationship with friends, and my relationships with men. Poor guys. I thought they could be girlfriends, saviors, counselors, sex gods, and the all in all. How sad for them.
As I’ve grown and broken time and time again, I’ve learned that the expectations stem from a deep brokenness and sense of abandonment within myself. I’ve also learned that the only thing that has begun healing and continues it, is my relationship with God. In Him, every expectation is met and my expectations of others are tempered.
I had an epiphany: Christ must have sensed what it felt like to be abandoned in Gethsemane that fateful night before His capture. He grappled with His Father and the sense of aloneness He felt. How comforting to know that while God does not have abandonment issues, He knows the pain of abandonment.
In Matthew 26: 55-56 we read “In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”
Jesus was facing the most lonely journey of His life. Where were His family; His disciples? These twelve that He had poured his time, love, and ministry into...They deserted and fled. Jesus’ disciples abandoned Him at the beginning of His end. What a lonely road...what a lonely walk on a dark night that must have been for Him. Abandoned. Alone with his tormenters.
God knows abandonment. When you lay in your bed at night and muse about your aloneness...He lays with you and feels it too. When you walk through your days wondering if anyone will reach out to you, He walks with you and feels it too. When your expectations are unacceptable and you push others away out of fear, He stays and refuses to leave. He is the God of our abandonment...and HE REFUSES TO LEAVE.
Can we even imagine that? Someone that refuses to leave? For some of us broken souls, it pushes our minds and hearts to the limit. Can it be true? “There is a being...a God...that created ME, loves ME, AND He refuses to leave?” Is it possible?
“But, I’ve been left by everyone! I’ve been abandoned by my Father. My Mother had high expectations and I couldn’t reach them. My husband? I’ve never been able to match his ideals for me. My friends? They are so much more together than I’ll ever be. My church family? I could never let them see the broken parts...they’d shun me.” Yet there He is...waiting in the wings of our hearts...a GOD WHO NEVER LEAVES.
Our Savior...the one who created us and knew our paths while in the womb. The wanted and the unwanted. The desired and the undesired. The pretty and the ugly. The struggles and the victories. The triumphs and the failures. He NEVER EVER LEAVES. Speak that over yourself today. Repeat it at every turn. Soak it in. Let it wash over your skin and your heart as a salve.
We do not have to fear abandonment any longer. We do not have to be orphans of this world any longer. We do not have to feel alone any longer. We are children of a Father who never leaves. We are the bride of groom who never leaves. We are never alone. Let his presence override your expectations. I am.
Grace N Peace,