When Our Expectations Make it Hard to Trust God
I had all sorts of expectations when I started college. I had high hopes that this would be the peak of my life -- that college would be like everything I saw in the movies where the girl has a million best friends and walks through campus without a care in the world. I envisioned myself as that girl who finally has it all figured out and is perfectly put together all the time.
A year and a half into this “perfect world” called college and I am definitely not that girl who has it together all the time, nor do I have a million best friends. The funny thing about expectations, is that 99.9 percent of the time, they definitely don’t turn out how you thought they would.
Instead, my college career thus far can be summarized in of early mornings that allow going to class in hoodies, sweats, and messy buns; plenty of tears; and recognizing that it’s okay to be alone.
The Lord has taken me through a season that has held highs and lows. There have been nights when I have cried out to the Lord in anguish, and nights when I have laughed so hard I cried.
When I look back and reflect on the moments I spent with the Lord before I entered into this new season though, it makes sense in hindsight. The summer before I left for college I devoted myself to praying that in the next four years I would find myself. That I would figure out who I am and what I love. I prayed that the Lord would shape my heart to adore Him and that more than anything, I would grow.
And God has been doing the things I asked, just not in the way I thought He would.
When I asked Him to help me figure out who I was and what I love, He shed light on passions that I never identified myself with. Similarly, when I asked Him to help me grow, He guided me through experiences and challenges that have shaped me and changed my heart to reflect Him.
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” -Psalm 91:2
I battled for a long time with the Lord and asked Him time after time why He wasn’t giving me the things that I wanted. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” So why wasn’t I getting my heart's desires? I was angry that God wasn’t giving me the big group of friends that I wanted and that He was taking me through a season of loss and loneliness. But what I see now, is that I have to go through this season because this is how God is shaping my heart to love Him and figure out what it means to have a real, genuine relationship with Him. I am still a work in progress. In fact, there are still days where I cry out in anger and desperation, but I’ve learned that is okay.
I am choosing to embrace that this is the season I am meant to be in right now. I trust that God is going to get me through this and to where He wants me to be. And when loneliness begins to creep in, I try my hardest to use it as a tool to turn towards the Lord and not turn inward towards my emotions. Most of all, I know God still has so much more in store for me in my college years.
It’s truly amazing what happens when you let go and trust that God knows what He’s doing by placing you in the season that you’re in.
I encourage each of you to do just that: let go and believe that God is up to something, even if you feel like there’s no way He could be.