I am the Queen of Expectations and hereís the story of my reignÖ
Once upon a time there was a new bride who wanted to be the perfect companion for her Knight in Shining Armor. Even though she worked a full time job in a village close by, she still managed to fix her Knight his favorite meal in the evening. The castle was spotless when he got home from his travels and she even took time to slide love notes into his horseís saddle each morning before he rode off. She couldnít wait to hear his words of praise to thank her for her efforts. Surely he would think she had outdone herself today.
For their first anniversary, she spent hours shopping for that special gift knowing that it would be the best gift he had ever received. But surprised she was when he opened it and noticed that it was not received as she had expected. He looked at it and smiled and then went back to business as usual. After all, a Knight has a lot of responsibilities and a busy schedule.
She prepared the perfect meal for her Knight and even anticipated his response. Ta-Da! When she uncovered the entrťe and revealed a perfectly displayed fillet, he nodded politely and then asked where the messages were from that day. Later she discovered he barely touched the food she had prepared because he had eaten a hearty lunch with his comrades. After all, a Knight is constantly busy and needs additional nourishment.
Ah, she was so in love!
But as the months passed by she started to sense that something was genuinely wrong with her Knight. Knowing that all her previous attempts to please him had failed, she started spending several hours each day praying for him. One evening, while boastfully admitting her gesture, she was shocked to find that what she had prayed for him was not at all what he would have wanted prayers for - had she asked. She knew that a particular session was challenging her Knight so she prayed for his patience, knowledge, and guidance. He mentioned that he needed prayers for his pupils to understand the concepts and theory. "Ouch!" She couldnít even get prayer right for her Knight in Shining Armor.
It seemed the more determined she was to make her Knight happy the more miserable he had become. It didnít take her long to realize that she was getting so exhausted trying to live up to his expectations that she almost always found herself secluded in her own private chambers.
The result? He let her down and he didnít understand why. Her expectations did not match his. As a matter of fact, he didnít understand what or how she expected him to react to all her efforts. All he knew was that he could not please his bride. So ends the reign of the Queen of Expectations.
Have you ever been let down because of the expectations you have placed on others without them knowing it? We think we have special powers and can read each otherís minds but we fall short...miserably short.
I, the Queen of Expectations, realized that what I thought my husband wanted wasnít at all what he wanted or needed. He didnít want elaborate meals; he wanted time and space to unwind. He didnít care if the house was spotless; he wanted me to welcome him home after a hard day of work. He didnít care what the gift was; he was content knowing I remembered the day. While I was wearing myself out trying to do things to make him happy, he was trying to find a way to spend more time with the woman he married. I had changed! And in the process I ended up making us both unhappy.
I can look back on those early years of our marriage with a smile knowing how silly it was for me to think that I could fill my husband's life with gifts and treasures rather than being an active partner in our relationship. He wanted me just the way I was the day we were married, not the person I had become.
So it is with my relationship with Jesus. He takes me just as I am, broken or bruised - with or without makeup - grungy or tattered. Jesus doesnít want me tired from overextending my schedule, He wants me renewed so that I can witness for Him with joy. Jesus isnít looking for perfection; He wants a humble disciple. Jesus isnít going to stop loving me because I mess up; Heís going to pick me up when I fall.
The only expectation Jesus places on me is the same one my husband asksÖfaithfulness. Through that faithfulness, Jesus will make me happier than any gift, fuller than any meal, and speak volumes over any well thought out love note. Jesus will make me richer than any tiara, more beautiful than any makeover, and more loved than all the words ever spoken.
[God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. Isaiah 62:5 NIV]