I sit in my car as I drive and my mind wanders. Situations play out in movie-like quality, conversations, interactions, moments in life. What I would say if “this” happened or what I would do if “that” happened. Maybe it’s my over-active imagination, or the fact that some call me a visionary, but it happens all the time. I do it before small things, like family gatherings for the holidays, anticipating what will be said, what I might wear, what the atmosphere will be like.
I do it before big things too – like before I start a new job, or go to a conference. My head imagines what the office or conference center looks like. I start visualizing what people wear, how they’ll interact with me, how I’ll feel.
All before I’ve even stepped out of my car.
I love having a mind that can take a situation and paint a picture. I think it’s one of the reasons I love writing, and it’s definitely an outlet for all the emotions that I feel – because I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my face, and sometimes feeling ALL THE THINGS makes a gal need to live in her head for a moment to see how it all plays out.
But it also sets me up for disappointment. In the middle of those imaginings, I start to set unintended expectations on people. I think about what the perfect small group gathering would look like, or what it would be like to have the perfect community, and suddenly? I’ve forgotten that community isn’t made up of perfect people. And there is no way that anything in my head can ever be achieved in reality, because a) I’m the only one who knows I expect it, and b) I’m not perfect either!
I’ve been learning lately that in order to keep my expectations in check, I first have to control my thoughts. I have to identify first where that idea of “perfect” has come from, and check it against Truth. Because God isn’t calling me to any of these places of community – whether it’s a girl’s night out, work, or a big blogging conference – because I have it all together. He’s calling me there because He wants to meet me. God has something for me in those spaces that I’ll miss if I focus on what it’s not, and how it doesn’t live up to the fantasy in my head.
Maybe you live in that place, too. Let’s just let it go? Let’s just try to show up expecting nothing but what God has planned for us, bringing only expectant anticipation and an extra measure of grace when something doesn’t go how we thought it would. I bet we’ll find that the reality is even better than we could have ever imagined.