A lot of the time I think that The Lord expects more from me than He really does. I push myself to grow and to forage through difficult times only to condemn myself for not doing enough or not being good enough. I find that I push myself to grow all at once; setting standards for my abilities and expecting to meet a certain mark by a certain time. I found myself miserable when I could not achieve these goals.
Earlier this summer, I decided to fly back home to New Orleans to be with family because my grandfather had passed away. Before I had left home, I had finally mastered waking up very early every other day to ensure a longer prayer time and to have a morning workout. Unfortunately, when I returned home, I felt thrown off my schedule. I would try to do what I had been doing before, only to feel worn and exhausted. I had thought that maybe this was because I hadn’t felt like I was able to grieve properly, but it continued. I realize now that even before I had been thrown off my schedule, I had been placing a load of expectations on my shoulders. I feared that if I couldn’t meet a certain level of expectation that The Lord had set for me, I would be a failure. False.
First of all, it wasn’t The Lord setting these expectations, it was me. However, due to the fact that I thought that this was what The Lord required of me, I stopped being gentle with myself. I really started tearing myself down and picking myself apart. I felt that I was not able to serve like I wanted to serve or give like I wanted to give. My mistakes were amplified and my sensitivity to criticism skyrocketed.
“Easy.” I heard one day in prayer. “Remember who you serve.” A kindhearted, gracious God; a gentle Love who didn’t see me as a failure. I want you to see this too, sweet sister. The Lord wants us to go easy on ourselves because that’s how He treats us. He does not set “expectations.” Yes, there are guidelines like the Bible and the 10 Commandments, but when we fail to execute accurately, The Lord does not stop drawing us deeper into His love. He does this even if it means going back to square one. That’s the beauty of this life He gave us. We are given the opportunity to start fresh every day.
I’m grateful to have been “thrown off schedule,” because it provided me with insight to see the reality that The Lord doesn’t expect perfection, but fortitude. I’m glad that His yoke is easy and that His burden is light. Matt 11:28-30.
May God give you the sweetest peace.