Realistic Expectations

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

It’s been a rough day.

It’s been a rough season. Not sure exactly how long that extends, but right now it feels almost like it’s never been any different than the way it is now. The main reason I know that is not true is this deep yearning in me for a return to something of “the way it used to be”.

Right now it feels like every single person I know has let me down. I really think every one. Whether it’s something they did to me (or failed to do), or some way I messed up and have not been allowed to restore the relationship… I’m pretty tired of most everybody right now.

So, what is it? I am ordinarily one of the more gracious, friendly, accepting, forgiving people you could ever know. Why do I have no allowance for people’s failings today?

One reason is the sheer volume of the troubles I am currently enduring. They are too many to list here. Maybe someday. Likely just in part. But, not now. Suffice it to say, the cumulative weight is approaching unbearable.

Now, don’t think I am naive. I know of several friends and some close family that I would not want to trade places with right now. (And many more complete strangers of whom I could say the same thing.)

But I don’t know if it’s possible to bear more.

So I know that’s a factor. But is that it? It’s just a bad time? A bad day?

Or is it something else?

I’ve been in a dark place all day, thinking about not only the things done to me (or, as I said, failed to be done) and even worse, I’ve been projecting into the future potential outcomes of these failures and actions. I find that I can get even more down, if that were possible, when I dwell on these things.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Yes, I know. I know.

Why do I cling to these unrealistic expectations? Not that I think everyone will always be perfect. I do not. But perhaps if it wasn’t nearly every part of my life crumbling at once?

To be fair, though of course they have failed me many times (and will again) I have enjoyed the spirit of my family today. (Which is odd, and cool, in that some of them are the source of other griefs I am bearing today…) I am super grateful for that.

We are all broken. Every one of us. You, your friends, your family, and me. That means we’ll all disappoint each other, regularly. But the part I’m struggling with today is that I’m not seeing the understanding of that. I’m not seeing grace. (In some cases, grace directed inward.) I think that might be the heaviest part of my burden.

What can I do, but press on? I am responsible for my actions and choices. No one else. I can be hurt by others, but I can’t make them fix it, or want to fix it.

I do wish I could sometimes. But somehow, in his wisdom, God decided it was best to give us the full ability to choose, good or bad. He’s there in both cases, always adding his good.

I also know that what I am feeling (and writing) can not be true. Some of you out there reading this (if you know me, and almost definitely if you do not know me) have in fact not let me down. Thanks. 😉 And I do know that life is an ebb and flow of good and bad. I’m just definitely in the ebb of good and the flow if bad. Perhaps that means a reverse of that is in my future?

Who knows? We do not. Definitely do not. We have today, right now, and that is all we have. Thankfully, I know that my Father is here with me through all of it, and that he will not disappoint me. (Though it could seem that way if I beloved more in my unrealistic expectations than I do in him.)

For you are all children[m] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. […] But when the right time came, God sent his Son […] to buy freedom for us […] so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.”

(selections from Galatians… a book that has encouraged me lately…)

Last one… “It’s always darkest before dawn.”

Must be just about daybreak.


  1. Hey Greg…funny I’m going through this right now too. I don’t know all the details, but it sound exactly what I am dealing with. So I understand and I’m praying for you.


  2. Thanks, Kim. Sorry to hear you’re in a similar spot. Life is definitely not all easy. But knowing that doesn’t make it better … what does is knowing that our Father is going through it with us to the other side. At least, it does for me. Will pray for you, too.


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