Setting appropriate expectations is something that is vital to your spirit while walking through this journey of adoption. But, how do we do that? Do we assume that things will go exactly like we hope they would? Do we wait in fear that things will be the opposite of what we expected? What is the middle ground?
“What you meditate on you magnify, and what you magnify will move you” (Mike Patz).
You might be thinking “I don’t really meditate on negative thoughts about my adoption. But the very definition of the word “meditate” is simply this: to think deeply or carefully about something.
Paul got it right when he said, “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
So good, right? This is such a simple concept: whatever is “good”-think about that. But, this is not something that is always easy to do, nor is our fleshly reaction to things most times.
I want to encourage you to push past the idea of positive thinking. I don’t believe that God is asking use to look at our circumstances through rose colored glasses. I do believe that He is asking us to look at our story and embrace the whole thing, because every single page, chapter, character, plot, conflict and resolution of your story matters to God! This requires putting a genuine faith and trust in His plan and timing. When we submit ourselves to God’s purpose, we are trusting in a God that has our deepest desires in mind and who also wants the absolute best for us!
It is so important to remember that we choose what kind of story we tell ourselves. God is the Author of your story and he writes stories full of hope, joy and blessing. But, He also tends to specialize in stories of redemption, grace and moments that test the limits of our faith. We can’t forget that the whole story, even the hard moments, are important.
We typically don’t enjoy waiting. We don’t enjoy unknown details. We don’t enjoy a hands-off-the-wheel mentality. Well, I guess I will raise my hand and admit that I don’t like those things. I am much more comfortable when I can control an outcome. But living in those behaviors and mindsets that make us most comfortable are not a part of God’s design.
We are sheep that are in constant need of a Shepherd. While the difficulties and hardships that we face are not pleasant to walk through, they are reminders of our sheep-like nature. They point us back to the Shepherd that was walking beside us all along. When our journey hasn’t looked quite like we expected it would, we can “lay down in green pastures” and wait for the Shepherd to prepare the way for us.
As children of God what expectations should we have in this journey of adoption?
⁃ We can expect that when we seek the Lord, we will find Him.
⁃ We can expect that when we humble ourselves, He will raise us up.
⁃ We can expect Him to instruct us in the ways we should go.
⁃ We can expect that He will never leave us and that He has gone before us.
⁃ We can expect that His grace is sufficient for us.
⁃ We can expect that His plans are GOOD and they are to prosper us.
God’s perfect plan is worth every single detail, moment of uncertainty, and hardship that you face. Putting your trust in Jesus and expecting His best for you life will never leave you unsatisfied!
Remember, God is the Author of your story, and He doesn’t write bad stories.