April 5, 2017


We all have expectations for things in our lives. We have expectations of our spouse, our children, our job, our finances, our friends, our church.....the list goes on & on. Expectations are different for each person, each phase of life, each situation. Sometimes we have low expectations & sometimes we have high expectations -- it depends on what is going on around us. Expectations can change while we are dealing with something. They can change each time we face a similar situation.

As a widow, I didn't know what expectations I would have until I entered widowhood. The days leading up to Daron's death, I expected that things around me (friends, family, etc) would stay the same. I expected people to walk beside me & support me along this new journey. I had these expectations without thinking about them. I guess you could say that I just assumed nothing would change. Truthfully, nothing really changed.....until the day after Daron's funeral service. That is when all of my expectations were violently thrown out the window. People who I expected to be there for me disappeared from my life without notice. Others stayed on the outskirts of my journey & spoke to me like I was an acquaintance instead of a member of the family or a friend for many years. Some people have chosen to ignore me completely. Others have chosen to only say Hello on there way to talk to someone else. Then there are those who see me coming there direction & turn around abruptly so they can avoid me. I wasn't expecting to be treated like I have the plague or something. I wasn't expecting people to act like widowhood is a contagious disease.

Trust me, I get it. I understand that people don't know how to act around me. They don't know what to say to me, or they are afraid of saying something stupid. I was the same way before July 30, 2016. I always worried that I was saying the wrong thing to someone who had suffered a great loss. But even though I get it doesn't mean that I don't get hurt when these things happen. I still have feelings & they are easier to hurt now then before.

I have come to realize that it is better to say something then it is to say nothing. It is better to ask the widow or widower exactly how they are doing & take the time to listen completely. It is better to give a hug then to walk the other way. Just saying Hello in passing doesn't cut it. Actually, it makes me feel like I am not worth your time or effort. Actions speak louder then words - now more then ever. I'm not offended if you say something stupid - unless it is extremely hurtful. I see those moments as was to help others get a glimpse into my life. I won't call you out on what you said. I will help you learn how to say it differently so as not to offend others.

My expectations of people has changed drastically over the last 8 months. I have come to see who my true friends really are & who were just pretending. I have come to see what is important to me & what isn't. I have come to realize what needs to change & what can stay the same. I have made some changes in my life based on new expectations......other changes will follow in the near future. Everything I do is bathed in prayer & I am following God's leading in my life. I don't know where He will take me or who He will bring into my life (or take out of my life). I do know that all I need to do is trust Him without any expectations.

I am grateful to those few dear family members & friends who have stayed beside me. The ones who contact me to see how I am doing & are willing to hear the truth. The ones who I know will be there in the middle of the night if I just need a listening ear. The ones who have seen me at my worst & only want God's best for me. The ones who are slow to speak & quick to listen. The ones who see for me who I am, not the journey that I am on. I know that God has blessed me with some amazing people in my life to help me along this journey.

I am grateful for the friends who take the time to say something, anything, other then Hello. I know they don't know what to say or they are afraid of saying something stupid, but I am grateful they still treat me like a person. They can see me for me & not just for my journey.

I am (slowly) coming to realize that God even blessed me with those who left my life, or are on their way out of my life. He put those people in my life to show me what true family & friends look like. For that, I am grateful that they were in my life for a short time. While it still hurts that they couldn't meet expectations, I know that God has a wonderful plan & they were apart of it for a reason. While it hurts that they have left my life when I thought they were true friends, I can see God working His plan. I don't always see it & I don't always trust it, but I know it's there.

Expectations are hard to deal with when others don't meet them they way we want them to. But, I think expectations help us grow. I know that sounds odd, but I think it's true. Expectations can help us see what it right from what is wrong. They can help us see the true family & friends from the ones who leave at the first sign of struggle. They can help us see what we need to change in ourselves for our good. They can help us change a situation for the better. Not all expectations need to be met & that's okay. It's also okay for expectations to be broken because that will help us grow. We won't see the growth right away, but we will will get glimpses of it here & there. That is what I am seeing -- small glimpses of growth in my life. The growth is painful at times, but that will only make us stronger in the end.

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