Expectations

Admitting that I had expectations was like shining a magnifying glass somewhere deep within my gut until it caught enough light from the sun to start causing a little burn, like an ant under the glass of two kids on the summer sidewalk.

I wanted to be cooler than that.

Chill.

I wanted to be considered “chill.”

Because that’s how she would be.

Admitting that she exists makes me want to run away and hide myself somewhere deep inside myself, like stuffing a plastic Target bag inside a Walmart bag, inside a grocery bag, inside another 10 Target bags.

But she wouldn’t own plastic.

Because plastic isn’t cool. It’s extremely harmful to the environment, you know.

She would buy 100% organic cotton, 100% fair trade certified or higher.

She would fight for equal rights for humans everywhere–

For workers across the globe who can’t speak for themselves
For men and women… and women…
For humans that are trafficked for sex or other work
For disabled peoples
For colored peoples
For all peoples
For you

She would advocate for small businesses and expose corrupt organizations.
She would advocate for people to listen to each other better.
She would advocate for animals.
She would display beauty in diversity.
She would encourage people to be their best selves and not feel shame or guilt for who they are or where they are.

But no one would think she’s weird. They wouldn’t call her a “hippie” for living a holistic and naturally based lifestyle and they wouldn’t call her liberal for being outspoken about social justice. They wouldn’t call her crazy or “out there,” or make her feel threatened.
They wouldn’t call her conservative for believing in absolute truth or having opinions that aren’t fancily wrapped in chameleon-colored bows.

No, No. She would just be cool.

She’s “chill,” you see because she loves well. I mean WELL, and as they say, love covers a multitude of sins. So even if she is a bit crazy, no one would call her that– it’d be endearing. She’s selfless like Mother Teresa, wise like Gandhi, gentle like Julie Andrews, and she loves you like the mother you never knew existed.

She is generous. She is hardworking and she can be the basic au-natural beauty or the decked from head to stiletto woman you want her to be, when you want her to be it.

You wonder, “How does she have time to do it all?” and the question lingers forever because just when you think, “There’s no way she could add something else to her plate,” you pass by her at the Golden Corral of life and the moment you wonder, “When is it all going to crash for her?” she passes you on the up escalator while you’re going down.

She goes to the gym every day.
She hikes.
She hikes a lot.
She is one with nature.
She has a cabin in the mountains and she travels the world.
Her third home is in Cabo, but even on her most luxurious vacations, she somehow manages to spend time loving on orphans and adopting them all.

Oh right, because somehow in all of this she is a mom.
And a wife.

A badass wife.

But that’s hardly the word people use to describe her.
Because she’s a go-getter.
A world class speaker.

And an artist.

You CAN’T forget she’s an artist.
She was practically born to be an artist.
She draws, she paints, she plays a few instruments in her spare time.
She dances, she sings, she acts, before she turns 98, she’s bound to pick up sculpting.
She makes films, she writes them.
She stars in them. She is them.

But don’t forget, she’s also still a mom.
She gave birth to children and she didn’t break a sweat.
Well, I mean, she did but it was in that, “Wow, you’re so strong, what an inspiration to everyone everywhere” kind-of-way, not like a “Oh honey, it’s okay, you’re gunna make it through this,” kind-of-way.

And you best believe she got back in shape within a week after giving birth and magically found a way to dissipate any stretch marks she might have gained.
Stretch marks. Yeah, she has just enough to be “real” and “relatable,” but not enough to be “distracting” or “ugly.”

Homegirl has been to every country in the world and run a marathon on every continent.

She’s good at math. She can do long division in her head and she even wrote a new equation that helps us to predict near catastrophic events that are both natural and man-made.

She’s great at science and history too. She can see timelines in her head and never misses the dates on facts.
It’s no secret, she’s great at English. She writes sonnets that drift you off to sleep and stories you breathe in like morning coffee. People read her books, her blogs, her t-shirts, and you can tell when they have because they have this smile on their face that reads “My life has been changed in an incredibly profound way that only she could manage.”

She knows 17 languages and is working on her 18th.

She takes a picture with her iPhone, but you want it in your new home because it’s just that beautiful.

She’s best friends with all the homeless people in your city and all the celebrities you’ve seen on TV. Her friend group consists of an inner circle of saints and a ring of sinners because she’s balancing accountability and ministry.

She is poised and polished. She is eloquent and always knows what to say and when to say it. She’s never passive aggressive because she has no need to be. In her past life she must have been a nurse because she comforts you better than anyone you’ve met and she dissipates any symptoms of your illness.

She serves in the church, day in and day out and she perfectly walks the line between independent and need-ily vulnerable.

She makes you laugh but she also makes you think, and she only pushes you as much as you need it. No one ever resents her because even if they don’t see her perspective immediately, they’ll come around within the first 5 minutes.

Her hair is perfect, even after surfing, and (besides Jesus) she’s the most humble person you know. Her skirts and dresses are never too long or short, they’re the perfect fit.

Most of all, she loves God. Like other people say they love God, but she LOVES him. She radiates his presence and everyone she meets is transformed by an element of His truth that catches them as a spark from her flame. And God loves her too, obviously.

She’s always getting better! You think she can’t get any better or raise the bar any higher and she does! Since when did she become so well-informed about anime, trains, sound systems, engineering, Van Gogh, skateboarding, rocket-launching, Adele, watch-making, knitting, AND achieve a Nobel Peace Prize? I don’t know. But if I did, I’d be down to drink whatever juice she’s drinking.

There is only one flaw within her perfect little frame and it is this–

She terrifies me.  And I feel crazy about saying this but she haunts me every day. I’ve pretended long enough that she doesn’t exist because I thought that if I ignored her long enough she would starve from my attention and eventually I could take her place. But I asked God to show me what it is that causes so much fear in me whenever life starts to gain momentum and immediately it was her who came to mind. And this time she would leave the review mirror of my brain so I knew I had to face her once and for all. But how do you even step in the direction of someone so perfectly scary?

I’m still not sure how it happened, but I decided to give it a shot. I learned her name is Expectation and she looks a lot like me, but prettier… more, transcendent. Since then I’ve tried to hunt her down but like Peter Pan with his shadow I can never get her to stick to me. She haunts me from an allusive distance, never close or far enough.


Her existence leads me to this one question: Why do I want to be God? In that way, it feels like I’m more similar to Satan.

Lord, I don’t know what perfect is, but whatever it is, I want it. I pant for it day and night. Even when I don’t want to want it or think I want it, I do. Perfection is my drink of choice. Quench my thirst.

Truthfully Lord, I beg of you to satisfy my wandering appetite. Embrace me with the infinite gifts that only you have to give. She’s not me. I know that. And I know you wouldn’t want that for me. So why do I want that for me? God. Why? I want to want what you want, but I don’t. I want her. Who am I really Lord? Who do you want me to be? Why can’t I be her? I know you have many reasonable answers. At least the answers they would tell me like, “Because God’s plan is perfect. He knows what’s best for you. You can’t do it all,” blah blah blah, I know. I know that’s true but why? Give me a better reason God. Why can’t I be who I want to be? Why can’t I do it all? Someday, I’ll live in a world where forever is in my DNA. Will I be able to do it all then? Until then, I suppose, please God help me to be overjoyed with what you’ve given me now. Show me what to pursue. Help me live by your Spirit, with your armor, bearing your fruit, enjoying your gifts, bringing you glory, because that’s the best thing there is for me to do with this life.

Forever and Always,

Emma

 

 

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