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"High expectations set us up for heartache."
Expectation (noun) - something looked forward to; an assumption;
a presumption; something that is supposed to happen
Days are filled with expectations. On Wednesdays, I expect my trash to be picked up by my heroes in the fancy truck. When I get in a vehicle and turn the key, I expect the ignition to fire and hear the sound of a well-running engine. There are times when I'm disappointed. Yet the dilemma is easily resolved with a call to waste management or Chuck's auto shop. (Okay. True confession: I really call my husband!)
The assumptions of people might not be as easily resolved. I'm still holding onto my expectation of granddaughters to empty the sand from their shoes outside - rather than have debris scatter across the floor as they kick off their shoes while munching grapes at the kitchen counter. (Gotta love 'em!) I can chuckle while thinking of expectations I have of my gr'daughters.
There are no chuckles when I reflect on expectations I had during early years of my son's meth use. Mornings usually started in the kitchen. Most moms relate to the early hour preparing breakfast, packing lunches and checking backpacks. The "normal" routines for families who have a loved one battling substance abuse are also seasoned with fear, anxiety and tears.
~ Max Lucado ~
Memories of deep disappointments stem from expectations that "today he will go into rehab. We'll finally be free of this nightmare!" One morning I watched through the kitchen window. He lay against the passenger door as his dad pulled out of the driveway. I prayed. It was a 2nd or 3rd attempt to enter Teen Challenge. I was told how our son anxiously paced throughout the intake room pulling his hoodie low over his face. He fumbled with cigarettes sitting on the curb outside the facility before getting back into his dad's truck to go back home and "think about it." Similar scenes replayed numerous times in the years to come.
You face daily disappointments. Expecting a loved one to celebrate a holiday? Instead you quietly remove the place-setting by the empty chair. Expecting gratitude for paying a debt? Instead you go without even getting a nod of acknowledgement. Expecting the truth - you are deceived. Expecting promises kept - you experience disappointments. Expectations. Do you perceive a pattern here?
This is starting to depress me!
So let's switch it up.
My outlook on life improved as I changed my way of thinking.
This should be repeated several times a day: When I changed my mindset - my perspective of life improved. Remember, the only one I can change is myself. Nagging lies of guilt or despair get kicked to the side. I intentionally stand strong on truth.
Acceptance of truth gives me hope.
1. Recognize the power of the drug
Substances overpowered the son I knew. Over time, the function of his brain was altered and my loved one was hijacked. He believed drugs and alcohol were vital for his very survival. He was often driven by desperation. There's a hideous power in this illness of the body, soul, and spirit.
I finally acknowledged that his behaviors were not a personal rejection of love and family. I don't receive his words or actions as personal attacks.
2. Realize the spiritual battle in place
I intentionally worked to stop fighting my son. I surrendered my futile efforts to God and stepped into the place of victory Jesus already won at the cross. This is God's battle. Not mine. Today I strive to play a wiser role in my son's life. At times, I blow it big time. Still human. But I sincerely desire only two things to flow from my lips:
* Powerful prayers to God
* Words of encouragement to my son