Let me back up. My bag is packed. The away message is set for my email and voicemail. My family has the emergency phone number. Very soon I will walk out my front door and begin the journey to Colorado to spend four days at the Toth Ranch for a women’s retreat that promises to be unforgettable.
I’ve got some expectations. I expect to unplug by keeping my iPhone set to airplane mode. I expect to grow closer to the five lovely women (affectionately known as “The Colorado Girls”) I’m traveling with. I expect to step outside my comfort zone by meeting and being intentionally open with new people. I expect to see a new portion of God’s astounding creation, covered in more snow than I care to imagine. I expect to spend four days in yoga pants (try not to be jealous!).
All that’s pretty safe, though…for the most part. Earlier I said it was on…so stick with me for a minute.
I’m a firm believer in the power of expectation. Set ’em low, you’ll reach them…and likely not exceed them. Set ’em high and you’re talking possibility! But you’re also talking risk. There’s an inherent fear in high expectation – what happens if you miss? If you fail? The prospect becomes even riskier when you’re expecting something from God. What if it doesn’t happen? What would that mean about God? About how he feels about me? About who he is?
I touched on this back in my very first blog post and in recent weeks my ability to expect big has begun to grow. I think it comes down to a very crucial shift from having head knowledge to having heart knowledge. In my head, I know God answers prayer. I know he loves to work through me. I know he adores me. I’ve known these things since I was five. But it’s only been over the last couple of months that my head knowledge has begun to make its way into heart knowledge. All it takes to begin that process is a little bit of daring.
You see, once you watch the physical world respond to your prayer, you begin to accrue heart knowledge that God answers. Once you obediently offer an encouraging word to someone God lays on your heart and they confess how badly they needed to hear those very words, you begin to accumulate heart knowledge that he loves working through you. Once you take time to slow down and allow yourself the vulnerability to tell God what’s really on your heart, he responds in kind and your heart understanding of how wildly you’re loved by God as his kid builds.
At least that’s how it happened for me.
And then expectation becomes something you crave. What else can I ask? What else can I believe for? Because as I step out onto that limb of expectation, God keeps meeting me and the trust becomes less fearful and more exciting.
So in Colorado…I’m expecting to come back changed. I’m expecting God to provide answers to some questions I’ve been asking. I’m expecting him to bring people across my path who I need in my life…and who need me…so we can get to where he’s called us. I’m expecting to become saturated in the fragrance of the presence of God. And I’m putting all this out there so that you can expect with me and for me. And so when I come back…maybe the results will help encourage you to take on a daring adventure of expectation in your life.
Aim higher. Dream bigger. Expect more. And keep doing those things…because if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not over yet. Or something better that never occurred to you is on its way.
Which is why I say, It’s on, cupcake…it’s on.