Expectations of who I am and what I’m supposed to become are broadcasted each day into my mind. Lies infiltrate into the deepest areas of my heart and resound so loudly that I tap into the deception. It doesn’t take much for me to be deceived into believing they are truth.
I’ve felt the pressure to be perfect. I’ve tried to attain it with all my heart. Day after day it feels like a losing battle when I constantly fall on my face and feel like an utter failure. No matter how hard I try I won’t be able to please everyone. If I were trying to please everyone, I wouldn’t be pleasing God. I become so focused on pleasing others and are pulled into who they expect me to be that I lose focus on just being me, and even greater, pleasing God.
Society places pressures on us daily, in fact, momentarily. I have found the perceptions and expectations to be unbearable at times. I’ve grown discouraged with how far my life feels from the perfection society desires. I should be more successful at my job. I should be married. I should have children and a beautiful home. I should be smarter. I should have more friends. I shouldn’t be honest. I shouldn’t expose my flaws. I should have my life under control. I should have a 5 year plan. I should be achieving all my goals.
I have many desires for who I am and who I want to become, but I often find myself anxiously discouraged with where my life is currently stuck. I’ve prayed and tried to take steps in directions I’ve desired, but it seems like God keeps closing doors. It’s difficult to be patient with God’s timing when society has a strict timeline on when things should be occurring. I find it difficult to get my life together when I have no idea what direction God wants me to take or where He’s leading me.
I look to the timing society has brainwashed me into thinking, and I have to remind myself that my life isn’t decided by society. I get so caught up in what is “normal” or “popular” and lose sight of what God views as perfect for me. God’s plan is unique just for my life. Not for my family or best friend, but just for me. Why am I looking to society to know what is best, when I have a God that knows my heart, desires, intimate needs and necessities better than I ever will?
When I look to society and the perceptions that weigh down my heart, I’ve grown to realize that I don’t need to be placed into the tiny box of what is expected. I have a God who is capable of doing the impossible and working outside the box of the expected. He’s using even the dormant stages of my life for something fruitful and prosperous. I shouldn’t desire to live a life in expectation of every plan being certain and secure, when I’m living a life of faith in God. Faith requires trust. It requires us to experience difficult opportunities to truly prove if that trust is real or if it will be broken by the harsh winds of difficulty.
Do you feel caught up in the expectations of society, leaving you feeling anxious and discouraged when they don’t fall in line with what is expected? Don’t lose heart. We weren’t made to fit into the plans that society has established. We were called to live a life that has a deeper value than what others are living for. We have a God that is capable of working through the darkest valleys and most helpless of circumstances and allowing something miraculous to arise.
The next time you feel dominated by what others think or perceptions that this world has deceived you into thinking, ask yourself if it is based on truth? Does God think that way about you? Is He placing those expectations on you? Is He perceiving you that way? I believe you’ll find that the answer is not Him, but rather us and Satan putting those burdens on ourselves.
I’ve fallen into the trap of yearning to please others and not look like a fool for letting them down. I’ve tried to seek perfection, hoping that others wouldn’t see my shortcomings. I’ve allowed others to take advantage of me because I was afraid to make a stand. I’ve acted like everything was okay because I was afraid of admitting my need for help. In the end, I don’t have to be accepted by this world. I’m not seeking approval from anyone here on this earth. I only need to live my life to glorify God. Nobody else. If others reject me or aren’t accepting of me, I don’t have to feel consumed by their disapproval, because I know that I have a steadfast love from God that will always welcome me in. He understands the deep ache rejection can bring, because He experienced it firsthand. If we’re rejected or unaccepted in this world because of Christ, we are considered blessed. We have great reward in heaven.
Matthew 5: 11
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you
Choose to focus on striving to live for God and not the world. It is a difficult task to strive for in the dominating society we live in that seems to attack us everyday. Even more than we may realize. Seek God in prayer and ask Him help keep you focused. Strive to live for Him and let the perceptions that tangle your thoughts be cut loose from the truths that God has instilled upon your heart. Don’t ever lose sight of doing what is right. No matter how different the world is from what it once was, what is right and wrong still remains. Society doesn’t change truth. God established it and what He promised will never change across time.
And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
1 Peter 3:14
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”