expectant: having or showing an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.
Expectations – I have wrestled with this topic, thinking of all the wonderful terms about expectations. How we can exceed expectations, meet them, lower them, or defy them. How we can have false expectations or reasonable expectations. How our expectations can be dashed or surpassed.
What happened to your expectations in 2020? Mine were confounded, readjusted, and challenged. And yet as I sat down to write this post, I felt a little voice in my spirit say ‘be expectant’.
Be expectant – really? After the year we’ve had? After the ongoing Covid crisis in the world? After a start to 2021 with lockdown, bushfires, and floods? Wouldn’t it be better to mask up, make sure we have the pantry fully stocked, and revise our fire plan fifty more times?
We have all been through and are still in the middle of a global pandemic. And there is a collective grief, and uncertainty that must be acknowledged in the midst of this time. Yet, we need to be careful that we don’t overprotect ourselves so much that we are unable to experience the good, beautiful, and joyful in life.
Author and researcher, Brené Brown, talks about this emotion as “foreboding joy” where we dress rehearse tragedy so we don’t get hurt. We think we are protecting ourselves but in fact nothing can protect us from the hard things in life. Instead this armour stops us from genuinely enjoying those beautiful moments.
To be expectant, is not just having an expectation, but it is having an expectation of something good occurring. It is believing that life can and will be better. It enables us to go about our day with hope rather than dread, with gratitude and generosity, rather than a scarcity mindset.
There is a passage in Isaiah that keeps recurring for me in this season:
But the Lord says,Isaiah 43:18-19 (GNT)
“Do not cling to events of the past
or dwell on what happened long ago.
Watch for the new thing I am going to do.
It is happening already—you can see it now!
I will make a road through the wilderness
and give you streams of water there.
What are you clinging to and dwelling on from the last season? What do you think is keeping you safe but instead is robbing you of your joy? Maybe take a moment, grab a journal and write it down.
Now, in that journal, jot down some things you are grateful for, things that bring you joy.
Lastly, if you were to embrace the words ‘be expectant’, what new thing would you like to see in your life? Write that down too.
Let’s enter this new year with hope, generosity, and gratitude. I can’t wait to see the changes a community of women who are expectant will bring to our city, country and world.
So much truth here, Jodie.
This hit me in the feels:
We think we are protecting ourselves but in fact nothing can protect us from the hard things in life. Instead this armour stops us from genuinely enjoying those beautiful moments.
I have realized that I don’t allow myself to surrender to joy very often. I am often surprised by it but feel quite vulnerable surrendering to it.
Thanks so much for sharing Elaine, and I agree joy can be very vulnerable. Did you get a chance to check out the link to “foreboding joy” in my blogpost? It is Brené talking to Oprah, really insightful.