Short Stories

Stripped Expectations

I am built of expectations. They squeeze me in and push reality out. They suffocate my heart and give life to an empty, empty world. I give in freely. I raise the white flag and gladly hold myself captive within their walls. Expectations that I tried not to have. Expectations that we are all warned about and yet somehow they still own a margin of our hearts until bursting forth in destruction.

A great gust of wind surrounds me, expectations shatter around me. Time is frozen, or is it that my heart learning to beat again? Tears and remorse are one in the same as expectations are flushed from my being, and reality—dear sweet reality—rushes in!

How could I forget this? I see a mother who holds only love for me and a father who wishes to teach me well. I see siblings who want my best, and who also love me fiercely. I see friends of my childhood who never abandoned me, and I see friends of my adolescence who betrayed me deeply. And still the display is beautiful!

I see questions and pain, anguish and unrest. I see anxiety and darkness….regret and hope. I see a heart that is broken and then slowly healed. I follow the memory thread of chronic pain and find tears at sunset, defeat at night, and miracles in the morning.

I see my life before I burdened it with expectations.

The sweeter my life became, the harder I tried to make it live up to more.

I see man who loves me, cautious then full. I see a memory thread of growth, dependence, laughter, and love. I follow the thread to a wedding, a honeymoon, a marriage. I embrace it, and yet I see that the sweeter my life became, the harder I tried to make it live up to more. My more.

I see a home that is safe and inviting. I see vulnerability lived day in and day out. I see a man giving of himself over and over again. I see house projects being accomplished together. I see a Christmas of surprise and a Christmas of quiet. I see adventures in an old 90s truck. I see a history forming in the memory thread of family. I follow the thread to laughter and arguments, confrontation, and comfort, forgiveness and love.

I see two people becoming one! Love more selfless. Friendship more raw. Laughter more boisterous.

And then they are back in force! Expectations hit me from every side and I swallow them whole, and take them to heart. I mull over dreams and unmet hopes. I lose myself in the lifeless thread and I follow it nowhere—-




Still I find this perpetual blindness. Because…the more life I have, the more in life I want.

I will lose everything to grasp at this lifeless thread, so knotted full of empty expectations. The wind dies down, and the memories vaporize. I pull expectations from my heart. It is clothed in emptiness. And I am ashamed.

Hard, imperfect reality rushes in , and it it beautiful to hold! I see 22 year old hands cradling something so precious and so fragile that I am taken aback by the responsibility  and privilege I grasp.




Life not bound by my expectations, but rather the planned and purposed reality of my Creator. These 22 year old hands shake at the magnitude, and raise to the heavens in praise. This is my life stripped bare of expectations?

How curious that when stripped bare, it is the most beautiful gift to behold!

written for all the times I forget how beautifully full my life truly is!

thank you, God.

4 thoughts on “Stripped Expectations

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