Expectations are a dangerous thing. They can bring disaster upon your relationships, experiences, or whatever. I remember attending a women’s conference where the speaker described the difference between an expectation and reality. The space between the two she labeled as the “misery factor.” That description always stayed with me. I guess you remember the things that resonate with you the most. I know I have suffered many times from the misery factor, and the expectations that we have in our relationship with our moms are certainly no different.
Holidays like Mother’s Day and others can be bittersweet for some. We may have moms who have passed away… or moms who do not live nearby; and there may be some of us who do not have good relationships with our moms. The expectations we have can be a barrier to happiness. So, celebrating a day that focuses on our moms and the relationship we have with them may not be all that encouraging and enjoyable.
What I have found to be true in God’s family, though, is that He can provide exactly what we need to fill in what is lacking or missing from our life. Some of the relationships I have through my faith are stronger and dearer to my heart than that of my blood family. In other words, I have spiritual mothers and sisters that fill the gap for me. When we are open to receiving what God wants to give us, it can be overwhelming to experience the goodness of His provision. I am reminded of James 1:7; “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights.” We have a loving heavenly Father who desires our best and will fulfill our needs but, in His timing, and according to His will. It may not always look like we think it should look, but it will be exactly what we need and when we need it. We can trust Him in this. Our deepest emotional needs can only be met in Jesus, and it is wrong to expect any other person to fill that need.
When my mom died suddenly last year and with no warning, my expectations of having more time with her went unmet. I had always imagined that I would be at her side in her last days, hours and moments, holding her hand, praying over her and just being there for her. My expectations did not turn into reality. She died in her sleep with no warning. I thought of all the things I wished I could say… but now would not have that opportunity. That was hard, I’m not going to lie. But in the midst of my grief there were so many blessings mixed in that it started to amaze me just how good my Heavenly Father is to me. And I realized, His blessings are always surrounding us, but sometimes we don’t notice them as much as we do when we are emotionally raw. This realization bolstered my faith.
And in the aftermath of her death, God has brought spiritual mothers into my life. Joanie sends me a message every week encouraging me and cheering me on. My mother’s best friend, Ann, continues to pour out her love into my life. I know my mom would be extremely grateful for these precious ladies to be loving on her daughter.
I can imagine mom in heaven dancing and praising God and joyfully experiencing all the wonders of His presence and love. Someday I will be there with her and we will dance and sing and be full of joy together. I imagine we will plant a beautiful rose garden together and enjoy the perfect cup of tea! I look forward to that day. That is one expectation I believe will be fulfilled. In the meantime, I live in faith and hope, enjoying the provision of my Father in heaven who loves me more than I could ever know.