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Quiet Time

    by Kasia Kedzia

Great Expectations
Date Posted: March 12, 2013

I realized recently that my expectations of myself can be unrealistic. We all have expectations of ourselves and others but when we take the time to pause and examine them, are they really in line with the expectations God has of us?

Micah6:8 The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

As I continue to read Holley Gerth’s, You’re Already Amazing, I was convicted and relieved by her insight into the scriptures on expectations. I needed the reminder and perspective check. God expects me to do right by practicing self-control; to love mercy by loving others as myself, and to walk humbly with him by loving him above all.

Recently, within a span of two weeks I started a new job, lost a grandparent, and have had to start apartment hunting. One of these things alone can be stressful enough but all three at the same time proved to be more than a little overwhelming. My initial response was to try and take it all on by myself. In my mind the expectation of me is to stay focused, do excellent work, find a place and move by the end of the month, and support my grandmother while she grieves. When it came to the statement, “I must (fill in the blank) or this will happen (fill in the blank),” my expectation of myself was that I must put my emotions aside and do the right thing; to show the people around me that I am strong enough to handle these trials.

Gerth writes, “Fear can creep in at times even when we are doing exactly what God wants us to do in love. But if the only reason we’re doing it is out of fear, then it’s not from God.”

This quote really resonated with me. Although I was trying to do all the right things I was really motivated more by fear than by love. I feared disappointing people or looking weak. My emotions made me uncomfortable and so I did not want to deal with them. All of a sudden the things I always do I was doing for the wrong reasons. For example, I send out scriptures to my friends via text message to encourage them during the week. All of a sudden I was sending the texts more so to prove that I was ok and that I was still strong during this time rather than to encourage. Although I’m good at keeping in touch with friends, I found myself reaching out not to just keep in touch and encourage them but out of fear of appearing weak.

Gal3:3 (NLT) After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?

God tends to throw me in the deep end a lot, and at first I always resent it, but in the end, I see that it’s for my own good. He does it to force me out of my self-reliant, comfort zone and into the uncomfortable place of relying on and reaching out to Him. He also does it to show me that I can’t swing the pendulum the other way by trying to get my security from people over him.

Psalm 146 (excerpts NIV) “ 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.[...]5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever,[…] the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, […] 10 The Lord reigns forever”

A lot of expectations in my life are not from God. I make them up or take them from someone else. God doesn’t love a future version of me; he loves me. He doesn’t love the version of me that can handle everything, he loves the mess that comes before him and leans into him. When I know I am completely accepted, no matter what, my expectations change and shift back to those God has of me in Micah 6. I can focus on God being my all and give out of that to others. It also frees me to share my suffering or whatever I may be going through with others. God uses all these things for his good.

Rm 8:28 in all things God works for the good of those who love him

James1:3-4 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

God is for me. As such, I need to trust that others will love and accept me for who I am, in times of strength and weakness. These trials are not for me to jump through hoops but rather push me to persevere and grow spiritually. Living out Micah 6 is difficult enough; there is no need for me to add to it.

2Tim1:7 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love and self-control.

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Biography Information:
Gods brought me a long way from the New York City Housing Projects. I studied the Bible, repented, and was baptized for the forgiveness of my sins when I was 17 and have been repenting and striving towards heaven ever since. The hardest thing about becoming a Christian at 17 was trusting that God would take care of me, meet my emotional teen needs, and help me overcome my enormous insecurity...what else would a teen girl have trouble with?

Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved  to DC  to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.

Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.

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