Bouncing Back from Unmet Expectations

Bouncing Back From Unmet Expectations - Sometimes the problem is not the expectations. Sometimes the problem is instead perspective. #bounceback #bouncingback #inspiration #motivation #faith

So you did it all.  You did all the things life suggested.  You researched.  You planned.  You worked.  You prayed, and you waited.  You set your expectations high.  You set your faith high.

And it all fell apart.  The more you gave.  The more life took.  You persevered.  You kept going, and life kept taking until all you had left was the shell of the person you used to be.  Then, and only then, did you finally admit defeat.  You failed.  Even worse, God failed you.  Your faith waned into disappointment from your reality versus your expectation.

Bouncing back involves taking a real hard look at why. What are you trying to accomplish? #bouncingback #expectations #highexpectations #goals

You proceeded to give up on all of it – your plan, yourself, and your God.  As you laid without strength in the middle of your unmet expectations, you heard the still, small Voice tell you to get up.

Your first line of defense was to argue, but before you could muster an articulated response, He asked you to look around.  You wanted to roll back over and play dead, but He was so excited that you decided to take a peek.

What you saw made your jaw drop. You stood up and turned to make sure you were not hallucinating, but you were not dreaming. Your eyes were not deceiving you.

For as far as you could see in every direction, there was fruit!!!!

You were so devastated that He had not saved your failing relationship that you missed the lifelong friendships you made – the ones who had your back no matter what, your true partners in crime, the real TIL DEATH DO US PART girls.

You were so mad about the number.

…the number on your evaluation.  You felt it did not reflect what you really do on a day to day basis.  You almost missed student after student that you saved.  Student after student who could care less about a number, who do not even know what that number means.  Like the one who cried on your desk, or the one who came by just to give you a hug every single day, or the one who came to your class for lunch for four straight years.

…the number in your bank account. You could not understand why your budget still was not working.  You almost missed the people who were blessed by the services you offered when you could not give a penny to their cause.  You cooked for them.  You cleaned their house.  You lent them your ear.  You gave them life’s greatest gift – yourself.

You were so upset that you still lost your temper. You still yelled at the kids and your husband. No matter how much minimalizing you did, the house was still not beautiful enough for Facebook.  No matter how much peace you prayed for, your kids were still driving you insane.  You missed the hugs and the kisses. You missed that your daughter got the character counts award, and your son made alpha honor roll every single report card. You missed the snuggles, and the “I want to go where mommy goes.” You missed the other kids, parents, and teachers light up when your child entered the room.

Remember that the goal is to bear good fruit. The goal was never the expectation. Sometimes your expectation and God's expectation are not the same. #doubt #disappointment #bouncingback #bouncebank #inspiration

You were so busy being disappointed and tired. You kept looking at the goal, and you missed the fruit…almost.

You were outdone by all the things He stripped away.  He took so much away.  He gave so much away.  He cut off so much…so many things…so many people that you did not see that you were simply being pruned.

You forgot that the goal was not the expectation. The goal was the fruit!!!

So He had to wear you out. You could not hear him over your research, your planning, your working, and your goal digging.  You were too busy trying to bounce back so He let you run your plan and yourself right into the ground, and then He politely buried it for you.

Then He beamed when you finally built up enough courage to look around at your fruit – at His fruit.

All at once you are overwhelmed. You wondered how He could use you to do all this. I mean, think about it, you could not even set the right expectation.  You could not even gather enough energy to bounce back for one more try.

You are humbled even more when He whispered, “thank you,” as you immediately recognized that it was you who should be thanking Him.

And He finished with a statement that would change your world forever, “all I needed was your ordinary.”

Then He sat, and you sat beside Him.  You both smiled.  He told you to take all the rest you needed because your next assignment was on its way.

You rolled my eyes as you now knew that your actual assignment is never a goal.  Your assignment is never your underwhelming expectation which He may or may not grant depending on whether or not it is actually “good” for you.

Your assignment has always been the fruit.

So when you are disheartened as you focus on all of your unmet expectations,

…when the pruning hurts more than you would like to admit,

…when you are looking for a way to bounce back from the set back,

take your eyes off your prize long enough to notice all of the fruit.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” – John 15:16


What are some ways that you bounce back from unmet expectations?

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You planned. You researched. You did everything in your power, and it came up short. You failed, and now you are trying to bounce back. #bouncingback #expectations #goals #goalsetting #disppointment

46 thoughts on “Bouncing Back from Unmet Expectations

Add yours

  1. Your words are like poetry. Thank you for the beautiful, soul-wrenching reminder! I love LOVE love this: “You were too busy trying to bounce back so He let you run your plan and yourself right into the ground, and then He politely buried it for you. Then He beamed when you finally built up enough courage to look around at your fruit – at His fruit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OH I don’t take unmet expectations very well – but I love this perspective! I think you’re right… there is fruit and character growth in hardships.

    How do I bounce back? I guess I tend to look for what I can learn. I read somewhere that “it’s not failure if you learned from it” – or something like that… but how much better to grow or produce fruit!


  3. There’s such truth in this! I tell people all of the time that even if you haven’t achieved your goal, the end game, any progress you’ve made is more than you would have if you hadn’t started!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I look back and don’t know how I kept going, but I do know the One who somehow got me out of bed each morning. Some people call it “grit”, but I call it faith that if I just do the next right thing, I can cope. Thanks for a beautiful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a beautiful idea here that God didn’t give us goals to achieve but soul in which we can bear fruit. And I love how you point out so clearly that it isn’t accomplishing that our Lord looks at, its what we produce that brings the glory back to him. Even in what we perceive as failure we can bear fruit!


  6. Wow…. I’ve got to say, this post came in the nick of time. I’ve always felt discouraged when it seems like I just can’t meet up with those expectations that I set. Sometimes I know those expectations are unrealistic, but I just can’t help it. Now I know to just bear fruits. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s just not enough said about how important it is get throw out expectations out the door! Way to open up that conversation, because life is so much easier when we give up our ideas of how life should be so that we can be open to how life is. A friend suggested this years ago, and I thought it was one of the more depressing ideas I had heard of–little did I know, it was one of the wisest things anyone would tell me! Thank you for reminding me of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly how you feel. It’s not that we are lowering expectations. That’s what I had to understand. Different expectations are NOT lower. We just can’t understand them yet. God cannot always explain in advance as either we would not understand or we would somehow ruin the plan trying to run it ourselves.


  8. Excellent post love! I think faith is key to bouncing back when life throws you a curveball. I’ve had to deal with a few unexpected hurdles myself recently and it can get very stressful and really make you question many things, but a deep breath, some alone time to gather your thoughts and re-focus are usually enough to get back on track. You just need to give yourself that necessary amount of time to ‘bounce back’.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, Brittany! This is amazing writing! AGAIN! I LOVE the way your writing flows so naturally!
    And yes, FRUIT! We are so prone to getting distracted by what doesn’t really matter; Lord, help us! May we get up again and keep our eyes on Him and what He says is important!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on plantedbylivingwater and commented:
    Brittany communicates SO WELL how what God chose us to bear fruit.

    When we feel overwhelmed by a sense of failure, we need to ask Him to give us a glimpse of the fruit He is producing in and through us. We need to remember that the important thing is the fruit, not fame, fortune, followers, Facebook friends and other things we may get bent out of shape over. Check out her post; you’ll be glad you did! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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