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  • Lindsey Matthews

Expectations Breed Disappointment

A term I heard and it really resonated with me. At the time, this applied to people for me. Human nature has us place certain expectations on the people in our lives according to the role they are "assigned" at the time. However, we're blessed to live in the melting pot of the US of A. All of us come with different backgrounds, upbringings, and our own expectations.


The thing with expectations is it usually leaves us non-communicative on our needs or wants. We have this expectation of someone and they should fall in line. When they don't play into this expectation, we feel let down. Or, we allow the anger to take over and we start retaliating as if this is an intentional effort.


As age has made me wiser and given me the opportunity of reflection, my goal for myself is to love people where they are. Not allowing the expectation of what I think they should be for me to cloud my love for them. You see it's not for me to try and change anyone into the mold I feel as though they should fit into. I want to love them for who they are and where they are.


Now, look, I'm married...does this always lead to rainbow and butterflies? Heck. No. I feel like an expressed expectation should be respected. But, sometimes, those dishes don't get done until I do them again for the 3rd time that day. It is what it is.


As it relates to people, it's helped me shift my focus and natural inclination to control things. The puzzle fits better when the pieces fit on their own. Forcing puzzle pieces is not good for the puzzle or for you. Some days I may be hated, some days I may be loved. That's fine with me! As another saying goes, that's more about you than it really is me. I'm open to being called out. I've been grateful for the ones and the time's I have been called out.


Anywho, to the real deal here (yes, finally)...in the cancer realm, there are expectations. Take these awful, outdated treatments and deplete yourself of everything you have ever known, and be healed. But, wait...there's no guarantee. It has taken my mind and heart 3 years to apply this "expectation breeds disappointment" lesson to this aspect of my life.


Just recently, I'm praying and my prayers are simple here, I want my spirit to remain open as I pour through information on how to best help my child. I want the Lord's will to be done here. I want all the glory to land on His name.


I'm a mom without the education to fight this beast but I will be damned if I don't try to offer my first baby a fighting chance and every available option. That's what I have to live with once she's healed in His name. Did I do everything? Did I offer her every avenue the Lord meant for her to have?


With all of the God winks offered to Brynn and our family along this journey, I know that simple prayer has been heard because it has been answered. However, recently, I feel as though everything got quiet. I questioned my prayer time. Was I really connecting? For me, those answers seemed to stop.


Answers...the expectation of a new trial to research. The expectation of a text from someone in our Ewing Sarcoma group to come to the rescue with a new offering. The expectation of her doctor saying "I've found something. Come in so we can talk about it" one last time. The expectation of another mom calling asking if I had tried.....And, we have tried. We have tried it ALL.


Quiet. I was met with the quiet. To which I needed to remind myself. Be still and listen. In this quiet, you have found your answer. Talk with your child. This is her experience. What does your child want? Where is she being led? What is it she wants to do with her body? She's 13 years old now. Since she was 10 she has had to make decisions bigger than most will ever make in their lifetime. She is a child of God. She knows where she is being led. Ask her.


Expectations breed disappointment. To expect my daughter to be a healthy, athletic, smartass, to have her talking with her friends about her first kiss, attending her first dance, start going to football games, to see her make the choice to wear makeup, to witness her athleticism throughout her school years, to see her fall in love, to simply see her healthy and to watch her grow old. These were my expectations. These expectations are some, I imagine, most parents have as they care for their child throughout the years.. However, there are young children who are being taken instantly and tragically. No one is guaranteed this.


Expectations breed disappointment. To let go of those expectations and to realize I have had a front-row seat to witnessing a child with a beautiful heart stand up for what's right, to watch her fight for herself and for the future of others, to witness her choice in some really incredible friends, to watching her remind us how God exists even when she's doubtful sometimes...the strength possessed to fight what's going on at this age. The thoughts that come with her expectation for healing and to be "normal." To realizing, defining "normal" and "healing" is not really something WE can do.


Letting go of expectations is not easy but pausing a moment and being guided by something much bigger than you can bring about a certain peace. It's not letting go. It's not giving up. It's asking for direction. Maybe we expected to know where we were going and once we got to the fork in the road there was some confusion. We can be hard-headed and angry and make a decision or we can stop to have a quick conversation for direction and realized, no matter the direction that is chosen, I let go and let God.


Those who made it this far into this blog post, I want to leave you with a song that hits all of this home. This is what I pray every time we do anything for Brynn. This is what I hope people who come across her journey see in her and in all of her friends and family. The Lord's work. Not this awful disease.



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