When it comes to expectations, we should stop fearing that we aren't living up to what we were meant to be and instead find joy in realizing we have a divine potential and that God doesn't expect perfection now.
For a lot of my life, I’ve wondered if I was messing up God’s plan for me.
The one on my mind most often lately is where to go next with my career, but before it’s been where to go to college, whom to date, where to live, how to fulfill my calling, and so on. I’ve wondered if I’m even capable of reaching my potential. It’s tempting to think that God has some master plan that He’s measuring me against, and if I take one misstep I’ve missed my chance for happiness forever, or at the very least I’ll be doomed to walk around with the nagging feeling that I’m constantly disappointing God.
But you know what? As I’ve examined that mindset, I’ve learned that I need a better understanding of God and what the term “His plan for me” means.
I’m learning that God is much less a divine dictator who demands perfect compliance to a predetermined plan for our individual lives and much more a co-creator with us of the kind of lives we want to live. I’m learning that His plan for me is a lot less like a laser-crossed minefield and a lot more of a journey of coming to know myself and coming to know Him.
What God’s plan isn’t: My expectations of how my life “should” be
I have a lot of “should” voices in my head. They say things like, “I should be married. I should be better at this dating thing by now. I should know what I want to be when I grow up. I should have a 5-year plan and a 401k and a perfect, step-by-step plan of how to get to my dream career—starting yesterday. Because I don’t, I’m a failure.”
God’s voice, unsurprisingly, does not agree.