A few weeks ago, a friend challenged me to do two things:

  • Approach each day, all day long, with no expectations.
  • Accept when my agenda gets changed. 

She encouraged me that if I can open my heart and mind to whatever people and circumstances bring to me, instead of focusing on my plans and how they do or don’t fit into my plans, I will lash out in anger and frustration much less frequently.

That made sense to me, so I agreed to try.

But I discovered this week that I was unable to shed all expectations.

This week I realized I had silently expected God to ease me into this new way of approaching the days he gives me.

Instead, I’ve found myself flailing around in 20-foot-swells, trying not to swallow too much brine as I gasp for air and try to keep my head above water more than it’s under.

This week, every single detail that I had carefully and intricately arranged blew up in my face in a flurry of the unexpected. So, instead of slowly working my way up to major overhauls of my personal plans, God has chosen to give me an entire week to overhaul according to his plan.

I must confess it has not been pretty. His plan has included multiple nights of frequently-interrupted sleep, which, during the day, translates for me into a heavy blanket of depression. Carrying that blanket around predisposes me to clench my fists, sob, slam doors, and even to completely shut down, curling up into a ball on the couch in the middle of the day.

I am utterly helpless to accept this with thankfulness, let alone gentleness and quietness.

So, from the middle of the mess, what else can anyone do but ask for help? And, as I confess I can’t do what he’s asking and ask for help, something deep inside me whispers, “This is what God wants from you. He wants you to admit you need his help and ask for it.”