Search
  • Michelle

I Wasn’t Expecting That

Updated: May 3

Hi friends!


Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is staying healthy and doing well. So many prayers have been lifted up the past month and please know that you have been in those prayers. We are a day away from May. This is such a hope filled thought for me. I have a feeling in my heart that things are going to start looking a little better in May and that makes my heart really happy.


God has been really good to me the past few days. He has gifted me with some much needed consolation. For several weeks I have felt like I was walking through a season a spiritual dryness which is so tough. It has been tough to continue to show up when I don’t feel like I am receiving anything back. It is in times like that where I have to remind myself that love and relationship isn’t always about feeling. I may not feel I am receiving anything back from Jesus but doesn’t mean I am not. I made a choice to love Jesus so despite how I feel about it, I am going to continue to choose to love Him and show up. This has tested me. I have been tempted to throw in the towel and think that Jesus has abandoned me. But my friends, I just simply cannot do that because I know this isn’t true. I know without a doubt that even though I can’t feel Him, He is nearer to me than I could even possibly imagine. Just like how somedays we cannot see or feel the sun, but it's always there, always shining, always in existence.


I heard this song last week and I have been listening to it repeatedly because it is just such a good reminder to my heart.

It truly is spot on and I prayed with it. This lyric in particular really stood out to me: “If it’s random or providence, neither are a comfort to me. Are You cruel if You planned it or weak if You allowed it to be? Half of me is still believing, the other half of me is angry and confused. Oh, but all of me is desperate and longing to be held by You. So, I won’t ask You for reasons cause a reason can’t wipe away tears. No, I don’t need all the answers, just be here beside me, Father remind me You’re here, here.”


He is here. He is listening to our prayers. He IS answering our prayers. I prayed this song over and over again and what did Jesus do? He showed up. He answered prayers by giving me a renewed sense of hope, a new sense of peace, a new sense that He was present and working through these current circumstances. Praise the Lord Jesus, ya’ll.

One way Jesus showed up to me was (surprise, surprise) through another song. I think it is slightly humorous how Jesus answers the prayer of one song through the lyrics of another song. I laugh, but I am not surprised at all because it has always been how Jesus speaks to me. He is in the details. He knows just how our minds and hearts work. He knows how to get our attention and He chases after us that way. We are all unique and He speaks to us differently, but He knows how to BEST speak to us; how to BEST reach through to us. Therefore, that is the approach He takes with us and that is just so cool. Anyway, the song:

I wasn’t expecting that.

Over and over again this phrase has been playing loudly in my mind and on my heart. I think this caught my attention because Ian and I had a conversation last week about everything that has been occurring the past few months and I asked him, “Could you ever have imagined back in February that this would be our current situation in April?” I just simply couldn’t believe how drastically different life looked in just a short period of time and I thought to myself, I wasn’t expecting this.


Expectation: A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; A belief that someone will or should achieve something; one’s prospects of inheritance.


Whew. Expectation is the root of all heartache. We have all heard this phrase, but why? Well, simply put, expectation wreaks havoc on our hearts because we are coming from a proud attitude of entitlement. When we expect something, we believe that we will receive it. We see things happening a certain way, we assume we will receive certain treatment or gifts, we believe we will encounter specific reactions. We end up in heartache because life happens. Things don’t always go the way we envisioned. We set our hearts on these ideals that we create and when things don’t pan out that way, we grieve the expectation. We grieve what we so desperately wanted and have to embrace what we have been given. It is there in that space between want and receive that we realize some of God’s greatest graces. Jesus doesn’t want us to expect anything. He wants us to expect nothing but to give everything. Jesus wants me to humble myself and just be. It is in this frame of heart that the Lord can give us everything He desires. He can give us gifts freely given. It is only when we have a heart that is not attached to expectation, that we are in turn free to see and receive those gifts.

I wasn’t expecting that.

I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t expecting my engagement to look like this. I wasn’t expecting 2020 to look like this. What was I expecting? I asked myself this question and reflected quiet a bit. I thought about how I expected it to look a lot like how seasons of engagement went for those who have gone through it before me, like those that I have observed. I felt entitled to the same journey, the same experience, the same joys and celebrations. But it doesn’t look like that. I wasn’t expecting this. As I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts, I thought back over the last several years of my life and I thought about how many things I have encountered that I wasn’t expecting. The heartaches and the joys. I also thought about how it was only through some of those unexpected occurrences that I grew into who I am today. Allow me to share….

The day after my 19th birthday my family received a phone call to notify us that my aunt had been in a serious car crash. The look on my mom’s face was sheer terror as she rushed to tell my dad. In a matter of minutes my parents both had their things and were running out of the house leaving my sister and I alone and frightened. I remember she and I first sat in denial as we discussed how my aunt was so strong and was a fighter. She was going to be okay. Then as the time continued to pass and our anxiety began eating away at us, we started researching accidents that happened that day and saw there was one that was labeled as fatal. We still didn’t want to believe this was our aunt. She was strong. She would be okay. After hours of wondering what was happening, my sister and I sat in the family room as we finally heard the kitchen door open. With only a glance at my mom’s face as she walked through the door, we all began to sob. My mom simply just shook her head back and forth confirming the worst.

I wasn’t expecting that.

I had no idea when my uncle had dropped my sparkly birthday card off just a few days before and I read what my aunt had written me in her beautiful cursive handwriting, that it would be the last thing she would ever write to me. I didn’t know that a few days later I would have to learn to process grief. From this experience I learned life is precious. I learned no one is guaranteed tomorrow. I learned the importance of the family unit and helping hold each other up through painful times. I learned what a mother’s love looks like. I learned how the life of one person can impact the lives of so, so many more than I even thought possible. I learned the significance of the phrase, “Thy Will be Done” from the Our Father. I learned how to forgive.

I wasn’t expecting that.

I thought I had my life planned out. I was a freshman in college and I wanted to be anything but a nurse. I wanted to be my own person. I wanted to be unique. I didn’t want to follow in anyone’s footsteps. My mom, aunt, and sister were nurses. I was tired of feeling like I was living in someone else’s shadows. I knew I was a definite people person. I wanted to work with others and I wanted to help people. I knew I was destined for the medical field but I was looking at every possible opportunity but nursing. Yet, standing in line at my aunt’s wake and seeing how many of her patients came through the line, my heart began to change. I saw the impact she made on so many lives through her career. I was inspired. In the weeks following I had several encounters with people either asking if I was a nurse or telling me I would be a good nurse. I couldn’t ignore the signs or what the Lord was doing in my heart. I changed paths in school and the next year decided to begin nursing school.

I wasn’t expecting that.

Through nursing school, I worked with an elderly man as a personal care taker. This man, though 70 years age difference between us, became my best friend in college. I learned age was just a number and friendship could span beyond age. When I first took the job, I had no idea how big of a blessing it would become for me. I learned more from him about the city I grew up in than I ever cared to know, but I learned the art of patience. I learned the art of slowing down, enjoying the simple things and freedoms, and looking at the world around me. I learned to look outside myself and put the needs of someone else above my own. I learned how using my talents could help cheer someone else up. I learned to be an advocate. I laughed and we cried. He knew when I was having a good day or a bad day. He asked me about school and my life and told me stories about his family. I learned that even though someone isn’t family by blood, they can still quickly become family.

I wasn’t expecting that.

That man waited at his door and waved goodbye to me every time I drove away. I didn’t know the last time was the last time. When I received the call that he was in the hospital and that the family thought I should come to say goodbye to him, my heart ached. I cried as my mom drove me to the hospital as I didn’t know how to say goodbye and walk away from someone knowing you would never see them again in this life. I talked to that man. He was so hard of hearing but I talked to him. I told him I’d see him again. I thanked him. He died that night. I knew he waited to say bye to me. I knew how special I was to him. What a gift.

I wasn’t expecting that.

Then I graduated and began working at the hospital. I tried a few different areas of nursing. I struggled a bit to find my place. It wasn’t always easy and a few times I asked why I was at where I was at. Through it all, I knew there was a reason God brought me to this place. There was a reason I was a nurse and I was caring for the patients He placed under my care. There were so many lessons to learn, so many people to meet, so much perspective to gain. I started gaining confidence in my role and surprised myself at the things I enjoyed that previously I couldn’t even imagine liking.

I wasn’t expecting that.

Discernment of God’s will in my life took me on quite the journey. From broken hearts to unexpected conversations with unexpected people, I prayed diligently for God to make His will known to me. Too many times I tried to take control and make things happen in my own time. Things I was certain of and people I was so sure of lead to dead end roads. But Jesus kept whispering, “I have better plans, hold tight.”

I wasn’t expecting that.

When my sister announced to my family that she was pregnant with my first niece, my heart…it went wild. I was so in love with the precious peanut that was growing inside her. I never knew it was possible to have so much love for someone I didn’t even know yet. The love of an aunt’s heart took me by surprise. When my niece was born, it only grew stronger. Every milestone, every giggle, every smile made the love grow. When she began to know who I was and made her own name for me, Titi, it grew even stronger. Seeing her grow and learn and develop her personality filled my life with such joy. Now there are two, I didn’t know my heart had room to love more, but seeing and holding baby number two, my heart…it grew even more.

I wasn’t expecting that.

When my friend called to tell me about this guy she met who she thought I would get along great with and wanted to know if I would be open to meeting him, I didn’t know how to respond. I was taken aback and hesitant as I didn’t know anything about him and wasn’t sure I was ready to be in a relationship at that time. Yet, I trusted her and I didn’t want to be closed off to God’s will. Shortly after, I met Ian. My friend knew my heart so well and was quickly able to gather from Ian that his would be a good fit for mine. Our first date blew me away. I knew he was different. Never before had I met a man like him. I smiled because my heart knew. I smiled because our circumstances were too unlikely to be anything other than orchestrated by God. I saw in him the man I had been dreaming of since I was a little girl.

I wasn’t expecting that.

When we left Nebraska to drive back home after spending time with family for Christmas, I cried because my heart hurt leaving. I never knew that it was possible to be homesick for a place I had never been until last year and never called home before, and people who had only just entered my life. I learned that home is not a place. Home is wherever the heart is. I gained another family whom I love dearly and just as my heart hurts leaving my family, it hurts leaving Ian’s as well. Home can be several different places. I now have 3.

I wasn’t expecting that.

When Ian picked me up for my birthday date from my sister’s house and told me we were going to the church to pray a bit before heading to dinner, I didn’t know I was going to get engaged. Actually, I had no idea at all. The way he listened and paid attention to things I had said over the course of our time dating and incorporated every little detail so my heart knew it was so cherished, over flooded my heart with love and gratitude towards this man. That moment is forever engraved in my mind.

I wasn’t expecting that.

When I first heard of the Coronavirus, I thought it was just another bad virus that would come and go. We have seen several of these over the past years, Swine flu and Ebola to name a few. When things began closing and policies and screenings kept changing, I started to get nervous. When stay at home orders went in place and state to state exposure orders from work became a thing, my heart panicked. My heart has wrestled with God over the past several months and struggled with being apart from ones I love. I have been confused and frustrated and worried about how the next several months will play out. But, I’ve grown. I’ve managed to make it through things that I never thought I could. I’ve gained so much self-knowledge and gained perspective. I have developed new appreciation for things that I merely took for granted before. I have realized what is truly important in life. I have dug deeper into my relationship with Jesus to truly learn the meaning of Jesus, I trust in you.

I wasn’t expecting that.

During the quarantine, Ian sent me flowers. Beautiful roses. I didn’t want to get rid of them once they died because #sentimental. The roses were nice and dried and crunchy. I thought I would make potpourri. As I began to peel the petals off one by one, I discovered as I got to the inner layers that there was beautiful color and life. I learned that what looks dead and broken and hopeless on the outside is often beautiful and stunning once unfolded. God has a plan and the further we peel back the layers and figure it out, the further we will be able to see the beauty in it. I learned that this can be applied to our soul life. Through this quarantine, Jesus is purifying our souls. He is making us more beautiful so when this is over, we are able to emerge as radiant and stunning. He is making our souls shine. He is peeling back the layers that are preventing us from being our best selves. He is working on our hearts to soften them so they are not as hard, dried, crunchy, and lifeless. He is building compassion, color, joy, and excitement.

I wasn’t expecting that.

So, as I thought back on all of this, I thought about how much I truly wasn’t expecting in my life. I thought about the journey the unexpected took me on. I thought about the growth that I have experienced along the way. I thought about how different my life would look if things had always gone as I had expected. I realized, maybe God knows what He is doing. God likes to surprise us. He only ever wants what is best for us. He wants our ultimate happiness. He never leads us to a place of desolation without consolation around the corner. This season, this year, may not look the way I expected it to, but from my past experience, I trust that it looks the way it is intended to.


Hang in there everyone. Jesus shows up…will you? Will you kneel down at His feet today and give Him your heart? Will you tell Him you love Him and praise Him through the storm? Will you allow Jesus to surprise you?


<3 Michelle

574 views
Join my mailing list
  • Facebook
  • Instagram