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Managing Expectations

This season has been interesting for sure.  Just like any other one, when it is over and we are on to the next adventure I will be so thankful we walked through it, but for now it isn't my favorite.  If you have followed along with me for any time at all you will notice I really try to find the joy in every single thing.  I find myself always saying ... ok, what is the worst that can happen ... and then embracing the joy when it doesn't.  Life isn't easy (can I get an Amen?), its messy and its hard but the journey is made so much better with Faith, Grace and Joy.  I am doing the best I can to embrace the grace and joy as I lean full into faith right now.  I honestly don't know what I would do without my faith ... it truly holds me up and some days carries me completely. ❤

I have been thinking a lot about expectations.  We all have them and honestly, I am not sure we ever should.  I know for me they just get in the way of so many things.  For example, I clung to all the things the surgeon told us about the average hospital stay and recovery for someone who was going through the surgery my husband was having.  Hospital stay ... 7 to 10 days, recovery period 6 weeks with him being way more mobile and most likely working part time from home at 3 or so weeks.  I remember thinking that a week to ten days was so long to be away from our home and our children but I was ready for it since after that we would be snuggling and watching movies with him as he recovered at home.  Well, as you know that was not at all how things played out and when we had to take him to the ER on day 11 and were readmitted I was very upset.  But ... this wasn't the plan.  As he dealt with complication number 1 I was still upset thinking this was not how it should be happening at all and we were way off our plan. Yes, it wasn't the plan for anyone, especially him that was truly the one doing it, but it was what was happening.

As the leak turned into an infection I was again so frustrated.  Ummm ... did no one understand this shouldn't be happening?  Now, let me be clear.  This wasn't a mistake and no one did anything wrong.  He had a rare complication that was way down on the list of things that could happen.  As our precious surgeon explained to me ... once you get one complication it opens the door to more and clearly that door was wide open.  So ... the leak had created a pool of fluid and that fluid was now infected. He had a drain inserted next to his incision to drain the abscess and to manage the leak and any further infection.  A few days later he was once again recovering and we were back on the path.  

But, we weren't.

So on day 18 we were faced with complication number 3 and this one was BIG.  As I watched them rush down the hall with him to the ICU I forgot all about the plan and the thoughts I had in my head about what this was "supposed to be like".   At that point I was so in prayer about the details of the complication and trying so hard to keep the faith when I was struggling in the worst way possible.  After two and a half days in ICU he was back with his favorite nurses and we were once again on the recovery train but this time so much further back than ever before.  I was faced with a lot of frustration for us, for him and for the process.

The three week mark came and went and he got better every single day.  The process is slow and after the problems he has had I am more than ok with it being slow, as long as it happens.  But ... there are the expectations I had when we started this.  I remember being so sure that ten days would be so hard to be away from home and apart as a family.  Now that we are creeping up on a month I can't help but be filled with frustration and disappointment.

And ... these are feelings I shouldn't have.  

Yes, they are real and human but they aren't from God.  If I had never set expectations for recovery I would have never found myself upset when they didn't work out as planned.  I have a lot of expectations for a lot of things and I can tell you every single time I set them I am always disappointed.  Why do I set them, why do we have have them when they do nothing but let us down.  My expectations and the result never match up ... and for the most part the result is way better than I could have planned.

So why do I always have them?

I am pretty sure this is one of the lessons God is teaching me.  It has been rolling around in my thoughts on repeat over and over again.  The reality of last weekend shows me he really wasn't healing and we didn't know why.  When the problem became very evident and later was remedied it gave way for him to really heal.  The leak from week 2 had turned into an infection and then the drain caused a major bleed and he wasn't getting better.  Now the leak is minimal and infection is basically gone he can really recover.  We had to get to the bottom to be able to really heal and I need to be 100 percent on board with that path.   Although the journey has been so hard we would have missed out on all the blessings that have been poured on us.  If we only had 8 days in the hospital the nurses wouldn't feel like family, we wouldn't have watched God work so clearly.  We wouldn't have woken up in the ICU to a handmade sign created by our night nurse and hung for us to celebrate our anniversary.  We wouldn't be as strong as we are both as individuals and as a couple.  My parents wouldn't have been able to really help us, something they have been wanting to do since day one of his diagnosis.   If the expectations I set came true we would have missed it all and coming home the second time would have never happen.  I can tell you the next homecoming will be EPIC.

I am sure I have so much more to learn about expectations but I do know this for now.  We all have them and set them but having them is a sure recipe for disappointment.  I am doing my best to embrace God's plan and set my own aside.  Setting expectations is my plan instead of the one God has for me which I know without a doubt is better than any one I could make.

Expectations are one of the roots of heartache and if I can learn to not have them I will have so much peace, a focus for my year.  Even as he is still in the hospital and we are days away from the month mark I have peace.  I need him to recover and be so much stronger before he comes home.  I need to make sure he is beyond the place for any and all complications before he comes home for those movie nights and endless snuggles.  When the time is right it will be perfect and every single expectation I set for him, for me and this recovery will be pale and dim in comparison to the plan God has for us all. ❤


  1. Prayers for you and your hubs!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️❤️

  2. Sending love, prayers and healing thoughts to you all. God is with you.

  3. Oh my gosh this is so my Summer too! And I'm a planner by nature so I so get the expectation thing too! Hang in there - we are finally home, adapting to new "normals" and looking toward hitting some goals - whenever the time is right (not on my schedule Ha!) All in God's time! Can't wait to see the "We are headed home post from you! We love South FL but boy was wheels up in Miami a good day!!

  4. Prayers for Peace - God is good! Faith will see you through this.

  5. "this recovery will be pale and dim in comparison to the plan God has for us all." So very true! Thank you for your insight about expectations; I struggle with this too. Continuing to pray for your family.



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