God is speaking to me a lot at the moment about what I'm expecting. I know in my head that He loves unconditionally and that He can't be anything but perfectly good, yet I still find myself (much more often than I would like to admit) expecting to be disappointed over and above expecting His goodness. This has massive implications...not least because if I'm expecting to be disappointed I'll avoid looking for His goodness in order to guard myself against the disappointment I fear (get your head round that!) The more I hope for, the bigger the disappointment could be if He 'doesn't come through for me' - and so I learn to limit my expectations to guard my heart. This is a such a killer because what we expect will have a direct impact on what we see.
That's certainly been my experience at conferences I've attended, where people have come along hungry and expectant for the goodness of God to be poured out. Guess what? That's exactly what's happened. Again and again, lives get changed; bodies get healed; broken hearts are restored. It's just amazing. When I went to Bethel earlier this year I was totally blown away by the corporate expectation there of the goodness of God. Everyone seemed to be utterly convinced that God was going to be very good all the time - after all, He's ALWAYS in a good mood! What we're expecting is so important. And so God seems to have me on a bit of a personal journey regarding my expectations. I hope that what He teaches me will, in turn, have an impact on the King's Arms as well as churches elsewhere. I'll keep you posted!
For the time being I feel stirred to be intentionally looking for, and recording, God's goodness in my life. To start, here are the many ways that He was good to me during the time of my operation:
1) When I found out the original diagnosis of my condition - that it could be cancer and I'd need an operation, I had my good friend Karen with me. I got to cry with her
2) Two friends spoke to me of similar operations they'd had and how God had been really faithful
3) A girl who had gone through 2 operations with the same incision happened to be staying with us when I found out what my operation would be like - She was an incredible encouragement.
4) A friend made 'truth' cards for me the day I found out that I needed an operation
5) The lady who saw me in the hospital before my operation said they'd do everything they could to save my ovary (even though the consultant had said I'd probably lose it) I didn't lose it!
6) A couple in the church drove me to a friend of theirs in Chelsmsford the day before I went to hospital so he could pray for me. I got a lot of freedom!
7) I went into hospital on a Sunday afternoon which meant I could go to church in the morning and have people pray for me
8) There was a lady in the hospital who'd had a similar operation a few days before me who was also a Christian - she supported me when I was having a tough time
9) God woke a friend of mine up to pray for me in the night when I was having a particularly bad time in the hospital
10) I recieved countless cards and people were praying for me all over the world.
I could go on, but I won't. What are you expecting?