Attempting to Navigate Expectations & Doubt

So this is my struggle between yesterday and today, and probably continuing for a while. I am trying to find a decent balance between expectations and doubting someone.

This has gotten me into trouble before. A lot, actually. I tend to believe what people say, just at face value. And it takes a long time with a distinct pattern to get me to stop believing what someone says. Generally, I instantly have my hopes up, because I believe them. I start planning my day around this thing that this person is going to do. I start looking forward to it. Even if they make it conditional, a ‘might’, and I am trying to be cautiously hopeful, it’s still a lot of hope.

And then when it doesn’t happen, more accurately when whatever it is can’t happen, I am disappointed, either in the person or the circumstances.

Recently, my response to this was to take a more cynical view and essentially doubt everything someone said. It was one of those attitudes thickly laced with spite: if I was going to be left alone, fine, I’d be alone; if I couldn’t count on whoever to show up, fine, I wouldn’t plan around them or wait for them; if I couldn’t believe what they said about this sort of scheduling, fine, I would take everything they said with a grain of salt on a good day. And this was unfortunately me swinging way too far to the other side: doubt.

That doubt prevented me from genuinely forgiving this person, and that festered into all kinds of nastiness. All this is in the past, and it’s been dealt with.

Except now I’m re-facing a similar sort of situation now, and attempting to navigate my way through it properly this time.

I just don’t really know what that is.

I want to believe I can go to someone when they say they will be right there waiting for me when I’m ready to talk. I want to be understanding when I do go to them a short while later, and they don’t respond because they had to tend to something else, that was genuinely important. But at the same time, I hoop myself by expecting them to be there, wanting them to be there, and when they can’t be it hurts. So I am trying to be understanding, I know in my head what happened, and that it shouldn’t be cause to doubt them. That hurt is still there, and I don’t want it to be there.

So my inclination is then to try to mentally edit what they say when it includes any kind of timeline/scheduling. But I know, too, that this is a pattern of thinking that contributed to me being in a bad place before, because it opened the door to a lot of doubt and mistrust and bitterness, and just…it wasn’t good.

Then it occurs to me too that perhaps what I always ought to be saying, mentally, is “if God wills it.” Maybe that is the proper perspective, and I suspect that’s a significant part of it (so I am going to try reminding myself of that, it’s the only reasonable thing I’ve come up with). But see, then I struggle too with disappointment when I want X and I pray for X and I hope for X and then X doesn’t happen, and then I wonder…was I wrong to pray for it? do I hope too much? did I do something wrong? is my struggling because I am not properly understanding and acknowledging God’s sovereignty? should I not want the things I want? should I not be asking for them? should I be praying that God changes me instead?

I don’t want to hurt myself like this anymore. I don’t want to doubt, but I don’t know how to keep my hopes to a reasonable degree so I don’t end up spending the better part of two days crying and fighting with my mind to not follow negative patterns of thinking, to not blame but to forgive, to keep going and not let myself sit in self-pity because I feel hurt and alone and a little bit hopeless. I am tired of hurting myself. I just don’t see a way around that if I’m still going to try to hope. And what is really frustrating is a few days ago, I was in a really good place, I could just go with the flow and enjoy what I got and if I got nothing then that was fine too, and I was in pretty good spirits. I don’t know what’s changed, and I don’t really have a clear idea on how to try fixing it. I feel like I had this…spiritual high or something that gave me momentum, and now I’ve run out of that and I’m just facing the same old, same old. And scared that I’m going to be in this limbo forever. And then I feel guilty for thinking something so faithless, and I repent, and try to distract myself, and then a few hours later I go through it again.

And this is why I don’t normally write when I’m in the melancholy place. This is the muck I’m working through currently. And for right now, I just am going to try to keep going, and keep watching my thoughts, and pray, and read my Bible, and finish up my Bible study homework, which I keep letting myself put off – and that’s probably part of the issue. That’s what I’m going to try to hold myself accountable to, that and having patience and not despairing just because I have a couple of bad days.


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