High Expectations in Difficult Moments

Most people would say I have a pass. At the very least, they might say that I should cut myself some slack. Between learning to adapt to a new phase of life (motherhood) and suffering from postpartum depression, one could argue that I shouldn’t be held to quite the same level as I was previously. I should get a pass for some of the bad attitudes. It should be understood that my crippling anxiety could keep me away from worship. I shouldn’t be expected to control the rarely talked about rage that comes along with postpartum depression. I’m going through a lot, and I should get a pass. I shouldn’t have the same high expectations for myself I did before I was dealing with all of this.

Here’s the thing: none of that is true.

Yes, I am dealing with some stuff that I haven’t ever had to deal with before. And, on top of that, I’m dealing with it all on much less sleep than I’m used to. But all people are going through things. Life is a series of going through hard things. And when you’re in the midst of one of those hard stages (be it a day or a decade), you’re still required to be faithful.

Lately, I haven’t been doing all that great with controlling my frustrations. My attitude has been pretty sour, and I’ve let it come out in complaints to friends and anger toward my husband. Usually, those weak occasions come in the midst of a panic moment brought to you by my PPD, but still. They’re there. And they’re driving me up the wall. Because I so desperately want to be faithful to my Lord. I want to be a good example to all those around me. Some might say, well, you’re just holding yourself to too high of an expectation right now. To that I say – if I give in to Satan’s whispers of you’re not expected to do much right now, I likely won’t ever do much to control sin in my life ever again.

I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know what kind of issues plague your life on a daily basis. I  do know, though, that there’s something there. Something in your life is tough. Unfair. Unpleasant. And that something tempts you to act in a way that isn’t befitting someone who wears the name of Christ. Today, let me encourage you to fight that temptation. Fight it HARD. Don’t give in. Don’t listen. Because when we do, we became apathetic. We become unguarded. Then, our hearts become overrun by sin, and it’s much more difficult to break the habits later. Sometimes, we might not even try because the sin feels too good.

Just know this: in whatever unpleasantness or difficulty you find yourself in, you’re still expected to behave like Christ. You’re still called to walk worthy of His name. Wow, is that a tough calling or what?! But it’s what we’ve got! And we can do it! Praise be to our amazing God who doesn’t require His children to be sinless, but rather faithful (1 John 1:7-9)! While some instances and circumstances may be more difficult than others, we can still be faithful to God. In our weakness, He will be made strong. In our times of sorrow, His name will be glorified if we will stay true to Him.

While I cannot speak to every situation and ugly scenario that life can through at you, I can remind you that you can do this. If you’re like me, maybe you just need the reminder to keep going. Don’t sit down and wallow in whatever it is that’s happening to or around you. Instead, get up. Keep walking. Remain faithful. And our amazing, gracious, loving God will guide you and hold you and steady you and strengthen you and be with you always. His love will endure forever. His rod and His staff will comfort you.

I am so thankful that I am a child of God. This season of life I’m in – it’s tough! But God is faithful. And because He is, I can be, too. When I am weak, He is strong. I just have to let His strength reign in me instead of letting Satan creep in and set up camp while my guard is a little low.

2 comments

  1. I am sorry you are going through PPD and not getting enough sleep. While I was never diagnosed with PPD, I know that I was not myself in the months following my son’s birth. I also was lucky to get 3 hours of sleep total in a night, broken up of course. This went on for over a year and I tried every trick I could to help my son sleep better. I truly thought I would never sleep again…like truly thought this was my going to be my reality forever. I know that the lack of sleep just eventually got to me and I did suffer some depressive times. I don’t think it was to the level of PPD but I never talked to a Dr. about it. I probably should have but I did not want to go on a medicine. I do hope you are getting what you need for PPD and I’m sure you have a great community around you to help you.

    Now that both of my kids are older (6 and 3) life is much more enjoyable. I am able to take part in church activities more. I am a much more pleasureable person to be around. It just takes time and lot of effort and staying the course, like you said.

    God sees your struggle daily and he is proud that you seek Him in it and you do your very best. That is truly all we can do some days.

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  2. Dear Emily, Your message was just what I needed tonight. We go through so many times in our lives that we just need a sister or brother to say, “keep on keeping on”. I loved your statement “Praise be to our amazing God who doesn’t require His children to be sinless, but rather faithful (1 John 1:7-9)!” It gives me such encouragement and hope.
    I am looking forward to meeting you in person on April 15th at the Cape Fear Church of Christ Ladies’ Day in Fayetteville NC. What a blessing it will be having you speak to us. Keep on keeping on dear sister.
    Gloria

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