If you knew me in my every day life, you might know that I am grieving.
Actually, if you lived in my house, you might know this--I haven't really shared it with anyone but my husband.
I remember grieving when my grandfather passed away, and then both of my grandmothers. That was this grieving encapsulated in fond memories, the knowledge of all that life finally laying down to rest. That was an expected grieving.
We all expect to grieve the loss of those near to us.
But I didn't expect this grief in my present time.
I didn't expect to grieve such a self-inflicted pain. I am grieving the expectations that have suddenly lost their hold on me--the false hope that has gripped me all these years as a mother.
I remember holding my little son in my arms after that first hour of his life. So many expectations for him, but mostly for me as his mother. And over these years, expectations have been borrowed, imposed, forced, and strived for.
Now, he's fourteen, and most days, I want to crawl in a corner and grieve the shattered pieces of all that expectation for something that will never be. I am not the mom I want to be. Everything is different. It's like I am waking up to someone else's life. And I don't know what to do with it.
I felt this way last year as an author, when I realized that the book I'd put so much hope in--and even my identity in--to be quite honest--was going to sit stagnant for a good long while. It would NOT be my starting point into a best-seller's career. It would not define me as I may have thought--it was not my entry into the publishing world.
Oh but I just LOVE that story. My heart skips a beat every time I dwell on the plot, and the character, and the theme. Just like my arms tingle when I catch a glimpse of my children fitting the shape of that broken expectation, even for a brief moment.
Expectations are horrible, wonderful things. For the even-tempered, they are nice gauges. But for the over-emotional, wildly-dreaming, perfectionist me, they are my greatest life-stealer.
Do you have a book that is lying there, in a grave of unmet expectation? Is this whole writing thing nothing you hoped for and now you're stuck trying to find breath again?
You aren't alone. It's a tough place to be--this side of dead expectations. I remind myself that I need to wipe away the tears that I've shed as a very fallible mother and wake up to this reality. My life isn't starting over, it's growing toward authenticity and assurance that I can't do this thing alone. God's given me children who are gifts in a different way than I could ever expect. And God's given me to my children. He knows what's ahead, and my only hope (expectation) is in His willingness to guide me and fill in the gaps.
And, oh...there are so many gaps that I leave as a very human mother.
It's just the same as those stories we love. If there is anything we need to expect, it's for the grief to end and new life to begin in a new story with a new purpose. And that God's got this. Our only hope is Him, because He's our breath of inspiration, right? So why do we fall in love with the story more than the Creator of the inspiration? Those crazy human expectations just need to die.
Walking away from the season of mouring, I must place my hope in an ever grace-filled God, knowing that in Him, my future for myself and my family is secure. And I place my hope in His will for that story. While my own expectations for it are gone, the story's not a loss. Just waiting for a gap to be filled.
Just like yours.
All in His time--The only true expectation.
Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she writes historical, historical romance, and dabbles in contemporary romance. Her debut historical romance novel, published by Barbour, will come out in November 2017, and her Harlequin Love Inspired Historical novel comes out in Spring 2018. Angie is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Come hang out with me on social media!
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dicken.angie,Twitter: @angiedicken