Expectations Vs. Reality

(500) Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies, for a variety of reasons.

This scene is one of them. (I recommend stopping at :53–sorry, it was the best clip I could find.)



Poor Tom’s expectations don’t match up with reality, and it gets worse as the scene goes on. It’s something I think most of us can relate to.


Today, I say to you, October 2012: My expectations for you do not line up with your reality.


Four years ago I was a college freshmen, new to the ways of Kuyper College.

If  you had asked me back then what I’d be doing in October 2012, I’d probably have said that I would be engaged, or perhaps already married, to a nice Christian boy I would have met in college. I’d likely have told you that I would be working in youth ministry at a church, and all my students would adore me. If I wasn’t already married and living with my husband, I’d be living with my super cool friends in a  quirky little house, where we’d all get along perfectly and every night would be like a high school slumber party. My days would be spent talking about Jesus with students and strangers in an adorable coffee shop where the baristas knew my name and my order. My fiance or husband and I would attend the church I work at with lots of our cool couple friends.


A year ago, I knew graduation would come, with the real world right behind, but it still seemed a long way off.

Hopefully, I might have told you that I’d at least have a boyfriend by now–maybe someone from college or from my church. I’d be working a fairly basic job doing something I found meaningful, with the intention of working my way up to something a little more important. Not too far down the road, I’d get engaged, then married, and all that jazz. I’d live with some friends in a just-sketchy-enough-t0-be-charming apartment or house until I moved out when I got married. My work would fulfill me and I’d be glad to get up on Monday mornings. Boyfriend and I would attend the same church I attend now, with all sorts of really awesome friends.


And here I am today, just over 5 months after graduation.

I am single, live with my parents, and work 2 part-time jobs that I sometimes find fulfilling and sometimes do not. For the past two and a half months, up until this past Saturday, my sister, brother-in-law, two nieces under the age of four, and their dog lived with us, as they had sold their house and hadn’t found a new one yet. It was often loosely controlled chaos. Many of my friends are not currently in this city due to school and jobs and such. In a few months, one of my part-time jobs will be ending, and I will be back to applying for jobs so I can begin to pay back my student loans that kick in frighteningly soon. I’m on the leadership team for my church (which still kind of scares the poo out of me–read more about that here), involved in several Bible studies, and frequently find myself wishing Sunday came more than once a week so I could go to church again.


My expectations did not turn into my present reality.


But most moments, I’m okay with that. Some parts of life are better than I would have expected, some are about the same, and some are worse. So be it.

In all and through all of it, I am held by a God much bigger than I. This is what I expect, and what I know. Today, next year, and into eternity.


Til next time…


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2 thoughts on “Expectations Vs. Reality

  1. “My expectations did not turn into my present reality.
    But most moments, I’m okay with that. Some parts of life are better than I would have expected, some are about the same, and some are worse. So be it.”
    So be it. Beautifully said, Brianna. 🙂
    (Also, have you been reading my mind? Because I totally know what you mean!)

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