But, then as I started raising my son as a single parent, I was faced with the expectations of others and of my own. I wanted my son to be the best behaved in the nursery, to not have any dirty diapers and to always say kind and cute things. I wanted him to be the best dressed in pre-K and be the first to read and write his name and to capture his teachers' hearts with his smile and his gentleness. I wanted him to be the best athlete on the field and have good sportsmanship. I wanted him to make honor roll and win blue ribbons at the science fair in elementary school. I wanted him to have friends and be liked and be happy.
Some people expected him to end up in jail as a result of living in a single parent household. Some people expected him to be just like his father, even though he was not around him enough to be just like him. Some people expected him to be a preacher or a teacher.
And I expected that God wanted good things for my son, too. But, God called us to be holy, not necessarily happy. Although I believe if we are striving toward holiness, we will be happy in our obedience to Him.
And even though, God wanted what was best and right for my son, His expectations were different. Not as an earthly parent, but as a Heavenly Father. Just like I wanted my son to reflect me in a positive way, God wanted my son to reflect Him.
And for a time, he did. He was saved at a young age and involved with church and had a desire to see others become believers and strived to live a holy life.
Then the unexpected happened. Shoplifting. Skipping school. Drugs. Running away.
Not what I expected.
And his life looks a lot different now. Rebuilding a life with his children, with a career, without addiction, after incarceration.
It is not at all what I expected as a parent, but I remind myself that God is not shocked or undone by what has happened. He is still wanting. expecting my son to reflect Him again and is graciously, patiently expecting it to happen.