What You Need to Know About Expectations in Order to Live Joyfully

Gold Brush Stroke

Expectations can be a thief, robbing us of the joy of the moment.

I expected to be working in the natural biology field until old age set in.

I expected to have a pretty easy life: filled with hard work, yes, but faced only with those setbacks hard work could fix.

I expected to have a happily-ever-after marriage.

I expected to be a mom to a lot of kids: 6, 7, … (guess I should have filled my husband in!).

expectations must be grounded in scriptural truth

No One Ever Told Me…

But no one ever told me it’s difficult for both the husband and wife to find jobs in the natural biology field and still live together.

No one ever mentioned that hard work doesn’t fix everything.

No one ever explained that marriage is difficult and filled with times that are not happily ever after.

No one ever revealed to me that I’d have 5 miscarriages in 9 pregnancies and be raising a child with special needs.

No one ever told me life wouldn’t be carefree and manageable.

No one ever broke me out of that bubble of expecting what I wanted to become truth: to be the way things would go. 

No one ever set me straight that I didn’t control all of the circumstances of my future (or of my present for that matter). 

Instead, circumstances dealt me blows that shattered my heart and pulled me into deep pits of despair.

Ground Expectations in Scriptual Truth

And God met me there. He gently and persistently began to reveal to me the truth: My expectations needed to be based on something other than my desires and my logic.

Something solid. Something immutable. God Himself! 

The Lord helped me see that I am not in control. No matter how badly I want something, that doesn’t mean I will get it.

But believing in a promise of God, that is gold!

No, expectations aren’t bad, but they need to be grounded in scriptural truth.

God’s Promises

You see, God didn’t promise a lucrative, much-loved career; He promises to meet daily needs. 

God didn’t promise a carefree and manageable existence; He promises trouble and His constant presence and strength to manage it. 

God didn’t promise a “happily-ever-after” marriage; He promises an institution filled with growth and transformation, joy and satisfaction through His grace and our obedience. 

God didn’t promise 7 children; He promises a life of abundance.

To experience joy and peace in this life, we need to exchange our flesh-based expectations for those based on the promises of Scripture. 

Experience joy & peace by exchanging flesh-based expectations for those based on the promises of Scripture. Share on X

It seems simple enough, but what a difficult concept to live out!

It requires giving up our ideas of what life should look like and embracing God’s good and generous plan for our future.

And it all starts in the Word. In His truth we can finally begin to break out of our bubble of self-expectations and discover God’s expectations:

Expectations you can count on to become truth! Expectations that will never rob us of our joy. 

Expectations grounded in scriptural truth will never rob us of our joy. Share on X

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

Reflections: What harmful expectations might you be holding onto?

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “breaking out of my bubble.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.


By His Grace,



  1. bethwillismiller on March 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Julie, what a wonderfully open, honest, and transparent post. So true, and yet takes us so long to learn it through our own trial and error. Praying that my children and grandchildren keep their eyes of Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith, and seek Him to find fulfillment and true joy. Many blessings to you and your family.

    • Julie Sunne on March 10, 2016 at 10:57 am

      I share your prayer, Beth. Blessings to you as well.

  2. Crystal Sunshine Hornback on March 10, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This is so beautiful, Julie! What a powerful lesson this is… and one that is often learned far too late! Thank you for your transparency and encouragement. You are an incredible woman! #livefreeThursday

    • Julie Sunne on March 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

      And you’re so sweet, Crystal! I do hope to save others from having to struggle as much as I did in my search for a meaningful, joy-filled life.

  3. Dianne Harms on March 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I shared these things with my wife…How we can agree 6and how well we know your story, it may not be so unique as you think, but nevertheless precious to you in it’s uniqueness with our Lord. Now, it is also a blessing to our innermost being also, so our Father has used you once again to be a blessing. He causes all things to work together for good….

    • Julie Sunne on March 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Yes, Dianne, each of us live a unique, precious life designed and accompanied by God. I love that way of thinking about it! Thank you for your sweet and profound words. In faith we believe…

  4. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on March 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Your early expectations sound a lot like what mine were. Good job, Handsome husband, more than one child.(I am an only child.) How those expectations turned out were: a pretty good job that kept the bills paid. A husband who had his own issues in life-I hung in there through those tough years. A son whom I love but who had his own physical issues. But God brought me through some lesson-learning times. For that I am thankful

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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