Last night at our what we'll call "Serving As Senders" meeting...we were all asked what we expect to get out of this group or what we expect to happen. As the people before me shared, I thought about what their expectations were (keeping in touch, learning to love Muslim people, etc.) and realized I had absolutely no expectations except to see God working. As I shared my reasoning with the group, I explained that I don't have any expectations because I think that limits ourselves and God. By having an expectation, we are limiting what we want/think should happen. And that ultimately opens the door to disappointment. We have very limited perspective and knowledge while God can see the big picture. And He knows what will happen. If something doesn't meet our expectation, we will think to ourselves that that isn't the way it was supposed to happen and could easily lose focus.
I didn't go into much more detail with the group because I didn't want to get off track, but had an extended conversation with Peter on our way home to explain more to him what I meant. For example, the girl who expects to stay in touch could grow apart from the couple who is leaving. And that might be sad but God may have other plans for their lives. I think that God places people in our lives to help get us through situations and things like that and I'm not saying that's what this is, but just by setting the expectation to stay in touch, it could lead to disappointment and frustrations if it's not met.
I think that sometimes just by simply (consciously or subconsciously) setting expectations, we are giving Satan ways to tear us down. His ultimate goal is destruction. He will start working immediately on trying to have those expectations not met so that he can hurt us.
By having no expectations, I hope to just maintain an open mind and avoid some of the heartache that comes along with expectations. I think that this "no expectations" theory originated with me in our premarital counseling class we took at EFree. We talked about expectations and unsaid/unmet expectations and the potential harm they carried along with them. Since then, I try to just keep an open mind and follow God's will. I can definitely say there have been several times where this theory has come in handy and has been a blessing. When I feel myself starting to formulate expectations, I quickly remind myself of what I've just written here and it's sure helped a lot.