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Friday, March 6, 2020

Who's your John-Mark? The pain of relating to people goes away when you retool your expectations.

Sometimes... The pain of relating to people goes away when you retool your expectations.

You thought someone was one way, and they turned out to be something else underneath. 

Release them from your expectations!

Part of that release is about no longer expecting them to behave the way they were, or you thought they were, in outward behavior.  
Part of that release is giving up "mind reading", which is really "heart reading". You can't determine the other person's heart or motives. What you see as malicious and purposeful usually isn't. Usually it's just a broken and hurting person being broken and hurting. You didn't cut them, but they bleed on you anyway because you're there and you're safe to bleed on. 

That doesn't excuse the behaviors, you need to set Boundaries about what you will and won't accept. But those boundaries are for you. They're not intended to change the other person, only to determine how you'll respond, which may include not responding.

I thought I had met a good friend last year, who consistently demonstrated afterwards that wasn't the case. So I've distanced myself long enough that I now hold no expectation any longer, but, I also hold no expectation our for restoring either. A faint hope, a wish, but no expectation.

This person is now just another stranger on the internet in my heart. With that distance, I can be friendly, but not close friends. The unhealthy cryptic behavior that separated us continues to this day. But I'm okay with that now. It used to bother me, until I released those expectations.

They have their own journey, I have mine. Those paths crossed for a shorter time than I expected, but that's how life goes. Some seed doesn't grow. Keep planting in new souls, everyday, eventually you'll have a friendship garden.

When you release the person from your expectations to be who you thought they were and allow the reality of how they actually are showing themselves to be to settle in, no matter how much it hurts, you can eventually release them to be how they are. 

It doesn't mean you'll ever have fellowship with them again. You should maintain your Boundaries. 

They may move completely out of your life, or remain on the fringes. 

Or... Like John-Mark who left Paul and abandoned him on the journey but later in life returned a healthier person and even a useful colleague, they may leave, grow up, and return healthier versions of themselves. 

Releasing them doesn't restore the relationship, but, it restores your sanity and allows you to move on without holding on to that expectation. 

Once you have let them go, you can be okay with them being whoever they are going to be. You can stop dictating their journey and let them have their own walk with God. 

You aren't always right. You aren't their Holy Spirit. Even if you are right in your observations, and that's a big if since you're not all knowing, it's not your job to change people. Give them the freedom to be on their own journey, just like you need the freedom to be on your own journey.

Maybe your John-Mark will return in another season. Maybe you ARE the John-Mark and you need to go grow up and come back later. 



  1. Ouch this subject stings a little as it solidifies in the deepest part of my heart. I hope I can someday somehow give up in the hope of people being who they vowed to be. I keep breaking my own heart with repetitive expectations... and yes it hurts, like the Dickens! Good word to chew on tho, thank you for sharing your insightful intelligence

  2. I released my John Mark, you can release yours. Shalom Sister.


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