My Pascha expectations, as a new convert:
Mostly, I hoped that I would "Experience" it as strongly/intensely/spiritually as I was supposed to. Sigh.
What actually happened:
I should have napped Saturday afternoon instead of making Kulich. The service started off beautifully and I was in awe. I felt, there is no better way to sink into our thick skulls that Christ is Risen than to sing it one-thousand times! A blessed time.
But then... I started to crack. After St. John Chrysotom's sermon, I thought things were winding up. It was the moment the priest chanted "Blessed is the Kingdom" that I realized there was an entire Divine Liturgy to go. I whispered to my Godmother, the service is how much longer? I started to cry. I wasn't going to make it as a good, faithful Orthodox person. I wasn't even going to make it that morning, standing up much longer, which a Subdeacon noticed. He gestured toward the bench. But I wasn't infirm - or pregnant! I was supposed to be strong! I crumbled to the bench in failure.
I laugh now, looking back.
I hardly have such high expectations these days that I'm more aware of my sin.
I've always been a people-pleaser and wanted to look good & right. My challenge is to try to care more about actually being good, before God.
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
For any upcoming converts out there - it is a marathon, not a sprint. Take a nap on Saturday!