At training camp, they told us to toss out all expectations. Left unmet leaves us still seeking, unsatisfied in where we are. I thought I didn’t have many. Easy surrender because I thought I was open to anything.
That was before two weeks into the trip and I’m standing in the middle of a dirt field with a hoe and they keep saying we have to do the whole thing. The second morning of all day hoeing, I realized I didn’t do as good of a job surrendering as I thought.
With each sling of the hoe, I let the frustration grow. How is hoeing a field ministry? How is this furthering God’s kingdom? I came to love people, not dirt.
A good part of my team were feeling the same. By the second week, we expected to be making progress, seeing fruit in relationships, seeing something. Instead, we were clearing a field, still unsure of what our ministries would look like for the rest of the trip. Instead, we were too lost in our frustration, blinded by unmet expectations to see the cleared field in front of us, ready to provide jobs for workers, ready for fruit.
When I stood in the field, I knew I needed The Lord to change and my heart, and I knew He could, I just had to be open. After lunch, I walked over to one of my teammates, Stephanie, who I know the Lord used to encourage me just when I needed it. It was simple conversation, but in that specific time we grew closer, and we were both uplifted. Without that field, I wouldn’t have had to think about hard questions, frustrations. I wouldn’t have left feeling so loved by God that He would care enough to encourage and lift me up.
From that day in the field and all throughout the weekend, I’ve had to continue to lay down expectations. I’ve had to accept that I won’t know what the rest of this trip will look like, and sometimes even what the day will look like. I’m learning that I have to be still in uncertainty, knowing that then I have to rely on the Lord, that His plan will always be better than mine.
I’m learning that the only thing I should expect is what God has for that time. In everything else, I have to be still with God, putting all my emotions in Him so I can be fully present in this time. Whether I’m hoeing a field, holding hands with cerebral palsy patients (which is what I did today), or sharing Jesus with someone, if I listen I know it will be what God has for that moment. In this, I can be still and expecting only Him.