Lesson #2 God’s Purposes vs. My Expectations
Coming to SA, I had very specific expectations. Not about what Africa would be or how people would act but what I was going to learn here and how God was going to use me. Yes, I thought I knew God’s plans more than He did. Little did I know…
I thought I was going to win people to Christ by confidently speaking on air about Jesus! However, I could barely say anything intelligent on air and was the exact opposite of confident.
I thought I would become best friends with people in SA, and I thought that I’d be content if all the interns and I fairly got along. The interns became some of my best friends ever and I didn’t forge the BFF-y friendships with the people I thought I would. (For many reasons, but not because they aren’t great people!)
I thought I would be more independent in SA and not want my mommy and daddy and sister so much. I wanted to hug them all a few times, though.
I thought I was going to love working in radio—I started to enjoy it eventually last semester. It took me almost the full length of the internship to realize I did NOT like presenting on the radio, and don’t really enjoy working with audio alone either, though I do understand its significance to sharing the gospel in Africa.
I thought I would come here and get to ignore the fact that I’m jobless for these three months. Instead, I’ve been searching and praying that I find something soon and learning that God will provide when I need it.
I thought my purpose in being here was for me to get broadcasting experience (because it’s supposed to be my second love) and to maybe be a little helpful to a few people when I’m needed in the process.
Here are some things that God showed me that had nothing to do DIRECTLY with me doing this specific internship, they were just cool things that God did. He didn’t need me for these, but He let me sorta kinda be a part of the equation:
I found out that the children at a church at home have been updated about this SA trip. This is exciting to me because now I get to to go home and talk to kids about missions and how God uses ALL of us for His work!
The first time I felt truly valuable at work was in the middle of a conversation with a coworker. We were talking about one of his friends and I just told him what I thought about a situation and what I thought God would want in it, as well. It wasn’t the answer he expected and we both agreed that our conversation was important. Forget broadcasting, I just want to talk with people! (JK)
One of the coolest and most encouraging things during this entire trip was a facebook wall post from my sister telling me how proud she was of me… I know I am a role model to her, for good or bad, and I was excited to see that in this case it was good.
God let me go to Mozambique on a mission trip to hand out those radios and be the TWR spokesperson. I had no idea TWR was connected to a mission trip before coming down here. And God knew He would take me there looooong ago.
The other interns and I have spent much of our time trying to understand why God wanted us here. We all had our struggles with our internships. And if nothing else, I always tell them that they were brought to SA to become my friends. I say it only slightly sarcastically, as they all became people I cared very much about. So even if God didn’t bring THEM here to be MY friend he brought ME here so I could befriend THEM. I have learned a lot from these girls.
I most assuredly do not understand my purpose in being in SA doing this internship at this time. But God does. I was surprised when I heard that there were cool things happening because I was here, and that they were completely unconnected from me and SA. They were clearly just God. I think I was honestly pretty useless as a broadcaster for TWR, which is where I expected God would use me to shine for Him. By disregarding my expectations, God taught me to not have expectations on Him in the first place, because I really cannot imagine the awesome things He can do.
He’ll just surprise me anyway.