I was early. And I was nervous. I ordered a tall black iced tea, no sweetener. I arranged five chairs to face one another and bring a sense of community in the crowded Starbucks. I placed three parenting books on the tables as identifiers because I was expecting strangers. Then I sat down and waited. And waited. And waited.
Before the meeting, I asked my husband: “What if no one shows?” He confidently reminded me I had done my part. Holy Spirit told me to arrange a meet-up at Starbucks on this day dedicated to foster parents bringing awareness to foster care, statewide. I had done so. I had sent invitations to church members and friends who might have friends who might be interested in foster care. The rest was up to God. This was His idea to begin with.
But still, I had expectations. So as I waited, I started a conversation. Holy Spirit, was this just about me being faithful? I thought I was past that stage of this whole journey. You know, the part where I learn to obey in secret. I thought this was the part where I actually get to see something happen. I really thought You were going to show up tonight in an obvious way.
It was 8:15. I had watched too many cars pass parking spaces and head to the drive thru. No one was coming. And then a woman walked into Starbucks on a mission. She had a pen and paper in hand and beelined right for me. Yes, a person. My person. She must have noticed the books. I immediately introduced myself. But she introduced herself by saying she was on a scavenger hunt. I apologized for my eagerness and explained I assumed she was there for my foster meeting. She looked around at my efforts and encouraged me in what I was doing. And then she asked this question: “Do you have your tribe?”
At this point, I’m sure I didn’t even seem like a believer. I completely lost my words and ability to keep up with her God pace. I was in awe and almost appeared dazed, the way you would expect someone who was blindsided by God to be. But the thing is, I was. She has no idea how deep the word tribe runs for me. She doesn’t know I am a foster mama to a Native American. Or how our home and life are built around that word. Jesus, I came here to give. And here I am receiving. I pointed to the empty chairs as evidence of my aloneness, laughed, and simply said “no”.
She told me she knew 4-5 moms who were foster support for one another. “I don’t know what you believe but they all get together and pray for one another.” She took her scavenger hunt paper and wrote down her number and the number of one of her friends. Then she handed it to me with a promise to arrange a connection. “I know I was supposed to be here tonight. Do you believe in that?”
I finally managed to speak instead of just stare. I shared that Holy Spirit led me to go to Starbucks. And no one showed. But SHE showed. So obviously she was the person I was supposed to meet. We hugged. She left. Then I collected my heart and my things. And called my husband to gush on God’s love. I fell asleep praying for my new tribe. The ones I don’t even know by name but who have been chosen for me, for this season.
Such a lesson in expectations. We cannot expect anything from God. But we can wait for Him with expectancy. Because He always shows up. We just can’t hold on to the expectation that He will show up in a certain way. To hear a great message on this, click here.