I don’t share a ton on here about my life as a ministry wife, because even though it’s my story, it’s not JUST my story…it’s my husband’s story and the story of our church community as well.
But I HAD to share a cool story from the last two weeks because I think it might encourage someone who is struggling with the question “when will I see RESULTS in my ministry?”
You see, in ministry you put all this effort into planting seeds. You try to plant knowledge, passion, love, faith, and hope in the Lord. You shape your life around planting. The rhythms of your family life, your finances, your conversations, your passions, your location—everything is affected by the work you or your spouse feel called to do.
A lot of it is rewarding. You see lives changed and people inspired and relationships restored.
Yet you don’t always see the harvest.
You’ll pour hours of mentoring into a kid who winds up getting arrested. You’ll talk a student off a million ledges only for them to keep walking off those ledges like they haven’t learned anything. You’ll urge a parent to talk with their son/daughter based on something alarming that their child has told you, you’ll give them suggestions about how to do so, and they won’t even address the issue with their child. You spend extended amounts of time with students who are borderline rude to you on a trip and then they never return to your church, so you don’t know what ends up happening to them.
And it’s okay, because obedience to your calling is why you do this—not because you need results. And you pray “okay, God. I may not see the results of the seeds I tried to plant but I know that you’re the one doing the work anyway—that you will water them and that there will be a harvest someday. Help me continue faithfully and energetically regardless of the outcome, trusting that YOU see the harvest at the end even if I don’t.”
But sometimes, God just chooses to bless you anyway by showing you results. In the last two weeks, I’ve seen some harvest from the seeds I’ve tried to plant.
The things I hope most for the girls I mentor and spend my time and prayers on are that they will know their identity in Christ, that they develop a passion for growing in the Lord, and that their hearts become loving, soft, aware of others, and servant-like.
Well…two weeks ago, two of my college girls (that I mentored for two years when they were high schoolers) came back from school and saw an area in my life where I needed some help. They pointed my need out, like “hey, Sarah, you could probably use help with this” and then offered to fill it.
On their break from school.
I didn’t prompt them in any way or even realize that I could actually benefit from some help until they asked.
My first inclination was to say no, I’m fine—thanks anyway. Enjoy your break. I can do my own work.
But I thought about it and realized that this is exactly the kind of thing I should say yes to. I want them to see needs and feel a pull on their hearts to meet those needs, and I want them to respond to that pull.
And that was what they were doing.
So I said yes and thought, if they are volunteering to help, I am going to give them a REAL job. So I had them babysit Zoe for a while while I ran some errands, and while she napped I had them clean a gross closet in my house (it used to store our recycling bins, sandy lawn chairs, & outdoor goods, if that says anything about how gross it was.)
I came back and that closet was sparkling clean. My baby was happy. The girls looked tired and happy.
And I felt thankful. Thankful for their sacrifices, thankful for the privilege of being called to this life of ministry, and thankful for the fact that every so often, God lifts up the veil of what He’s doing and says here’s some encouragement. Here’s some harvest. Check out what we’re doing together.
I’d do what I felt called to anyway. But it feels good to do it encouraged!