Kathy continues our series of Cambodia reflections…
Called to Cambodia for reasons unknown, I embarked on the 19 hours of flight time with trepidation. What to expect? How to manage? Very quickly I realized the Korean Air Flight attendants were in charge and I was not in control of this situation. They managed the passengers like a well oiled machine; seats up, drink of juice, meal, seats back, lights off, sleep, wake up, drink more juice, another meal, lights off and sleep again. Obediently I succumbed to their calm, firm guidance, trusting in their experience and knowledge. While my submission to the flight attendants was light hearted and joked about, the concept of submission and relinquishing control became a theme during the next 7 days.
Over the past few weeks you’ve read many poignant reflections on our experiences in Cambodia. I feel as close to them as if I had written them myself. Laurel’s beautiful recollection of prayer in Rokakos, Carolyn’s living in the “space between”, Julie’s personal encouragement during a dark walk. They all echo a shared experience of witnessing God’s hand in places we had never been before and in ways we may never experience here in Arlington. We probably all returned home with the same question, now what? how do we apply this here?
I may not have known why I was going to Cambodia or what specific gift I had to offer to the trip. I certainly was not qualified to lead the Children’s small group nor was I gifted in speaking when I gave my testimony to a group of 40 adults. None of this came easy, at times it was daunting and it was never comfortable. I didn’t walk away feeling, wow, I had a lot to offer, but I did walk away feeling unbelievably full. Full in the knowledge that God walked with me every step of the way. He protected me, he gave me exactly what I needed and he stretched me. The little voice that was calling me to go to Cambodia was calling me to Him.
As I write this I find myself immersed in the feelings of being back in Cambodia stretching, hoping and trusting that I will be given just the right words. What is meant to be a reflection feels like encouragement. Encouragement to trust that unknown push. I did not need to travel around the globe to go deeper in my relationship with God but my God is amazingly generous. He alone knows the joy I feel when I travel, the nourishment I draw in connecting with others, in seeing His work and yes, the struggle I face in giving up control.
Perhaps what Cambodia holds most for me is the lesson and reminder to be present, show up, listen and keep trying to be obedient to what is God is saying. Submit and relinquish control.