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Laying Down My Expectations

24 October 2009 5 Comments

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This month has been one of the most trying months for me so far.   It has been wonderful, yet very tough at the same time.  This month our teams were given the assignment of Asking The Lord (ATL) about which country we should go to next.  We were supposed to be in Egypt this month, however, we were not able to get our whole squad to the Middle East until December.  So Petra Asked the Lord and we felt him calling us to Croatia.  We went with Kingdom Unity and arrived in Osijek, Croatia with no place to stay and no contacts.  We were blessed to find a church that was willing to house us for a night, so we all packed into their youth center.  The next day we learned that another church about 3 hours away was in need of a small team for a week.  So Petra and Kingdom Unity decided to merge and then split up again, so I was with Tim, Liz and Lauren from Petra and Matt, Heather and Lauren Williamson from Kingdom Unity.  We worked at a small church for the most wonderful old couple who are so in love with God.  It was wonderful to get to paint, cook and serve them.  It was a great week for us.

We went back to Osijek and joined up with the others who had been doing youth ministry for the week.  We all went to Pula next, a beautiful coastal city on the Adriatic Sea.  Even though our teams were in the same location, the squad leaders felt that we should continue to be separated.  So I ended up the same team, but Liz and Tim were traded for Tamica and Joel.  So we had our new teams, and then set out to find contacts and build relationships with the people of Pula.   This part of the month was hardest for me because I did not have a tangible ministry to work on.  Each day we were not sure about what we were doing until we were actually doing it.

The first expectation I learned to lay down was my expectations of having the same 6 people around me for a year.  Petra had just begun to act like a family, and then we were all separated.  Being apart from them helped me see how much I was relying on them for support and comfort.  I was blessed with so many new and wonderful relationships because of the separation, and I am so thankful that we were able to do that.  I learned a lot about leaning on those around me, whether they are on my official team or not.  I also learned to lay down my expectation of the race in general.  Coming on the race I thought I would either have a clear ministry objective for the day, or would be given an entire day free to ask the Lord what he wanted us to do for the day and then do it.  This month was neither, and it was hard for me to adjust to that.  Instead, I learned to be very flexible and stay in the Spirit at all times.  We had to be ready at a moments notice to give testimonies, pray, or speak life into someone.  There were not many moments that we had “off” (as if Christians ever really have an off day).  Because of this, I learned how to draw my strength from God alone and how to submit my will and all of my desires to him, no matter what.

While this month was a difficult transition for me, I am thankful for it and excited about the next steps!  Right now I am on a train back to Osijek then on to a smaller city.  They split our teams up again and I am with Danielle and Lauren Williamson is our leader.  Our entire objective for the next 5 days is simply Ask the Lord and follow his leading.  I am really looking forward to what he is going to lead us in!  I am so thankful for the hard lessons that I learned this month, and I look forward to our next step of ministry.

May we all continue to lay our expectations down, and in return allow the Lord to move freely in our lives.

~ Jennifer .

Oh, and, speaking of expectations, I guess I should have laid down my expectation of only going to 11 countries a long time ago.  It’s only month 3 and we’ve already been to 6 countries (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia for those who are counting).  We had the opportunity to go to Serbia for a day, and here are some highlights from our trip.  You can view the whole album HERE.

1-361-351-341-301-291-281-241-151-131-08

5 Comments »

  • Christy said:

    Expectations have a way of getting in the way don’t they! I am so glad you are laying yours down…only good things will come from it. I so love this journey God has you on…what a unique and life changing path you are on.

    As always I adore your photographs. It is so neat to see your journey through your own eyes and the camera lens!

    Praying for you always.

    Love you!

  • jacob said:

    expectations… I have so many.

    If there has been one lesson from the Lord these past 75 days it has been simply to lay down all that I hold dear and trust Him. I’m SO happy that God is doing the same work in you. I love you dearly. Praying for you all the time.

  • Mark said:

    Keep laying them down, there are always more you didn’t know you had and the more of your plan that gets laid down the more of God’s you get to pick up. It’s awesome. And so are you.

  • Mom said:

    Thanks so much for sharing about expectations. I too had a box full of expectations that I am having to lay down and while painful sometimes, I know that the Lord has my highest good in mind and is working out everything for his Kingdom in his plans.

    I love my sweet daughter! P.S. – Your site didn’t send me an update notice again.

  • Lloyd and Renee said:

    Jennifer, your writing and your photos are such a blessing to me!! I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God as I read your blog and see your unbelievably GORGEOUS photos!!! Yes, Christians don’t have a day off. What a concept! Living in America it seems that “expectations” are ingrained into us our whole lives. It is so refreshing to read about how the Lord has been teaching you about “laying down your expectations” and TRUST completely and totally in Him!! That really ministered to me. Thank-you for being transparent. I love it.

    I also loved Dan Snyder’s blog. What a day! lol. I loved when they got off the bus and looked at the pole that had “Trust” written on it in English!! I don’t think that was a coincidence either. :-) God is so good. He speaks to us in so many ways if we will just open our eyes, ears and hearts to hear Him.

    I love you Jennifer and always love hearing from you. God bless you and all you serve with. All glory praise and honor to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!!!

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