I remember one of the first things we were told in preparation for a 9 month mission trip I went on last year….
Drop all expectations.
I remember how crazy this sounded to me as so many expectations of what that adventure would consist of were already stirring in my head. I thought I had a really great idea of what was to come. But looking back on the 9 months I spent travelling the world, God had greater plans for that trip that I could have EVER imagined, and quite frankly, my pre-set expectations were no match up to what He brought to pass. They told us to drop expectations for twp main reasons. 1) because disappointment comes if they aren’t met. And 2) (Most importantly) Expectations place limits on a limitless God.
Now, almost 3 weeks into a road trip through the south that the Lord called my best friend and I on, I’ve realized that God had so much greater planned than I could’ve imagined in ways I never expected. This journey we’re on isn’t what I thought it would be.
I expected lives to change radically for Jesus Christ. I expected to pour out everything I have everywhere I go. I expected to go hungry a lot of nights. I expected to worship nonstop. I expected to preach the freedom I’ve been given everywhere I went. I expected the people around me to grow like crazy in their faith. I expected to encourage people to step out on what the Lord was calling them to do. I expected this and a whole lot more.
Most of these expectations have been met in some ways… but they have not been in the way I’d planned at all (and we have definitely NOT gone hungry… at all). It’s been incredible and there are future blogs to come about all that.
The one piece of this trip I haven’t expected was how much I myself was going to be grown by the Lord.
The thing about life with Jesus is that it’s a never ending growing experience. You hit growth spurts and you hang out at the same place for a bit. And quite honestly, I wasn’t very happy about the place I was in. I’d sat in it too long and wanted more. And God knew that.. even before I did. And He used the first half of this trip not only to let us be a blessing, but even more so to be incredibly blessed by others around us. We didn’t plan on where we would stay before we left. As we approach a state, we pray about where we’re going to go in it, and pray for people to stay with… His faithfulness and provision never fails when you trust with your whole heart!
These unexpected blessings have come to be primarily by the people God has let us stay with.
Our first stop was in Dallas, Texas. We stayed with a World Racer named Moriah (from the same organization I did my 9 month trip with) who I had a mutual friend with. We’d met briefly at an event our mutual friend, Tess, held to share about her journey on the Race. I got to tell her about the trip and she said if we ever ended up in TX we could stay with her and her sister— who knew it would happen!
God put Moriah in our path to remind us of the nearness of God’s presence. I have never met a woman of God who follows the spirit so closely, She was FILLED and OVERFLOWING with wisdom that was spot on to what our hearts were needing to hear. She encouraged us, did ministry with us, worshipped with us, and helped strengthen us like crazy. She, most importantly, reminded us of who we are in Christ. She taught humility, and vulnerability. It was divine appointment number one.
Next we went to Flower Mound, TX and stayed with my dad’s friend Brian. THIS man is THE most hospitable man of God I have ever known. We were taken in and cared for like his children, and I can’t even explain the amounts that I learned from him. One of the coolest things I learned from him was how he viewed money. As humans we love to idolize money. Clinging to it in all circumstances. Leaving for the trip with only 300 in my bank account I knew exactly how that felt to want to cling to money… but the Lord called me to trust, and he’s provided and will continue to provide what I need. Brian was not attached to money because he knew it wasn’t his to begin with. Material belongings fit into this and it was beautiful. The number one thing to Brian is God and his family. I’ve never been able to physically see a man of God praying for his family as strongly and truthfully as he does. He is a man of Love, and he knows that everything that is given to his is of God, and the proper thing to do is to give back the glory to him. He let us sing for hours in his living room. And even though he had a ton of work to do for a convention he had the next day, he insisted on going to breakfast with us and heading into the office a bit later. I could go on and on about this man.
Also while we were staying with Brian, the Lord provided a house for us to stay in. Brian’s friend, Barry, was out of town, and opened up his house, and his fridge to Cherub Grace and I. It blew my mind that someone would be so selfless and trust sisters in Christ to have his home. We were blessed to have gotten to meet him right before we left and it was so clear that the Lord’s spirit was all over him. He was another example of losing the attachment to belongings.
We went on to make a quick pit stop at Baylor in Waco, TX. A girl I was blessed to meet briefly at camp this summer named Rachel saw a status on facebook and opened up a place to stay with her. Upon arrival I found out that she was actually giving up her room to us for the night- Her own bed, her own bathroom- and she would share a bed with her roommate. That to me was SO cool because she had couches, we had sleeping pads to sleep on the floor, but nope, she gave of herself in such a beautiful way.
Next we cut a couple states and headed to Mobile, Alabama to stay with CG’s sister, Cherish at school. Again. Insane hospitality. The days we got to spend in Mobile were so fun too, it was definitely a time the Lord set apart for CG and her sister to strengthen their relationship, it was beautiful to watch what the Lord did in it. 🙂
My message to you is to keep an eye out for the good in every person. You are surrounded daily by people who bless you, and the Lord has placed them there for you for a reason! Live to be a blessing. Seek out adventure with only the expectation of God moving 🙂
I have so many words to say and so many blogs to write about the past 2 weeks. I’ve got some amazing stories. I’m really struggling to put it into words at the moment. But more are coming and I’m losing my need for perfection in these.
I know that the Lord is calling me to go deep with you guys. And my hearts prepared to do so. So stick with me and subscribe for updates. Thank you for the prayers and the support. Words cant describe how much it means and how much we feel it!
Thank you to the people who have let us stay with them as well, I could go on forever about how much you have impacted our lives for the Lord. We can not thank you enough 🙂