by, Amanda Goodroe

Many people go through life having suffered from a series of major disappointments. This pattern of unfulfilled hopes and dreams creates adults who walk around with their glasses half-full and their expectations low, so they are no longer disappointed when things do not work out like they had hoped.

I never learned this.

Like Pollyanna, I believe you can find the good in every situation, and my glass is not only full, it is spilling over the edge onto the table and dripping on the floor.

Needless to say, I generally expect great things in life. Even when things don’t go exactly as planned, I still continue to expect great things. This life-mentality may seem risky to those afraid of disappointment, but in looking for the great things in my everyday life, I usually find them.

Amanda's ShoreWhen it comes to mission trips, however, expectations can be a dangerous thing to have. On my first mission trip — when I was 16 — I had no expectations, because no one had ever been where we were going and no one on our team knew what to expect. This turned out to be a very good thing.

From that point on, I have always had an open mind when it comes to mission trips. I have found that when you are flexible with your expectations, you can see God move in ways you never imagined.

While having expectations may lead to disappointments, I have discovered that when I expect God to do great things, I am never disappointed.

People ask me often what country I am going to first and what day I am leaving and what exactly I will be doing in each country. When I tell them I don’t exactly know and probably won’t know for a while, people usually say something like, “Oh wow, I could never do anything like that.”

As I am preparing for World Race, I am discovering that it’s a lot like life. I know the general direction I am going, but I don’t yet know when I will arrive. I know great things will happen, but I don’t know what exactly I will be doing. In life, a lot of times I have found that the Lord only gives me direction one step at a time. This helps me to learn to trust Him more, because I need Him every step of the way.

I do not expect the World Race to be easy. But I expect the Lord will use this experience to help me grow.

I do not expect ministry to look like what I have imagined. But I expect that my eyes will be opened to new opportunities to serve.

I do not expect to never miss my family and friends back home. But I expect that the group of people I will be ministering with will become like family.

I do not expect to always feel rested and refreshed. But I expect that the Lord will give me strength even when I am weary.

I know that some of my expectations will not be met, but I know that with God ordering the steps of my journey, I can expect to see Him move in ways beyond my wildest dreams.

Amanda GoodroeAmanda Goodroe is a senior at Louisiana State University studying Mass Communication with a focus on print journalism. Amanda went on her first mission trip at age 16 to Costa Rica. This sparked a passion for other cultures and people groups around the world. Beginning in September, she will spend 11 months traveling the world as a missionary and will be blogging about her experiences traveling the globe with only a backpack. Amanda enjoys reading and drinking as much tea as possible.

Pirate Preacher

The Pirate Preacher is the Communications Director at Christ' Church at Moore Square. On Monday nights he leads a "Jesus Study" in Moore Square. Each Sunday between 12:30 and 2:00 the Pirate Preacher and others, gather in the park to hand out food, water, and other items that add to the abundant life Jesus promised. He's also is an award-winning author of middle-grade, YA, and adult fiction and a writing coach and instructor.

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One comment

  1. Great words of advice for missions and for LIFE!! Thanks for sharing this, Amanda! I can’t wait to see how God moves and grooves through the World Race, and throughout your life. It’s going to be fabulous, because He’s your God! Your Leader! Your Way! Keep on pressing on toward your upward call in Christ Jesus!

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