Finding my lost identity.

Jennie's Snippets

I went on a mission trip to Kenya back in April of this year. I went with an excited and expectant heart to minister to every woman, every girl, and every child that my eyes laid on. I had a heart full of love to pour out onto any soul who stumbled along my path.

I prepared, I fasted, and I prayed to see God move in remarkable ways in the lives of those who had little to cling to. I was ready.

What I did not prepare for was what it would be like to return home.

I went with a team of other women who are just remarkable at children’s ministry. Our hearts were aligned with one mission in sight. Together, we held a children’s ministry conference for over 100 girls with over 40 dedicating their lives to Christ admitting that Christ’s love is powerful enough to forgive them and lead them, we visited and loved on babies at an abandoned baby home, and we did ministry at an orphanage with girls and boys aging from 2 to 18.

We were living and breathing the mission field. I mean, we do every day no matter where we are, but we got to do the dirtier work of it all.

The thing is… I have been out of the country doing mission work before and came home, sad, but nothing like this.

Ever since I was a little girl, sitting at the Pilgrimage Conference, God spoke to me. He TOLD me that my life was not meant to be lived lavishly. That my feet will one day wander into something bigger than my body could handle. That my feet would land in Africa and a child residing there would become my own.

Sounds crazy to you. But for me my heart has clung to it wondering when it would happen. Praying, hoping, expecting – waiting.

When Pam, our conference girls director, invited me to go on this trip I was absolutely terrified. I had let fear of war, famine and disease infiltrate my mind that I almost said no.

But Pam didn’t know the desire of my heart and the promise that God made me. In my decision, I was more fearful that I wouldn’t allow his promise to become a reality.  Before I lost my courage I quickly told Pam……YES!

Christ was powerful. He worked in all those kids lives, but most importantly He worked in mine.

I was not prepared for the amount of emptiness I would feel once I got home. I felt AT home in Kenya. I could have stayed my whole life – right there. I wouldn’t miss a single thing that America called a “comfortable” lifestyle.

I don’t need a fancy car, I don’t need a large home, I don’t need a big paycheck, I don’t need designer clothes, or a protected life. I’m simply joyful with being alive.

I just wish I could have given more and stayed longer there.


It has taken me a long time to write this because I wasn’t sure of who I was when I got back. It was difficult for me to write something so sensitive. I felt so lost because all I wanted to do was get back on a plane to Africa.

When I got to my apartment, the night of my arrival to America, I went straight to my bed and cried myself to sleep.

I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be there.

Today is much different than that first night back. During a prayer night at Elevation Raleigh my pastor called for a night of prayer rather than a teaching.  He had no idea how much I needed it.

God knew what I was struggling with, and behold, an older woman who had been in similar shoes prayed with me and helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in my loss and suffering.

I was finally able to breathe again, but I had to decide who I was, and what God’s plan was going to be for me that moment onward. What did HE want for me?

Ministry is at the heart of who I am and all that I am. I can’t breathe unless I am being a servant for Christ. I am no one unless Christ gives me his commands to do his work. The mission trip REMINDED me of my mission (both here and there – local and international).

I wasn’t giving enough while I was serving in America. And, I am desperate to serve more with every opportunity God gives me.

My heart is full and expectant – I have so much for me to pour out.

And God’s promise for me will prevail. He only gave me a taste with my visit. Kenya, currently, does not allow for international adoption, but one day one of those children at THAT orphanage (which will remain unnamed) will call me mommy <3.

Jennie Laureen

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

Sex is bad.

Love

This post was a little hard for me to write. I’ve been working on it for over 3 weeks, but felt that it needed to be written in a way for you to understand my perspective. I realize that other people out there struggle with a similar attitude, and I hope this also helps you.

So…ever since I was a little girl I promised God that I would give myself away to the man who meant to take my hand in marriage.

And I have been an extremely lucky woman to have been dating this wonderful man for 6 years (close to 7) and he has been waiting for me like I have asked. Of course I am not a saint, but to have someone wait for that part of your life is more than a blessing!

When I think of marriage I think of the wonders of raising kids, building a home, and growing old together. This may sound harsh, and it isn’t my intention, but the last thing on my mind is the physical aspect of marriage. It doesn’t mean it’s not there – it’s just at the bottom of what I think about when I hear “marriage.”

I KNOW that sex is a part of marriage. I KNOW that it is a gift from God for a man and a woman to enjoy who come together, with their vows, till death do us part.

But, there is a problem. I grew up with 2 completely different ideals taught to me through the church and it has become a battle in my mind. The church didn’t mean any harm in it at all either. The church said these things as a way to protect us. The people who taught me this were fearful that I would walk the same path they did. I don’t blame the church – I love the church for everything they have taught me. But no one knew the side effects of the teaching, even if it was meant for good! These two ideals are:

  1. Sex is beautiful and meant for marriage. God made it for you to enjoy – so enjoy it. But, if it’s outside of marriage then…
  2. Sex is dirty and disgusting, and you are viewed negatively if you perform it.

I get the waiting ideal. That’s why I have been waiting my whole life because I aspire to be the wife who gives this as a gift to her husband, and to enjoy it with him.

But, I am also terrified of that intimacy. I do feel that once it is all said and done then I won’t feel honored to have given that to my husband. I would feel dirty and disgusting instead. And it terrifies me in 2 ways: I don’t want to disappoint my husband, and I don’t want to feel gross over something that is suppose to be beautiful.

This is something that has been plaguing me for years on end. If I am honest with you then I can tell you that I don’t mind how long I have to wait to have a ring on my finger. I absolutely and utterly love the man that I am with, but the fear keeps me at bay that waiting doesn’t bother me.

Although I have faced the battle in my mind, I have sought out advise on overcoming this irrational fear. Because I know it is based on what people have taught me. I have to reverse the teaching in order for me to overcome it. Of course I am still planning to wait – no worries on that part – but I have been teaching myself consistently over the past few weeks to view that part of marriage as something beautiful.

I even discussed it with my e-group (aka small group), and crazy enough, people were in the SAME boat with similar fears that I have and it honestly helped. I love the “me too” concept.

Here are just a few suggestions that have helped me over the past few weeks and I hope they help you too:

  1. When you wake up in the morning just say to yourself “love is beautiful.” Because it is. All aspects of showing love it beautiful.
  2. I recommend, highly, for you to read the book “Song of Solomon.” It is a scroll about a husband and wife professing love to each other and also showing  love to each other. It has become my favorite book, because even the bible doesn’t fear the discussion of an intimate topic even when so many people in the church are. God made it – we can discuss it.
  3. If you haven’t heard of the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers then I also suggest reading this book. It is a beautiful depiction of what love is in ALL aspects of a marriage and it is absolutely beautiful. It is based off of the book of Hosea and it is an inspiring novel.
  4. Stop listening to the teaching “sex is bad” because it is an irreversible teaching that will harm your view of marriage. Sex is beautiful – not disgusting. You still need to guard your heart and mind, and continue to wait (both boys and girls) if you are still waiting.

I am continuing to work on this list. This is very short compared to what it could be, but these few things have helped me so far!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe some tips to add to this list – maybe more books to read (I love reading). Comment below if you wish to share.

Jennie Laureen