If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. -Woody Allen
Sometimes we get so upset or frustrated because things just aren’t working out the way we imagine, or even want, and we can’t understand why or just really wish it were different. But, I’ve grown to realize what a small part of the picture we actually see. God knows and cares about the desires of our heart. Why then, am I opening with a quote stating that “our plans make Him laugh”? Because our plans are so limited by logic; even when we dare to dream. We are taught 1+1=2 and 1-1=0, and we bring that into how we perceive our world, but when we let God move and have control, that logic goes out the window, the possibilities are endless and the outcomes are almost unbelievable, making it silly for us to even try and make our own plans.
Not very long ago at all, I was in a place where I felt stuck; I was totally emotionally, physically, and mentally beat. I had spent the past few years praying and praying again that something would change, that something big would happen for me, that I too would find my purpose or at least do something meaningful as I try and figure life out. There were so many things that seemed to be going wrong for me and ended in disappointment. Without a doubt, it was an insanely hard few years, harder than I ever imagined myself having to go through. If I had to sum up this time of my life then (at the sake of making real pain sound overdramatic and cheesy) it was really a time where all my dreams and desires faded. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I was looking for, and it has taken a lot of trust to believe things would turn around. During this time I also felt insanely pressured to find something I was passionate about, to go back to school, to pursue a career and I had no idea what for. There were endless possibilities, and many things I could go after, just for the sake of it, but nothing I really wanted. I was blessed with full time work after months of endless searching and potential job disappointments, but let’s just say this was not the breakthrough I was waiting for. It may have been a blessing in disguise, a stepping stone to where I am now, but it wasn’t easy or fulfilling. For literally years, I had to keep pressing through, telling myself that in my life too, Jesus would prove himself faithful.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. -Isaiah 23:19
I was sitting in Starbucks on a day off, that couldn’t come soon enough, and I found myself sifting through some blog posts that I had wanted to read for a while. After following some links and landing on a few seemingly random sites, I ended up on one that caught all of my attention. Suddenly, something nudged me to act in a way that I wouldn’t, ever before. I came across YWAM Berlin’s website, where the advertisement posted for the next DTS practically screamed at me.
It was September 2nd and the dates posted were from September 19th-March 12th. If you know me at all, you know I am not driven by spontaneity in the slightest, and after years of disappointment, even less. Yet, in the same few minutes, I found myself writing to see if they were, by any chance, still accepting applications and would still consider an international student. I immediately sent out messages to my mom and some of my closest friends to ask if I had either completely lost my mind or if this was my opportunity to step into a new season. I had mixed reactions, but also a reply email that seemed to be confirming the latter. After asking people I trust dearly to pray with me, and a continued feeling to keep pursuing this, regardless of how impossible it seemed (financially and otherwise) I had set up a time to Skype with the base leader and his wife in Berlin. This was my confirmation. I don’t know if I have ever had so much peace and excitement at one time. Every doubt and excuse I had, left me as they explained they too had prayed and felt peace that this was right. I KNEW this was what God had for me next and I pretty much agreed that I was coming, right in that moment. Now came the hard part… I had to tell my mom that regardless of how impossible it may seem, this was something I knew I had to do. I had to give my notice at work the next day. I had to step into preparing myself to move away for 6 months and completely trust that in just 2 weeks the Lord would provide and open every door that needed to be opened. HE DID.
My family, friends and coworkers supported my decision, the tuition portion was paid for (almost immediately), all my paperwork went through on time, and finances came through consistently my entire trip, including the amount I needed to come up with for outreach! These are just the miracles I experienced logistically speaking! I could sing praises forever about the things God did in the 6 months of my DTS, during both lecture phase and outreach; the people I met, the miracles I witnessed, the things He spoke to me, showed me and changed in my heart.The biggest heart change of all, consisted of me ditching my fear to please people and do anything that looks different, anything not fitting under the stereotype of “normal”, and my desire to go back to pursue missions in Germany. Regardless of the YWAM stereotype and my pre-existing love for the country, this isn’t something I expected. I actually remember telling myself (maybe even verbally expressing) that this is not something I would do. But, God shifted and stirred things in my heart and life for Berlin, the base, people and vision there. Now, I am more excited and willing than ever, to GO and continue to serve Him, whatever that looks like.
My desires are being fulfilled and it’s time for new things!
More specific stories and on my time in Germany, Brazil and Paraguay in the “Blog”
*All categorized under “MyDTS”