IT’S OFFICIAL. I’M A FULL-TIME MISSIONARY.
What? How the heck did that happen? What did YWAM DO TO YOU? Why aren’t you going back to school? Are you sure?
These are all good questions! Many of my friends and family who care DEEPLY pose these questions and how could I blame them? The radical shift in my life is something that can’t be easily explained. The deepest parts of my heart, mind and soul now bear the fingerprint of our King.
I’m going to shed some light onto what God’s been doing in my heart over the past 10 months.
During lecture phase (September – January) God taught me above all else how unconditional and personal His love is. We as humans project experiences, ideals, assumptions and poor judgement on a Father who has done nothing but time and time again prove His devotion to us. As I realized that I never wanted to lose this new perspective of Him, we worked together to do what is necessary: remove the junk files, the viruses and hijackers that I’ve carried in my system all these years. They attached themselves to me for so many years that they had become a part of me; I didn’t know myself without them. The process of releasing painful events, injured memories and false accusations that had accrued over 19 years was painful. It was absolutely gut-wrenching.
One morning we had devoted an hour to solitude with Father and I vividly remember creating a piece of poetry that explicitly and accurately portrayed the process. ***WARNING: it is intense.***
This is a link to the piece: Pull the Plug
As you can see, the process is very real. One thing I want to emphasize on is that God did NOT force me to do any of this. I told Him I wanted healing; I wanted to be freed from all the crap in the past and that is why He walked me through this.
Here is what’s FASCINATING. Father God was unraveling me to my core and breaking up the foundation that I had lived on for so many years, to reinstate a stronger, sturdier, never-shaking foundation that I can ALWAYS rely on. The foundation of my life has changed. I no longer ache for validation from test scores, relationships or performance! I was delivered from the need to perform to be loved. And there is so much freedom in surrender. My life is forever changed because I was willing to let God have His way in me. No, it did not feel good in the moment, but since then, we have grown in our relationship and trust with one another. I know that He is good. He is FOR me! He is love. He is freedom.
Matthew 10:29 “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it”.
Building on that foundation
The tagline of YWAM is “to know God and to make Him known” and respectively emphasized in the two phases of a Discipleship Training School (DTS). This part of training is called “outreach phase”. We arrived in Cyprus the 31st of January, 2017. We lived, breathed, ate and slept evangelism and loving on people. Luckily, we can look back now and laugh, but the first 3-4 weeks of outreach was very difficult for our team; our team leader was a fearless anointed evangelist and many of us were having a hard time with it. But through loving exhortation and communication, by the end of our time in Cyprus, we weren’t only DOING street ministry, we were LOVING it!
Here, our team was joined by another YWAM team. We joined forces to offer free prayer: prayer for peace and prayers for any ailments or injuries and if interested, salvation prayers. We had worship setting the atmosphere and the people were loving it!
So what happened in my heart during this time?
As I stepped out, God consistently came through. He showed up every time. Whether we were praying for someone, walking down the street, grabbing food or talking with someone, I learned that Father God wants to make Himself known. He only needs willing vessels.
My confidence in Him grew; I started expecting Him to show up instead of merely hoping I don’t look like a fool. We grew together in trust and communication. I learned that there isn’t a formula for evangelism; just as much as we are individuals, so are the people we are ministering to; Father KNOWS and WANTS to show Himself to His kids in the most meaningful way to THEM… and that might look different than what we think.
I experienced God’s love in a way I never had before. I experienced His love for the women on the street corner who knew nothing but what they could do for money beside selling themselves. I experienced His love for young Cypriot skater boys who had unknowingly encountered Him years before! I experienced His love for His sons who’ve fled their country and are struggling with feeling hopeless for the future. In experiencing God’s love for His other kids, my own love for Father grew. His heart is beautifully illogical and knows no bounds. Father God loves His children, every single one of them, and I learned not to “humbly” exclude myself from that love.
I GOT BAPTIZED IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA!
So, what did YWAM do to me?
It helped me grow in intimacy with a loving Heavenly Father and discover who He made me to be.
Why aren’t you going back to school?
I know myself better than before and now, knowing what I know, I know there is no other life I would rather pursue than a life of sharing the love of God and bringing hope to as many as possible. I’ve decided this isn’t only what I believe I was created for but I’ve decided to pursue missions because I LOVE IT.