Finish high school, go to uni, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, and then of course, travel the world.
If you had asked me as a child what I thought life might look like, I would’ve said something like this.
Eight year old me wanted to be a lawyer, so I could fight for things I believed in. Twelve year old me wanted to be an aid worker, so I could provide for those in need. Fourteen year old me wanted to study psychology, so I could figure out why people think the way they do. These professions all have one thing in common: you have to go to university.
At 17, I decided to take a “gap year” before heading to university. I loved learning but there were other things I wanted to do as well: travel, see the world, and help others.
From my research, I found so many great programs but in the end, I landed on a Discipleship Training School with YWAM (admittedly, I was most interested in going on outreach. Spending months in a foreign country learning the language, wearing the traditional clothes and tasting the traditional food—all while serving local churches? Yes please!).
In the middle of our lecture phase, I was busy getting ready for my next steps once DTS was over—I had applied for a social work program at my local university. I was processing this decision with my DTS mentor when she asked me an uncomfortable question: “Have you asked God what he wants you to do?” I was shocked. Of course I had asked God, and of course God wanted me to go to university. That’s what everyone does after all. Why would it be any different for me?
But the question lingered: Had I really asked God what he wanted for my life? And was I ready to listen if he wanted something different from what I had already planned?
This process wasn’t easy. Rather, it was an agonising time of trying to "be present” while not worrying about the future. Easier said than done! But, as I look back over these months, I can now see where God had been speaking, but I had been missing his small quiet voice.
When I finally realised what God was inviting me into next, it turned out to be coming back and staffing with YWAM. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of coming alongside others as they go through their own DTS experience.
My one year out has turned into five, and I love it. I’ve been to countries I didn’t even know existed, I have friends all over the world and I live in Australia—just a two minute drive from the beach! And most importantly, I get to be a part of bringing God’s good news to places that need it most!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying university is bad. There’s so many possibilities for great experiences there too. It just wasn’t for me.
I never could have imagined seeing myself doing what I’m doing now. It took breaking down the boxes of what I thought was ‘normal’ to find what I really loved. And that all started with asking that uncomfortable question: “God, what do you think I should do with my life?”
Are you ready to ask God the same question? What do you think he might say?