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Giving up the American Dream for God's Plans

Sep 13, 2021 11:15:00 AM

The following is a testimony from one of our YWAM Salem staff members who gave up her dreams for what God had planned. 

In 2013, according to the world, I had it all. I had recently graduated college, had a well paying job with a sparkly career ahead of me, and easily planned out the next 20-30 years of my life. I even saved up enough money for a good down payment on a house. In all aspects of what the world said was “success", I had it. But there was a problem with this success. In the depth of my heart, what the world was trying to communicate, I knew wasn’t right for me.

Something about this perfect "American dream" wasn’t working. 

Like a bicycle whose weight is not distributed evenly, I kept falling off the path. Over and over again, my baggage pulled me into the curb. After three years of riding in circles, I felt bruised, beaten down and that I had nowhere to go. At my lowest point feeling lost, God’s word came into my life through the lips of a friend. “Why not take a year off, do a bible school or something, and pray into your future? Why not ask God who knows everything and seek His wisdom?” Could I actually ask God what He wanted to do with my life? It was a lightning bolt of truth and I knew I couldn’t just keep on riding!

Though I knew my friend was right, questions seemed to plague me as I walked away from the conversation. What about my career? What about my family? What would people say? Would I be wasting a gift from God? I had worked so hard to get here. Over and over again, I reasoned why I needed to stay and keep pushing forward. That’s what everyone else was doing, right?

Despite all these arguments, when it came down to it, doing what I was doing felt purposeless.  Even though the world was telling me one thing, I went against the grind. I got off the bike of American-consumerism, and put in my notice at work. I had wrestled with a few possible things to do this next year, but doing a Discipleship Training School (DTS) stood out clearly. I would hear about DTS at church, see ads online, and would even run into people who would suggest YWAM. It was like God was hitting me over the head with the next step He had for my life. 

I decided to sign up for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) and ended up going to Ukraine for outreach. Once over lunch, I heard about a ministry which went to spiritual festivals and saw God move as they prayed for people who were seeking guidance through crystals, cards, healings, etc. When bringing God into this environment, they saw the power of God displayed through obedience and how it made an impact on their community.

Hearing this testimony, the burdens on my bike were lifted off and redistributed. I knew that while my job back home was honorable, it was not God’s call for me. He was calling me to a life of surrender in missions.

Looking back now, I can say dying to the passions of my heart, exchanging my “American dream life” and finding my true life in God’s call was the greatest move.

I am reminded of what Paul says, For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Phil 3:8).

When I discarded everything else, God allowed me to step into a life with Him and live it to the fullest. I now get to see a multiplication of God’s provision, people finding freedom in Christ, miraculous healings, and lives forever changed.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). 

God is a promise keeper, and whenever doubt creeps in, God reminds me that his fulfillment is life with Him forever. This promise of a fulfilled life with God is forever. 

Are you ready to lay down your dreams and step into a Discipleship Training School to see all that God has to offer? 


Interested in Jesus, adventure, and growing in your faith?

Do a Discipleship Training School, YWAM’s flagship missionary training course. It's a great gap year option. It's also perfect for anyone looking to step out of the ordinary and grow in your faith.

How does it work?

First, you’ll spend 3 months getting to know God amongst a vibrant Christian community and the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Then you’ll embark on a life-changing 2-month overseas missions trip, focused on making God known. A new DTS starts every September, January, April, and June! Submit your info below to learn more. 

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