The American Dream. You know the one. Get good grades. Go to college. Get a good paying job. Fall in love. Get married. Get the giant house with the white picket fence. Have kids. And continue the life to ensure that your kids can live the American dream too. But what if that American dream wasn’t your dream?
Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I determined that my dream was not your stereotypical American dream at all. My dream involved far more adventure and far less money. My dream involved something more. This sure came as a shock to everyone when I graduated valedictorian of my senior class and didn’t go to college. That’s right. How many valedictorians do you know would choose to forgo a full-ride to college to instead travel halfway across the world to follow God and a dream? Not a lot. But I was sure that I was meant for far more than what society expected of me. And I am still sure of this. So how exactly did I ignore the requests and demands of society and follow that still, small voice of God saying “I have more for you”? Well let me tell you; and hopefully by the end, you will see how you can gain the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and seek more for your life too.
First, I learned exactly whose opinions I should seek.
Too often do we look to our peers, society or our culture to confirm our actions and decisions. But the truth is that there is only one person who we really need to look to when it comes to confirmation and affirmation, and that is our Creator. In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus shares with the crowd of people the need to let go of anxiety and look to God for all they need. There is a need for faith when it comes to trusting God with your future. Many times, His plan will look exceptionally different than what the world is expecting. Just look at the way Jesus arrived on the scene. The Jews were expecting a conquering king, and instead Jesus came as a tiny baby in a lowly manger who would eventually die to save mankind. (Mark 10:45) Don’t be afraid if God calls you to something out of the ordinary, because that’s where you can experience the extraordinary.
Second, I learned to dream bigger.
Gone are the days when you could never rise above the situation you were born into. Everyone loves an underdog story; and I’m going to let you in on a secret, God is the biggest fan of an underdog story! Countless times throughout the Bible, God uses the least of humanity to bring about the greatest change. Just look at the story of Israel conquering the Promised Land. They were far smaller than the other nations; but with God, they conquered and overcame. (Deuteronomy 7:7-8) They dreamed bigger and trusted God for the things they never could have achieved on their own. Like the Israelites, I trusted God when it came to my future and believed that He could take me into bigger things. With that faith, I traveled to New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, China, Israel, and back again all in the span of six months for the sake of sharing the good news of Jesus. And God wants to use you too. He wants to work through you to bring glory to his name and manifest his power in the nations.
Third, I gained a passion for the Great Commission and started to walk it out.
In simpler words, I decided that I wanted to live in obedience to God by living a life devoted to missions and the spread of the good news that overwhelmed and transformed my life. Do you want to see the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) fulfilled and obey the last command of Christ? Then guess what?! You have a heart for missions too. And missions doesn’t have to be big and crazy, traveling to the ends of the earth to eat snakes and bugs and dying for the gospel. Missions can be done right in your backyard or in your workplace or in your own family. I got to start living out my dream for missions when I did a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM and got to travel to all the countries mentioned above to share the good news of my Savior, Jesus. God used this first experience to call me into a lifestyle of missions. Today, I get to teach the Bible daily to students who are eventually going to be sent out into the mission field and spread the gospel to people I could never have reached. And it all started with me saying “Yes” to the bigger plan that God had for my life.
Adventure is calling you too.
As I look back, I wouldn’t trade my decision to forgo the “American dream” and instead adventure with God for anything. The experiences I have had, the people I have met, the miracles I have seen, and the faithfulness of God I have witnessed far outweigh any white picket fence dream in my mind. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and dreaming big with God took me to a place I never could have imagined three years ago. The fact that I get to study and teach the Bible to eager students is one of the biggest and most unexpected gifts that this path led me to. My story radically changed when I handed the reins to God and started to let him lead. He has got a wild crazy adventure in store for you too. Are you ready to go along for the ride?
Yes, I want to find out more about the Revive Discipleship Training School: