My time in Charlotte was such a redeeming experience for me. In 2015, I graduated from college with a degree in Religion. Every class in school taught me fact after fact but never focused on the spiritual and what God was doing in my life. Coming to Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Charlotte was like a breath of fresh air! This is where I learned why all these “facts” mattered, where I fit in the story, and more importantly who God was. Hearing lectures on identity, hearing the voice of God, and the Father Heart of God, just to name a few, were eye-opening and allowed me to begin to step out and want to know more about God. Lecture phase was transformable and life-changing, by allowing me to ask questions, helped me seek out answers, and more importantly take things to God. My entire Discipleship Training School experience is centered on Jeremiah 29:13, where it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
For me, the main aspect of lecture phase was the understanding that this is more than just head knowledge. It is the understanding that God can transform our lives if we let Him. Week by week, I was learning about who God is and Who is sovereign over my life - ripping out areas in my life that didn’t reflect who God called me to be, and replacing them with solid truths concerning my identity. Lecture phase was full of soul searching, tough questions were answered…no matter how hard it was, and I made it! And the knowledge gained has changed my life for good.
A Discipleship Training School is a five-month adventure with God that will completely transform and renew the way you live and view your life. Here in YWAM Charlotte is where Rachel experienced not just a head knowledge of God, but encountered Him!
In your Discipleship Training School in YWAM Charlotte you can encounter God too! Fill out the form below for more information.
In the picture above Rachel with kids she met in Cambodia during her DTS Outreach.
Identity: the fact of being who or what a person is.
So the question then becomes, “Who am I?” I am Liz, but what is it that I will do with my life?
Before DTS, I struggled with self image. I believed, and in turn lived, according to what others said about me. I was walking in the belief that "I am what I do". I also believed that my value came from how well I performed. I struggled just to look in the mirror, I had anxiety over any school grade less than an A, and had a fear of failure. Too much time was spent dwelling over the words and thoughts others had about me. I would even stress over how things would look on my resume!
I knew the truth about what Jesus said about me, but I realized that there is a difference between knowing it and living it. In Luke 10:38-42 there is a story of Martha and Mary. Martha worked and worked, while Mary placed herself at the feet of Jesus spending time in His presence. I was busy being like Martha, when the Lord was asking me to be like Mary. I was staying busy because I thought that is where I would find my identity and value. I was mistaken.
I realized that as I was speaking lies to myself, I was devaluing what Jesus did for me, through His life, death and resurrection. I am a wonderful masterpiece, not because of who I am, but because of who created me. My identity in Christ will never change. I am always His daughter. I am made in His image. I was made just the way He wanted me. Not only did He die for me, but He also lived so I would know how to walk the earth, reflecting His glory!
In November, I got baptized to make the public expression of this inward victory. With it, I proclaimed that I was moving from head knowledge and into who the Lord created me to be. My relationship with God was no longer based on how many Bible facts I knew, how many places I volunteered at, how well I deemed I was doing in life, or what I believed my calling was. My identity is in Him, not in the world or in my flesh. I am His daughter.
Are you also struggling in answering the question "Who am I?" Tackle that question and grow deeper in your relationship with God in your Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Charlotte!
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"I came on staff (with Youth With A Mission Charlotte) in August 2016, not knowing exactly what I was doing except that I was going where God asked me to. I didn't realize all He had in store to teach me and areas of growth for me during this time!
I have grown so much in leadership and learning how to disciple. God has also been teaching me about having a healthy life both mentally and spiritually, which overflows into my physical health. What I'm excited about the most though, is the things God has shown me about myself...the talents, style and personality that have been hidden inside of me! I am constantly amazed at the faithfulness of my God!"
Discover your gifts, talents, and deepen your relationship with the Lord in your Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Charlotte! Fill out the form below for more information.
Last week I had to be on the road early to get to my destination on time. On this beautiful day, I hit the road...a few minutes later than planned...putting me in my car, on the road, at 7:08. I was sailing right along, and then...bumper to bumper. No worries. I had time, I'm just not sure this is how I wanted to spend my time. I relax, take in the scenery, memorize the license plate ahead of me, sing at the top of my lungs, stuff like that.
Then, a business van pulls in front of me. On the rear doors, he has two magnetic posters of children stuck on the door, asking, "Have you seen me?" I look closely, no. I haven't seen either one of these two kids, Angel or Savanna. I start to wonder where are they? Who has seen them? Are they still around to be seen? My heart aches and I start to pray. I pray for their families, their safety, God's protection and mercy to be upon them. I pray for them to be safe. When I can't pray anymore, I jet into the other lane and pass that van.
Soon, I come up on a cute little sports car to my left. The guy in it is trying to burn up the road, in a traffic jam. I smile to myself. Then, he pulls in front of me. (Dude! Careful!) Then I notice his bumper stickers, I actually start to get physically sick. They are absolutely disgusting! Seriously, I can take a few things. These were absolutely vulgar...I can NEVER repeat to anyone what I read.
My first thought was, "I can't believe his mother allows him to have these on his car!" Then I think, "maybe he doesn't have a mother."...like the lost boys of Neverland. Again, my heart is heavy. I start to pray for this guy. I pray for the Lord to reveal Himself. I pray that the Lord sends someone into his life to show him love and grace. That the Lord, Himself would be merciful to this man.
I was still in traffic, but traveling forward. From here my thoughts were filled with a few questions...
What are people seeing as they follow me? They may not always "choose" to be behind me, but traffic, aka "circumstances" have them following behind me. My prayer is that they see something that inspires them, a light that would encourage them to keep on in the journey, a joy like none they have ever seen. I want them to see an accurate reflection of Jesus.
I am so thankful for the time that I had in my Discipleship Training School, growing deeper in my relationship with the Lord as well as seeing the world from HIS perspective. It was a game changer for me and I am eternally grateful.
By Vickie photo cred: Tim Gouw
Your opportunity to discover your relationship with the Lord and where that is leading you begins in your Discipleship Training School at YWAM Charlotte! Fill out the form below to learn more: