Have you ever seen something so incredible that as a result, you set a goal that could transform your life? For instance, maybe you were watching the Olympics, and after seeing the success of all the athletes, you decided to run a marathon. As time goes on, however, something often happens that saps away all of your motivation. Some may call it "reality." Their goals seem too big and too much work. The task of setting aside time to train for a marathon gets smothered by work, family, school, media, and whatever else that could eat up your time. Eventually, your goals are forgotten, and you are stuck in the very place you started.
The time between the birth of an idea and the accomplishment of an idea is fundamental in reshaping a life. For me, the big idea came when I saw what an authentic Christian life could look like in today's world. My vision of a Christian was that of someone who gave up all the enjoyable things in life to do good for everyone else. Little did I know that I was completely missing the point of being a follower of Jesus. When I got a small taste of what it truly looked like, I became hungry for so much more. I wanted to worship freely and love, not because I "had to," but because I wanted to. So, I decided to do a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission-Charlotte (YWAM).
After this decision, I began my time of preparation: I was fresh out of high school, living on my own, in a state far from my parents, and away from the comfort of their choices for me. For the first time in my life, I was on my own to get everything together, within two months, to accomplish my goal of doing a DTS. This task seemed so daunting and stressful to me.
As time passed, my determination toward learning this new way of life got smaller and smaller. I kept telling myself it would be so much easier to forget about trying to make a change and just stick to what I knew. My comfort zone would never allow me to do something so unfamiliar. But despite the conflict, warring for my attention, I persevered! I knew if I only quit because things got too hard, I would miss one of the biggest opportunities of my life.
It took a while for me to set aside the time needed to fill out my application, but once I started, I didn't let myself quit. I began informing my friends and family, making the preparations to go. Raising the money needed was my biggest hurdle, but through it all, God was so faithful to provide.
Since then, I've learned that a lot things in life are "hard," and the only way to grow stronger is to keep going. I kept going, and I went to YWAM-Charlotte, where my life completely changed. I've learned skills and gained knowledge from experiences that are irreplaceable. Had I made another choice, I would have never experienced Cambodia in the way that I did, learning to love a people so dear to God’s heart! Had I stayed in the same environment, I would have never grown to appreciate different cultures, even in my own country. Had I stuck to what I knew, I would have never changed.
I am grateful that I persevered. I am grateful for the hard times and I am grateful for how God has used all of it to shape me into someone who can reflect His glory as I journey with Him.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.I Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)
Natasha has been on staff at YWAM Charlotte since 2016. When she is not busy writing she loves to climb trees, drink coffee, and the occasional game of volleyball.
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