When I came to Discipleship Training School (DTS), I was angry and bitter. My life wasn’t easy that way, and yet it was still the way I chose to live.
Because that meant I only had to think about myself. But frankly, the thoughts I had about myself stunk. I had low self-worth and low self-esteem when I came to my DTS, and I saw no need to fight for anything different.
Apathy was easy, even though it was draining the life out of me.
Just like any other senior in high school, I assumed that college was the right path for me. I began talking with some different universities, but a commitment to any one of them never seemed likely.
Then one day, everything changed. My dad reminded me of a statement I made as a thirteen year-old. It was during a mission trip presentation at my church that I had turned to him and said, “I want to do that.” The woman sharing about missions was my Sunday school teacher, and she had just come back from a trip with Youth With A Mission.
It was then that I decided to take the path that led me to to Louisville, Kentucky, to be a student in the Fall DTS.
Long story short, I went against the grain, choosing a life path that was much different from the rest of my graduating class. To be honest, it wasn’t always easy. Their lives looked so much simpler than mine. The path I was walking seemed to lead to a dead end full of questions and uncertainties. I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to leave home and move to Louisville.
When I arrived at my Discipleship Training School, I was hit hard by culture shock–a Jesus culture that I wasn’t used to. A culture that prayed for each other, that shared openly and admitted their faults. One that went hard after Jesus, pursuing Him and putting Him first in their lives. My classmates weren’t perfect; in fact, they were broken, just like I was. Yet somehow, I slowly started to blend in with those around me.
But even still, I was missing something; something I just couldn’t seem to grasp.
That’s when everything changed.
For the first time in my life, I heard about how God made me individually. I heard how He treasures me, how He loves me, and that He has never left me. And to make it even better, these things weren’t directed toward our class or our community as a whole, but were spoken directly to me in a private prayer time.
Then I began hearing about another plan for my life – the Devil’s. He desired me to be full of self-hatred and to have a hard heart, to be constantly building walls to keep love out.
Suddenly, I realized that I had a choice. I could either live a life believing the truth, or I could stay in the darkness I had become accustomed to.
I didn’t know how to live any other way. Emptiness and self-preservation seemed to be the only way of life. Could it really be that easy to walk away from everything I’d always known? What if all of this was imaginary? What if God hadn’t really called me beautiful?
With all of these doubts and questions still playing in the back of my mind, I set my face toward the Lord and took the first step towards a life full of more freedom I could have ever believed possible.
I now live a Jesus culture kind of life, because I don’t know any other way. I learned that it wasn’t the program that changed me, but the God who inspired the program who transformed me. Discipleship Training School was the platform I needed to grow in my relationship with God. It provided me with biblical teaching, a mentor who cared for me, and friendships I’m confident I’ll have the rest of my life.
My life was ruined in my DTS.
Ruined to the point that sometimes, I have a hard time remembering what it was like to live the way I used to. How freeing it has been to be ruined for the ordinary! To live life not always knowing my next step, but knowing I’m facing the direction I’m called to go. It’s freeing to live a broken, undone, ruined sort of life, knowing all the while that it is God who holds me together. How freeing it has been to be ruined for the world’s standards, and to be made new by the Lord’s!
(Interested in doing a Discipleship Training School? There’s still time to sign up for our fall DTS! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at YWAM Louisville.)
Molly did her Discipleship Training School in the fall of 2011, and her life has been changed ever since.