How a Gap Year Brought Clarity to My Life

When I walked down the aisle at my high school graduation, I had a plan.  Following my name the announcer said, “Attending University.” My plan was not a bad one. I started out my studies focused on education, specifically early childhood education. While going to school I was working for a youth pastor. He always encouraged me to learn more and work hard. The convergence of those two things led me to volunteer at a meeting our church was having. A missionary spoke of impactful things Youth With A Mission was doing around the world.

It was at that moment that my desire to go to school and enter ministry globally were at odds. Through a series of conversations with family, friends, and that committed pastor, I decided to apply for Youth With A Mission to do my Discipleship Training School. I assumed that this program would be a character enriching gap year and would prepare me for ‘real life’ after it was finished.

With each lesson planned and each lesson taught, I came to the realization that God was enhancing my skills in real time. I was watching the skill of teaching come alive in partnership with loving people well.

Throughout my Discipleship Training School, my character did grow. But along with it, my ability to function in ministry in a sharper, more tailored way. On outreach we partnered with an English Training Center. I was so excited for this as the skills it required so tightly mirrored the skills I had been working hard to develop at university. With each lesson planned and each lesson taught, I came to the realization that God was enhancing my skills in real time. I was watching the skill of teaching come alive in partnership with loving people well. Education with the perspective of the Kingdom of God was a life-giving fusion that I couldn’t have been taught. Outreach was a success because of the timely training given to us to deepen the impact of our intent to share the gospel.

While back at home wrestling with what I should do next, I had a new sense of enthusiasm for the skill gift university could give me.

While back at home wrestling with what I should do next, I had a new sense of enthusiasm for the skill gift university could give me. I also had a new sense of fervor for the live, timely training that working with Youth With A Mission had already offered me. As I prayed asking the Lord for direction, I clearly sensed Him say, “Jen, whatever you choose, I am with you.” I think He will do the same for you. He will bless what you choose out of obedience to Him. But, if I may, I urge you to take the time to lean into the character and relationship development that a Discipleship Training School makes such perfect room for. Let it be a time of God-discovery, let it be a time of firming up the motivation and conviction behind the many things He will lead you into next.  Perhaps for you, it will be a time of enhancing the enthusiasm for the things you were already doing.

Written by Jen Dorrough

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2018-07-27T21:40:16+00:00