During the past five months of DTS, God taught me more than I could ever possibly imagine: He taught me new things about Himself, showing His love to me in ways I had never experienced. He also revealed to me new things about myself, and helped me to see myself the way that He sees me, reminding me that my worth is found only in Him. I held a lot of false beliefs for a very long time, lies that I needed to slowly unlearn.
One of those things, which He revealed to me very early into lecture phase, is that I really struggle with trusting Him. Specifically, I struggle to trust Him with my future and my dreams. I had actually gotten to a point in my life where I had stopped allowing myself to dream: because if you don’t dream, God can’t say “no,” right? Somehow, that seemed less painful to me.
Through DTS God started peeling those fears back, layer by layer.
A month or so into the lecture phase, our entire DTS went on a camping trip. We were given 4 hours to spend alone with God, in silence and solitude. I found a spot on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the ocean, sat down, and asked God, “How do you see me?”
He responded by giving me an impression of a picture: it was me, sitting on that same cliff. I was nice and safe up there. But the fullness of God’s love, the fullness of His plans for me, were down in the ocean below. He beckoned for me to dive in, but I was too scared.
Then I felt like God asked me, “Do you trust me?”
I responded, “I want to. Yes.”
He gently answered, “Come down to the sea.”
So, I did something that probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done: I started climbing down the cliff. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else ever do it, because it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life… but I did it.
And the entire time I climbed down, two thoughts were alternating back and forth in my mind:
“You’re an idiot. You might actually die.”
“God, I really hope you’re the one who told me to do this.”
Needless to say, I did actually make it down safely! I made my way to the edge of the ocean, sat down, and waited for God to show up. I think I was expecting something spectacular to happen. I mean, He did just bring me all the way down a cliff… but instead, God said, “Let’s dream together.”
So, we did. It wasn’t anything fancy, but we started making a list together: a list of dreams that I wanted God to be a part of. I think it was honestly the first time I’d ever allowed myself to do that; at least, it was the first time I’d done it with God.
I’m still learning, little by little, how to trust Him. Thankfully, He’s a patient teacher. And He’s been revealing, little by little, to me that He actually gets excited about my dreams: that He created me with the specific passions and desires I have.
He's teaching me, slowly but surely, that He's actually the one who made me a dreamer.
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WORDS + PHOTOS by Lauren Pinner.
Lauren recently graduated from the Photo-Storytelling DTS.