1. God Healed My Broken Heart
I’ve had some really tough things happen in my life and I always believed that God caused them. When I was a teenager, I had a miscarriage. It rocked my world. I was so angry at God for putting me through something so painful. I lived with that anger for several years until one of our DTS speakers said, “God never intended for bad things to happen to us. He never wanted sin to come into the world. He really is good. Satan is the evil one. God is doing everything He can to push back evil and make earth look more like heaven. He died on the cross so that we might dwell with Him forever in a place where there is no more crying, death, tears, or pain. God is always working for our good.”
It felt like a dam burst in my heart as all the anger rushed out along with my tears. God never wanted me to lose my baby. He loves me. And He loves my baby. I can trust Him because He really is good!
2. I Fell In Love With Jesus
Before DTS, my goal in life was to build a solid career, be kind to other people, and get raptured before anything bad happened. But in DTS, I learned that God didn’t create me to simply get by. He actually wanted to be my friend. And that friendship begins now, not in some distant future after I get to heaven. We started every morning in DTS with a quiet time. As I spent time alone with God reading His word and journaling, I found myself falling more in love with Him every day. My quiet times became my favorite part of the day and I couldn’t wait to spend even more time with Him.
3. I Learned How to Hear God’s Voice
The first week of DTS, we learned that God wanted to share His thoughts with us. We went outside to practice hearing God’s voice. It was a gorgeous fall day and I soaked it all in. The cheerful melody of birds greeted me from behind caramel tree leaves. And that’s when it happened. God dropped the words from Psalm 84 into my mind: “How lovely is your dwelling place Lord. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar.”
For the first time in my life, something clicked into place. I was flooded with memories of specific instances in my life where God had spoken to me. Only I never realized it was His voice.
Since the day I first recognized God’s voice in DTS, I continue to grow in hearing His words and distinguishing them from my own thoughts or Satan’s lies. And this more than anything else has helped me build my friendship with God.
4. I Found My True Identity
Before DTS, my identity was wrapped up in living the American dream — college, career, and a cute guy. Although I was living “the dream,” I felt empty. And deep down, the thought of climbing the corporate ladder stifled me. “What am I doing here?” I thought to myself one day during a college class. “I know what society expects from me. But what does God want?”
That question set me on a journey that led me to DTS. It was there I experienced how much God loves and values me. I realized I was His precious daughter, created to rule and reign with Him. But so many of His other sons and daughters don’t know Him yet. I found His heart for them contagious and I longed to fulfill His dream to know them.
I had major breakthroughs in DTS when Troy Sherman taught on Identity. And Wick Nease’s prayer over me in week 6 of my DTS still rings in my heart, “God has a great calling on your life. You will impact the generations and people of all ages.”
Once I understood how God had uniquely created me, I gained the confidence to go against the flow of society and walk out God’s calling on my life. Don’t take me wrong. I know college, career and impacting society in every area are important. But if I would have followed that path, I would have missed the mark!
5. I Discovered That God Calls Us To Be Missionaries Wherever We Are
Missionaries sell everything, go to Africa, and live in huts, right? That’s what I used to believe. And while that is certainly true for some missionaries, I learned that a missionary is really every person who commits to wholeheartedly follow Jesus and share His love with others wherever they go. Yes, God called me into missions during DTS. And right now, I am living that missions call in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m surrounded by an amazing group of people who love Jesus and are committed to transforming our city even as we also travel to the ends of the earth. Recently, I’ve been working with international students from the Middle East and helping a crisis pregnancy center. I’m amazed at God’s work of redemption in my life!
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