Growing up here in Australia, and it seems in many other parts of the world too, there are very set expectations of what you’re supposed to do when you finish school. The way most people see it, there are 3 options. You go to university, you get a job, or you take a year off to work and travel and figure out what you want to do with your life. I followed the university path, and knew without a doubt that studying to become a nurse was what I wanted to do. What shocked me though was the hundreds of people I talked to who were at university simply “just because.” They were spending thousands of dollars, and putting in hours of hard work, for a course and qualification they didn’t even know if they liked or would ever use in the workforce! They were using university as something to do, while they figured out what they wanted to do.
Getting a job is a great option! Either straight out of school, or after finishing university, it’s important to take responsibility for yourself, pay your bills etc. Some people don’t like their job, but they stick with it because they like the pay check every fortnight and that’s enough to keep them happy. I, on the other hand, absolutely loved my job! I would work long, hard hours, day and night, giving my absolute all to my workplace and my patients. However, just 4 years in, I was already getting burnt out. The idea of doing this for the next 50 years and nothing else with my life was a pretty scary thought. But when you are so fixed in what you’re doing, how do you find the courage to branch out and do something else? Taking a year off to travel and work is not a bad idea. There’s so much pressure in our society to just know exactly what we want to do with our lives, and there’s this false idea that if we don’t know straight after school then we’re failures and probably won’t do much with our lives. Not true. Our world is full of opportunities.
My friends all told me that travelling overseas would be the best thing I could ever do. I did a short stint of travel in 2016, and came home with some great memories, but it wasn’t a ‘life-changing’ trip, like I’d hoped it would be. For me, my life changing trip was a two week volunteer mission trip to Papua New Guinea with YWAM Medical Ships. It was during this time that I realised God had so much more planned for me than 50 years of working in my hospital back home. It was here that I had many new revelations about how real God is and how much need there is to share His love with world. It was here that I felt the call to do a Discipleship Training School. The Discipleship Training School was a life changing adventure too. It wasn’t easy to leave my job, and the comforts of being financially stable, or saying goodbye to friends and family, but I just knew deep within me that it was time to step out of the ‘normal’ and dare to do something different with my life. So in January 2018, I began my Discipleship Training School. I made incredible friends from all around the world and the lecture phase taught me so much about who God is. Even though I’d been a Christian for a long time, I had so many fresh revelations about the truth of God, the Bible, and also my own identity! Outreach provided opportunity time and time again to see God’s love shared with hundreds and thousands of people, and testimonies of his goodness came through each and every day. Life was no longer about structure and routine, and that was okay. Life became adventurous, fun, exciting, and challenging. I learnt to be confident in who I am, and even more confident in who God is. I learnt to dream again. DTS not only helped me to gain so much, it helped me to give, and it’s been the most fulfilling 5 1/2 months! Do you dare to be different? It might just change your life.
Rachel just graduated her January Discipleship Training School course! She enjoys hanging out with friends, singing, and drinking good coffee. A fun fact about her is that her dad and grandparents actually spent time living and working in Papua New Guinea, and she says that could have something to do with her love for the nation.