Our generation is driven by passion. I believe that, perhaps more than ever before, we want to live a life we love, living out our passion and making a difference through it, and we’re willing to do anything to make that happen. Whether we are passionate about creating art, starting our own business, making music, or doing something that’s never been done before, we each have something that makes our heart beat a little faster and makes our imaginations run wild with possibilities.
But until recently, I had never felt this way.
I never had a “thing” that I was really good at; the only instrument I ever played was the recorder when I was about 6 (which I mostly played with my nose). When it came to sports, I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life. I tried art for a while, and my teacher was very supportive of my efforts. But I knew I just didn’t care enough to spend hours getting more skilled. When it came time to leave high school and enter the big, bad world of university, I applied for 5 completely different courses. I didn’t know if I wanted to teach, become an events planner, take a shot at the arts again, or follow my love of shopping into studying fashion marketing. In the end, I chose fashion.
"I believe that, perhaps more than ever before, we want to live a life we love, living out our passion and making a difference through it."
The 4 years I spent at university were a lot of fun, and I made the best of friends. And while I loved studying fashion marketing, I never really felt passionate about it. I would look at those around me who had so much excitement and drive to be successful in this industry, and I felt like a failure. When it came around to graduation, everyone was so excited to finally pursue their dream jobs, while I just felt indifferent. I began looking into a particular career path, planning my future, and watching my life unfold before me. And none of it excited me. As a last ditch attempt at doing something exciting and fun before I settled into a life of mediocre work, I decided to do a missions trip. I’d never gone on one before, and I felt totally under-qualified. That’s why I decided to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM Orlando: it had 3 months of training before you actually went on outreach. I liked the idea of getting better equipped and growing more in my faith before I went abroad and shared it with others. I had no idea what I’d signed myself up for.
"I began looking into a particular career path, planning my future, and watching my life unfold before me. And none of it excited me."
Within the first few weeks of my DTS, I knew this was more than just a 5-month deal. As I learned more about Jesus and the relationship I could have with Him, I became passionate about it. As I started to pray with my friends without self-consciously tripping over my words, I found I was passionate about prayer. When other girls looked to me for wisdom, I found I actually had something of value to say. And the first time I met a Muslim woman painfully unaware of her worth as a daughter of God, my heart burned in my chest: I had found what I was made for.Being a missionary was never my dream. Honestly, I was completely uninterested in it before. When missionaries visited my home church, I paid little attention: I was happy for them that they wanted to live in war-torn areas, telling people about God’s love, but not remotely interested in it for myself. This changed when I came to DTS. I stopped viewing God as a far-off, mystical figure who looked at me with a disappointed frowny-face every time I failed, and I started seeing Him as my Father. I started to love Him. I saw myself changing and growing, and I realized that my future was shifting. I knew I would no longer be satisfied with the life I had assumed would be mine. But for the first time, I could see there was an alternative to the passionless plan I’d created for myself. I could see a future occupied with loving Jesus, feeling totally fulfilled, and actually making a difference. And now that I had discovered it for myself, I was fiercely passionate about others finding it too.
"But for the first time, I could see there was an alternative to the passionless plan I’d created for myself. I could see a future occupied with loving Jesus, feeling totally fulfilled, and actually making a difference."
Now, I want to return to the Middle East. After spending 2 months in refugee camps there, I’m different. I care less about me, and I care more about Jesus. Because the reality is that His heart is broken over the brokenness of our world. I can’t stand the injustice that, while I know how loved I am and how much I am worth to God, there are women who don’t know. And whether they are American girls who come here to do a DTS or Arab girls who fled their home country with nothing but the clothes they stood in, I want to spend my life telling them that they are loved: more than any man could love them, more than their parents love them, more than they could love someone else. There is a God who has a wild plan for them, full of passion and fulfillment, with the potential to shake up and transform their lives and the lives of others.There is a God who loves you and created you for a specific purpose.He put a passion in your heart that is entirely unique to you.A passion that has the potential to change the world around you.You need only to stop, look at Him, and say yes to the plan He has crafted for you.He will ignite your passion.Your heart will beat a little faster.He will show you what you were made for.
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Meghan Gregory | YWAM Orlando Staff