what I’ve learned | Year one of being a ‘full-time missionary’

I have been a full-time missionary with YWAM for about 1 year. (Probably a bit more including when I came back as a volunteer staff back in February 2016). I am 21 years old. I don’t get paid. I don’t have a university degree. But there is nowhere else I would rather be at this point in time and nothing else I would rather be doing.

I think the expectation as you enter your twenties is that you have a small window of time left to “get it together.” To become fully independent. To choose your career, finish university, solidify a decent job to earn enough money not just to survive but to “enjoy” life. Not only is this expectation a reality for young adults but on top of that you have the pressure of being attractive and desirable to the opposite sex, healthy and fit, posting aesthetically pleasing things on social media that make your life look interesting, not to mention having only a small portion LEFT of your twenties to find the one person that is going to commit to loving and cherishing you for the rest of your life and vice versa.. it just doesn’t seem feasible. Sometimes I feel like I have less of my life “figured out” than I did when I turned 18.

I can say that I am not really living out the “normal” stages of a person’s early twenties. I have committed 2 years to a lifestyle centered around Jesus, relying on others for financial support despite my age, listening to God and hearing more of His call for my life. Serving where God calls. This last Spring it was Sweden, Ukraine, Poland, and Spain with an outreach team of 9 students that had the same committed call to know God and make him known in the world.

But I can say fairly confidently that this past year, I have learned a lot.

I have learned that all the money in the world belongs to my Father and He has blessed me countless times with more than enough.

I have learned so much more of the French language, communicating with people on a daily basis even if it’s a quick conversations with the bakery-employee or the dear French grandmere who is can’t find something in the grocery store.

I have learned that it is possible to lead a team of young people serving God throughout Europe and enjoy every minute. (And how to book flights for 11 people on a budget.)

I have learned that God has placed dreams and desires in us for reasons we have yet to even imagine.

I have learned that the Holy Spirit is active today and is speaking and inspiring every minute of every day.

I have learned to conquer fear and doubt in my life and trust in the faithfulness of a mighty God.

I am learning to walk in the identity of being a child of God. Not in performance, not in what I can do for God, but understanding I don’t have to be anyone other than myself or do anything to earn grace or earn love.

And I have learned that I have so much to learn. SO much to learn.

I am excited for another year. To dream what it may hold, and to be laughing in the unknown, rejoicing in the known, and spending time with my Father who will reveal more in his good timing.

I may not have it all “figured out” but I guess you could say I have “figured out” that God is on my side. My biggest support. My biggest dream. My highest goal in life. And that is why there is nothing I would rather be doing than serving in Biarritz this season of my twenties. I’m so thankful.

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One thought on “what I’ve learned | Year one of being a ‘full-time missionary’

  1. That’s beautiful ! . And you are a beautiful spiritual child of God ! God has a mighty plan for you Stephanie . So touching to see how much you love Him and are willing to trust and follow Him , however that looks and wherever that takes you . God Bless you dear child of God..

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