Christian Life & Discipleship

Knowing God = Knowing Myself

This is a story from Caitlin. Caitlin is originally from Canada and she came to do the Young Peoples Discipleship Training School here in Perth in January 2016. God grew her heaps. Here’s a bit about her story! 

“My name is Caitlin and I was a part of the Young Peoples DTS 2016. I came onto the YP DTS on the older end of the spectrum at 23; having graduated university, held my first “adult” job, and having lived away from home for a few years – but I still felt like I had a lot to learn about myself.

Within the first week of DTS, I discovered that I was in for something so much greater than what I had expected.

I hadn’t grown up in a church-going family, but I loved going to Christian camp as a kid. At camp, I had met staff who had done Discipleship Training Schools all over the world; Iceland, Norway, Germany, Australia, India, USA, and New Zealand! All of them came back with incredible stories about what they had experienced, having a new passion for life, and a sense of sureness in who they were. 

I decided to do a DTS because I wanted to do something that would allow me to have an adventure around the world, meet some awesome new people, discover more about the Bible (which I’d never really dedicated a lot of time to), and overall learn things about myself that I hadn’t figured out yet through school or work. I hoped to get some insight into what I should be doing with the rest of my life. I thought that six months away from home traveling and studying something I’d never immersed myself in before – my faith – would give me a different perspective. Within the first week of DTS, I discovered that I was in for something so much greater than what I had expected.

YWAM puts their value in knowing God and making Him known. Right off the bat, I discovered that I truly did not know my Father, Creator, and Lord, very well at all. I had viewed Him through this telescope that was skewed by bad experiences, misinformation, and a lack of wholehearted trust. Over 12 weeks of lectures, I came to realise that these 6 months weren’t going to be about getting to know myself – they were about getting to know Him; knowing not only who God is but who He has been in my life. This time was about discovering all He has in store for me, as well as all people from nation to nation. This season was about getting to know God personally; developing an intimate relationship with Him, and learning about His character, nature, heart, and how He speaks (sometimes even through His fantastic sense of humour).

I learned more about myself than I bargained for – I learned who He created me to be.

From week one, I really had to start at the foundation of building my relationship with God as something that was stable and based on the truth of who He is and not who I thought He was. I had seen myself as pretty independent from God my entire life, but over 6 months, I learned that I can’t do anything without Him – and I don’t want to. With the knowledge of who God is, I was able to face fears of failing and fears of judgment that I’d had for years. Ultimately, through getting to know God more and growing in relationship with Him, I learned more about myself than I bargained for – I learned who He created me to be.

Doing a DTS has changed my life. The experience will be different for every person, but I can say without a doubt that it was the most incredible and transformative 6 months of my life.”

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