Dear Disappointed Student

By YWAM Newcastle on January 8, 2013 in Discipleship Training Schools, Training, Videos

My wife Carrie took the microphone last week. It was when we had gathered our YWAM community together for a major time of worship and waiting on the Lord. She said;

“This morning a whole bunch of 18 year olds went online and checked their ATAR [university entrance score here in Australia, similar to an SAT] Some of them were ecstatic. But a good percentage were devastated because they either didn’t pass or didn’t get a high enough score to get into their chosen University course, and were left with no hope, scared they will never amount to anything.”

That provocation took us to prayer as we pondered the lie that says your test results determine your future.

This blog is for school leavers who are feeling knocked about by their final exam results. I am writing to you if you’re disappointed, or if you have friends or family that are.

I have 3 things to say:

1) Exam results are not who you are. Who you are is who you are.

2) You’re a genius. Everybody is. Not everyone bothers to discover why.

3) This could be your finest hour.

Years ago I drove out the grand drive of my high school with my Dad. To use a rugby term, I felt that in many aspects my time at school was a missed tackle. I was average at sport. Average academically. And earned anaemic exam results. After the closing ceremonies it seemed that everyone else was staggering to the car over-loaded with sports trophies and academic silverware.

I drove out without the silver.

6 months later I found gold.

All through school [a good school] I was a Christian. But in this following crucial, crucial year I deeply found God. I experienced him, found his voice, found the supernatural & got completely ticked off with a lifestyle of mediocrity. I got going. Got serving. And God has done amazing things in these last years. Who would have thought….

The world has an equation; high marks, great University course, successful career, and a secure retirement.
Now I do think it’s possible to do all these in the course of being Gods servant. And university can be a good option to prepare you to serve God. However, there’s better motives for university than career advancement.

But, and there is a but…

I don’t think God is at all interested in your or my selfishly motivated career, or retirement. I think he’s very interested in whether we obey him, or whether we fulfill the great commission, or extend his kingdom in the sphere he’s called us to. He’s interested in fruit, not the selfish kind of success as the world sees it.

Put it this way……

Dear Disappointed Student,

Do these things, and I guarantee your bad experience will completely vanish in your rear view mirror, never to reappear.

1) Be humble, acknowledge you’re in a crisis, and cling to God [like Ruth, 1:14]
2) Commit to immersing yourself in God this next year, not religion; God.
[Be accountable to someone]

3) Decide to discover his amazing purpose for you.
[Form a new habit today by taking the first action. Call someone who’ll help you grow, arrange to meet with them regularly.]

4) Start doing it.
Consider a disciplined gap year alternative. The one I’m part of providing is called a Discipleship Training School through Youth With a Mission. It’s a life transformer for the willing. Check out for more info.

Ecc. 12:13. ”Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commands, for that is the whole duty of man.” Bam.

So friend, the purpose of this blog is not to console you with the possibility you can live a life of significance. It’s to tell you [nicely], that its not just possible, that it’s your responsibility to do so. Starting now!

So.. Report for duty! And remember, He loves you.

By David Stephenson
YWAM Newcastle Base Director

Check out other blogs by David at