Growing up in the United States, I had the American dream all around me. I was surrounded by music, media, and Hollywood movies, all depicting what it looks like to “truly be happy.” Going to college, getting married, finding a job, and having nice things all becomes part of this unspoken social pressure.
I guess I never realized how tightly I was holding on to the American dream in my own life.
Senior year rolled around and I realized I had no peace about going to college right away. Everyone was talking about what schools they wanted to apply to and what careers they wanted to pursue, but missions was the only thing I could really think about. Towards the beginning of Senior year I was introduced to Youth With A Mission and I knew right away that’s what was next for me!
Doing a Discipleship Training School straight after high school was the best thing for me and God began speaking to me quite a lot about the idea of the American dream.
For the first time, it occurred to me that I was just going through the motions of life and I had never fully stopped and asked God what He had in store for my future.
All this being said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the American dream. God definitely values education and family, and loves to give us nice things. However, the American dream can easily become an idol when we do it out of a place of social pressure or disobedience.
I have now been in full-time missions with YWAM for a year and a half. I don’t get paid to work. I actually pay to work. YWAM has given me opportunities, experiences, and leadership roles that no 20-year old girl could typically put on her resume. And all of these things would not be possible without God. It makes absolutely no sense to the rules of society. However, I have never felt so content that I am exactly where the Lord wants me at such a time as this.
The Lord has challenged me to dream outside of the American Box. I have big dreams for the future that I believe the Lord has placed in my heart.
Dreams that probably seem impossible to the world’s standards, but totally possible with the Lord’s strength.
So my encouragement to you is to dream big with God. It delights God’s heart when we dream with Him and seek His direction in our lives.
by Katie Estenson
April DTS Staff