Fear Fueled Passion

I had a choice to make - go to college full-time, or work full-time.  This choice was not one I was mulling over just for the fun of it.  I had just graduated high school and my mother wanted me to start moving towards some type of future and felt that shoving me of the edge of youth and into adulthood would be helpful.  Truly, she thought she was being helpful.  Really what she was doing was giving me an ultimatum because if I didn’t choose it meant I would have to find somewhere else to live.  Since flipping burgers at the local Tastee Freeze wasn’t necessarily bringing home the bacon I’d need to afford my own place, I felt that the best option would be to go to school.  After all, that’s what my older sister had done when she graduated so I felt that’s what the correct answer was.  Wrong, Sabrina.  Very, very wrong.  That adventure lasted all of three weeks when I decided that college was not something I was ready for and dropped out.  Thank God for grace periods and refundable tuition.

The choice to drop out terrified me.  I literally felt crippled with fear over what I was about to do.  I’ve always felt like an outsider of sorts in my family with a very black and white demeanor.  Having this natural nomadic spirit, I never really wanted to follow the grain of expectations.  I also never wanted to let those who loved me down or cause them to be disappointed and I truly believed if I stepped out of the line of expectation that a disappointment is all I would be.  Despite feeling like my stomach was going to fall out of my butt when I told my parents I wasn’t going back to school, I also felt an overwhelming feeling of independence and like I was starting to break this unhealthy thought process I had unknowingly developed.  I began to realize that whether people approved of my decisions or not, I was the one who had to lay in bed with the consequences of those decision at night.  Turns out I would end up sleeping like a baby with the consequence dropping out would bring.

I was working full-time as a preschool teacher for about 8 months when I started to get this itch do something.  I don’t mean just anything.  While I loved my job, I felt trapped.  I hated living at home.  I hated feeling like I was never going to have exciting life experiences.  I was discontent with a lot.  So, I decided to work on one of my life goals and plan a mission trip.  I searched “Africa mission trips” on Google and an organization called Youth With A Mission, or YWAM as I would come to know it, popped up.  With a click, click here and a click, click there, I was hooked.  They had all sorts of opportunities from personal development schools to being a summer outreach volunteer.  I decided to fill out the interest card for a summer volunteer and waited.

I will never forget the day Michelle from YWAM Orlando called me.  Michelle had the most mother-like voice and you could just hear her love for people as she spoke.  She asked about my interests and my past.  She listened as I poured out my heart for wanting to eventually go to college, but ultimately just wanted to have a family.  Michelle encouraged me to consider doing what YWAM calls a DTS – Discipleship Training School.  This 6 month school focused on personal growth, spiritual growth and included a 2 month long outreach.  Fear crept over me and I told her I wasn’t interested.  Un-phased, Michelle told me she’d send the application to be a summer outreach volunteer and that she’d touch base in about a week.  The moment I hung up the phone I knew I was making a mistake.  I called her back two days later and said, “I’ll do the DTS.”  The first domino was pushed and my biggest adventure was about to begin.

-Bri