In the fall of 2016, my life came to a crossroad. The business my daughter and I had been building was winding down, and my attempts to start another business were unsuccessful. My daughter was ready to go her own way; our finances were in shambles; my marriage was struggling, and my husband had taken a job traveling all over the country. I was living in Florida across the street from the beach, my dream from childhood, yet I felt alone. There was a strong desire to go deeper with God and be used by Him, but I wondered if it was too late for me to really make a difference in the world.
My daughter had attended a DTS several years earlier, and it had been my hope for the door to open for me one day. When my husband left to work in Kansas City, Missouri a flickering thought came, “Maybe I could do a DTS now!” After talking with my pastor, a few mentors, my daughter, and praying, I decided to take a trip to Texas and talk with the leadership about attending a school on my own. That was in October of 2016, and on January 2017, I was in Texas beginning the Crossroads DTS.
It was unlike anything I’d experienced before. The community was strong, loving, safe, but also stretching. During the school, we learned how to connect with God. For me, I learned some of the things standing in the way of a deeper relationship. I was afraid of God and what He had in store for me if I surrendered to Him. I had a hard time listening and waiting on Him, and I also struggled with letting others help me because I had a hard time trusting.
At one point during the school, a teacher did a study on the Song of Solomon. That week revolutionized the way I thought of how God thinks about me. I began to understand how cherished, loved, and special I am to God. The school leaders were humble, always pointing us to Jesus and were as willing to learn from us as they were interested in teaching us. It was an ideal environment for learning and growing.
Outreach was stretching and helped us to put into practice what we’d been learning during the three months of lecture. We learned how to lay down our desires for the good of those around us, reach out and connect with others while sharing our testimonies and the gospel, and allow God to lead. The leaders led by example in these areas which touched and challenged me in my walk.
There’s so much more I could say, but a Crossroads DTS must be experienced to understand the profound difference it will make in your life. It’s a step of faith that carries rewards unlike anything else I’ve invested in.
When I emerged from Crossroads DTS, I had a stronger prayer life, was learning to listen and wait on God, and had a deeper understanding of how precious I was to God. It was also the beginning of learning to trust others and allow them to help me, and I was ready to follow wherever God led. There are still struggles, but Crossroads DTS gave me the tools to continue to go deeper as a disciple. A surprising benefit was how my marriage and other relationships improved. Learning to put my relationship with God first has brought a balance to my life.
If you’re wondering if Crossroads is for you, I'd say pray first, but also check it out for yourself. The leaders and staff will be thrilled to answer your questions and offer advice as well as guidance to help you make the best decision with God’s leading.
~ Guest Author: Tammy Schaefer, an alumna and beloved friend to the YWAM Tyler community!
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