Read this captivating interview with YWAM student, Alex, as he shares how he was set free from shame during DTS.
Alex, when did you do your YWAM DTS?
January of 2022
Why did you decide to attend a DTS?
I decided to do a DTS when the Lord put it in my heart that He wanted me to come to YWAM, Tyler. I was in a very dark place in my life. I didn’t know who I was or where I was headed. College was just not the right choice for me. I wanted something new and fresh, and more than anything else, I wanted to focus on my relationship with the Lord.
Can you tell me more about the dark place you described?
My relationship with the Lord wasn’t good in any way, shape or form. I lost my sense of relationship with Him. I didn’t seek Him anymore. I only went to church to spend time with my friends. It was just a place to hang out. I had a wake up call when one day, my girlfriend told me she thought she was pregnant. The pregnancy test ended up being negative, but I had to ask myself, “What am I doing with my life?” I was chasing my own selfish desires.
I wasn’t living at home anymore. I was living in my own apartment where I had access to a lot of things that weren’t healthy for me, like drugs and alcohol. I was lost and I was very broken. This lifestyle caused many relationships in my life to end because of the way I was treating others. Even my relationship with my parents became tense.
I was very suicidal during this time-to the point where I almost ended my life.
What was it in your life that led you to this place of darkness?
I felt like God wasn’t enough for me. It seemed like He wasn’t able to fulfill my desires, and I had come to a place where I didn’t want anything to do with God. I thought I was a disappointment to Him and to myself.
At that point, I decided to be my own god.
I thought God couldn’t love me because of who I was and the things I did, and that led me to seek love in places other than Him, whether that was through women or other pleasures.
What did God show you during your DTS that led you out of this rough time?
Even though there are areas where I still struggle, God taught me how to be free from shame. That was the biggest thing during my DTS. I learned not to live in shame because of the things I have done. I have only shared a portion of the things that led to such intense feelings of shame.
Even from a very young age, I felt the shame. God showed me He loved me and He is willing to fight for me to free me from that shame.
Since being delivered from shame, how has your life become different?
I am willing and able to talk about my life with people now. I’m open to the chance of really opening my heart, and sharing my story, despite the things I've done since I was little. I want to use my story to help others in areas where they’re stuck in shame, to help free them.
I am a living testimony that you can be free from shame, if you willingly open your heart to the Lord. It has to be a decision you make. The Lord isn’t scared or ashamed or angry with you. He’s open to you and He wants to meet you where you are.
What would you say to someone who is considering DTS?
First, pray about it, and allow the Lord to really speak to you about what He wants in your life. If DTS is where the Lord is leading you, fully embrace every opportunity he gives you.
Through lectures and outreach, God really opened Himself up to me and showed me who He is. I thought I knew Him before DTS, but He showed me that I didn’t really have an intimate relationship with Him. Now I do.
If He is leading you here, don’t think twice! Just do it! It might feel difficult, and it might feel like a lot, but that is just because He is working in your life. It’s really up to you. The doors are open, and it’s up to you to walk through them.
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