I can’t write.
There’s just too much– too much clogging the byway of heart-to-fingers to write a blog post. Opinions of my current state of affairs are flying like a fresh fruit fight in a YWAM kitchen… along with memories… future thoughts… dreams… concerns… worries. I can’t write. It’s not flowing. When I was in university I could write as one, as a pioneer, set apart from the norm…
My voice, in writing, trembles because I feel like I am just one in a crowd. You may laugh– Kayla, seriously? You felt like a pioneer in college and now you feel lost in a crowd, preparing to do one of the most pioneering-of-pioneer things– a DTS?
But I still can’t write.
Because it’s all too cliché. I mean, seriously? DTS fundraising? Blog posts about God’s provision and how I shouldn’t worry? Haven’t I heard it all before, haven’t I clicked on countless update letters, haven’t I seen people become DTS students my whole life? It’s the proverbial blog post– you know what it looks like. The announcement, the perfect story, the location, the mystery of outreach, the thousands of dollars needed but the timid confidence that God will provide. I mean, those blog posts are not normal for the beautiful people new to YWAM, nor are they normal to the friends and family whom they are communicating to. It is thoroughly needed, and beautiful. But, oh how normal it is for me.
A handful of people have told me that they are looking forward to hearing my journey as a YWAM kid on DTS. Some of the more curious ones ask me what it’s like now: How are you doing? Oh, amidst the whirlwind of family happenings, holidays, and graduations– it’s the most refreshing question– if I’m brave enough to answer it, if I’m fearless enough to not censor my answer.
I can’t write, not without pain.
Because it hurts my pride to realise I am learning the same lessons that I’ve watched other people learn my whole life, as I prepare to leave for DTS.
Oh, you haven’t done a DTS yet? onlookers would exclaim to me with surprise. Oh, I guess your whole life was a DTS. I nod a happy smile, glad to be recognised for the unearthly, global childhood I experienced on the University of the Nations and beyond. And it’s true, I did learn YWAM values like “servanthood” and “champion young people” as everyday bread and butter (or should I say peanut butter and jelly– our classic go-to snack growing up on the base). Yet despite all this innate missionary jargon and heart forever ruined for ‘ordinary’ life… I realise I still am learning what it is to trust God with my finances and my calling to an occupation. I can quote DTS lecture phase topics word-for-word, I can spout that “God provides for DTS!”, but have I experienced it all myself? Not at all. That’s hard for me to swallow.
And I can’t write, not without realising that I am becoming the person I loathed and longed to be.
Loathed, (I realise as I type) DTS took away my brothers from me, and oh how I missed them throughout high school– and then it seemed that new DTS students were clueless to the values that made these separations worthwhile, clueless to the meaningful pain that was an inherent part of my life. And yet? I longed to be one despite the separations… because– how could I see myself being anything else? Now, because of this twin loathing and longing– I am a counter-balanced struggle within myself. Swaying back and forth between my attitude about being a DTS student, I am on the brink of revelation yet to come.
Because, despite the sadness and deep-set anger (those feelings never make sense to my head, only to my the back corners of heart), I really am wildly excited.
After graduating high school, I traveled to Cambodia for my second missions trip to South East Asia. The buzz of Bangkok International Airport was a normal sight for me, as we had our debrief in Thailand. Driving from the airport to our hotel, I caught sight of a red-tipped Jetstar plane– suddenly pierced by happy memories of being in Australia the year before. So close yet so far… I moaned to myself. Yet it was a fleeting memory– soon distracted by my amazing teammates and the anticipation of an air-conditioned room.
Yet that night, I dreamed that our connecting flight the following day was on Jetstar, and I was going to Australia. I can’t fully describe the joy of the dream, and the disoriented disappointment when I woke up. You know what it’s like– the dreams riddled with airplanes and long-buried hopes resurfaced. You know, and it is there our hearts think it’s not okay to dream.
Fast forward four years? Among all the emotions I described earlier about DTS, I am disoriented again. Yet this is not the vertigo from seasoned disappointment! This is very different. I rarely know whether I am waking or sleeping, for the reason that so many events happening in my life now are very much like dreams. They are, in fact, things I have hoped for about eight years or more, now right in front of me. Until recently I thought my hope was a flimsy thing, a careless thing– something that would stop me from following God’s will.
But as I’ve said before, and will say again, and will continue to say:
Sometimes what we want is the very catalyst to completing God’s will.
(Although I find it’s happening far more often than ‘sometimes’).
So yes, I can’t write.
Well, not without exploding that–
I HAVE THE BEST DAD IN THE UNIVERSE!
(That’s all for now. I’m SO excited for DTS.)
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” -Luke 11:11 (NIV)
Photos: Newcastle, Australia, March 2015; Thailand planes, July 2011.