Why I’m not coming back to college next year

You read the title, and…

It’s true. I’m not coming back to Grand Valley this fall.

God is doing something truly amazing in my heart. College is actually the thing that jump-started me into spiritual growth and being way more open and vulnerable than ever before.

When I came here in August, I kind of knew I wouldn’t be coming back next fall, but also, I knew that it was the right place for me this year. Even though I was aware of all this, the question remained:

Where will I go next year?

I looked at Hillsong and Bethel schools of worship (I even started the applications), study abroad programs, and google searched all sorts of programs. I even considered transferring colleges – to Denver. I tried to picture myself in each one of these places, thinking about what I wanted to get out of the experience. None of these things were quite right, though a couple came close.

One day in October, I was talking with my sister on the phone. I told her about how I was pretty sure Hillsong School of Worship was where I should go, but I just wasn’t completely sold yet. She said, “Have you looked at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) at all?”


When I began my search for a plan, YWAM was one of the first things that came to mind. I know a few people who have done a Discipleship Training School (DTS) who had great experiences. But I just didn’t want to do what I perceived as the “typical” missionary kid thing to do.

My word of the year for 2018 was authentic. So doing something I thought was “typical” was not lining up with my perception of what I should be doing – something totally crazy and unique.

But let me tell you, a simple google search for YWAM will turn up anything but “typical.”

Real-life stories of people coming to Jesus in the most unlikely circumstances. Random places where God showed up and changed lives. People my age traveling around the world simply to love people well. And I want to be a part of it.

Fast forward

to January 2019. I received an email that I was accepted to YWAM Louisville for Fall 2019. So guess what! I’m moving to Kentucky in six months, and I’m going to live there for a while for DTS. Here’s the crazy part – after DTS, we get sent on “outreach.” I have no idea what country I’m going to. And I’m totally chill with that, which is a real testament to my growth. Cause I like to know things and plan everything to the T.

But sometimes, when God calls us to do something, not everything is clear. We just know that’s what He wants for us.

What about college?

I have learned so much here, and am so grateful for all of the growth I’ve experienced this year – especially musically. The music community at GVSU is just… wow. It’s so good. The people are beautiful and the faculty members are so encouraging and invest so much in students.

That’s why I’m planning to come back in Fall 2020. I’m not just quitting college – eek! I’m taking time because I’m young.

A few people have asked why I’m not concerned about graduating “on time.”

I’m okay with being ‘non-traditional.’ Adding a year is no big deal, honestly. I would encourage more people to take a gap year for personal development and figuring out what they want to do with their life. I think there would be way fewer people that are unhappy with their careers.

Also, this is an ADVENTURE! I get to live in a house with lots of other girls for three months, and learn about Jesus every day. And then I get to go overseas and love all sorts of people and share Jesus! How cool does that seem?!

It might sound like a totally crazy idea. But to those of you who aren’t quite sure about where God wants you in your next season, I encourage you:

Look into every opportunity, pray for all the crazy things, and don’t limit yourself to what you “think” is the right next step. Be open to anything and everything. God likes to move in the crazy.




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