Blog, Get To Know Me, Ministry + Missions

Chapter Three (of 6): Facing the challenges of change

I first decided to go part-time at my well-paying job with Telus Mobility, and although I thought I was going to pursue my business Live Creative, I took the time instead to go through all of my life belongings I’d accumulated and get rid of things that I really didn’t need, and begin to develop a generosity in giving, which I’d always avoided. I began to organize my entire life. And I mean ORGANIZE. It became CRYSTAL CLEAR to me that God was indeed preparing me to leave my employment with Telus Mobility and that He had some big plans for me and that He was wanting to take me somewhere to do mission work, but I just had no idea where. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about YWAM. A LOT actually. It kept surfacing, and then I’d shove the thought down again because I was afraid of leaving my job. REALLY AFRAID. I had become so DEPENDENT on my salary and my lifestyle, despite the fact that I was dissatisfied with this status-quo living… There was a huge division in my spirit, a real battle!

During this time, I began taking some language courses (Spanish) because that was where my heart was. I wanted to return to the Dominican since that was where my heart first came alive to the idea of missions. My heart was set on this, and so I began doing research about YWAM bases in Latin America. I could not get any peace though whenever I would pray and consider leaving my job to go with YWAM to Latin America, specifically the Dominican. I got really confused and frustrated, as I could not seem to shake this mission desire and heart to serve the Lord in full-time ministry, yet I could not get any peace about it. I also had another element to contend with. I’d told everyone I was starting a design business and here I was with no heart to do it, and my heart was leading me into missions, yet I felt I wasn’t released yet to pursue it. This was in the Winter/Spring of 2005 when I got a bit discouraged, stuck in this transition stage and getting rather confused.

At this time in March of 2005, I went to MissionFest in Toronto and discovered that Loren Cunningham from YWAM was the main speaker for the event! My heart could not help but leap for joy as I knew that I wanted so badly to join YWAM and do a DTS. During the course of the 3 day conference, a couple from BC who were with YWAM in BC, came up to me about 6 times and ask if I’d applied to do a DTS yet. Little did they know that I had been praying about this for months now. I got really excited that maybe, just maybe, God really DID want me to join YWAM! I just didn’t know where and when… but I knew that I needed to go!

So, when I got home, I got serious and began to really research and pray and seek the Lord if this really was the time for me to GO FOR IT. I also decided to lay my business down. I had done the groundwork with the business but had never officially launched it or done any business yet, so it was as if I put that dream down at the feet of Jesus, and He placed a new dream (or dusted off an old dream from years ago) in my hands and gave me permission to pursue it.

Then the real battle began! I knew God wanted me to do a DTS but I was paralysed with fear! I would attempt to leave my job, but I just couldn’t. I wanted to leave it so bad because I did not enjoy it, but I would feel this total inability to resign. It was strange. I also had a church that I was involved in and they were having me do more and more and starting to lead worship. I wanted to stay and take the opportunities at the church that were opening up for me. So, all of these factors stalled me. By this time it was nearing the end of May 2005 and I was miserable because I felt so divided and stuck. Because of feeling so divided and pulled in so many directions, I decided to just give up the dream to go to YWAM and do missions. I decided that I would just stay in the Barrie, Ontario area and work and stay involved in my church. I felt relieved that I was no longer divided and that I could just be single-focused about doing things for the Lord in this local area.

 

NAVIGATION:

Blog, Get To Know Me, Ministry + Missions

Chapter 2 (of 6): Out of my comfy world, God rocks my world

After the completion of this Masters Commission school, I moved back to my childhood hometown of Orillia and God had me stay there for 3 years, earning a living, involving myself in church worship & music ministries, acquiring things like a car, an apartment, furniture, and I began to “build my life” and “fulfill my dreams”, and was quite comfy and content. But over the 3 years at home, despite this seeming “contentedness”, I developed a restlessness deep in my spirit – this feeling that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing, what I’d been made to do. I began to strongly know that there must be something more in life than just earning a living, buying nice stuff, tithing, church involvement, and having a comfy lifestyle, even if it was a good, moral lifestyle.

So, at the time, I began thinking up and dreaming of my own business ideas, using my love of inspirational quotes and my skills in Graphic Design, so I signed up for a business, entrepreneurial course, and registered a business called Live Creative. Part of the motivation for this was a true desire to encourage and inspire people and bless people through creative expression and greeting cards, signs, shirts, and some home decor elements etc. The other motivating factor was a deep sense of guilt that I had not made use of my Graphic Design training and that I was “letting it go to waste”. I independently tried to put together a business, despite all my lack of preparation and all of my fears associated with “being rusty” with all of the design programs, and I invested a bunch of money into buying the appropriate equipment. I was excited for this, but I realize now looking back on it, that I was not prepared and that it was not the right season, even though it may indeed be a dream of God for me that I one day pursue.

During this time of starting to set up a business, in November 2004, I went with a friend on a purely recreational vacation to the Dominican Republic. Our plan was just to get away from life here and have a blast. And we did! But little did I know that one day would change my entire life. You see, I had months back started to sponsor a child through Compassion Canada and she was from the Dominican. Unfortunately, the trip was not set up that I would be able to visit her, but instead we were able to go on a Day Excursion, where we did various fun tropical activities, but also travelled and toured through some of the local rural areas, and were able to visit a Dominican school of children and give them gifts and toys. My heart awoke with such love for these children! I wanted to scoop ’em all up and take them home with me. At the same time, my heart broke to see the poverty there, and the worldliness in the tour industry, and how many people were throwing their lives away, desperately trying to fill voids in their spirit that only God can fill…

I came home and was not prepared for the complete inability on my part to adjust back to my tidy life in Canada. I became completely dissatisfied with my lifestyle and I couldn’t bear how complacent I had become with my life goals and just everyday living. From this point on, I knew that I had to do something different and I began to revamp my life. It was at this time that I picked up some books written by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM, that spoke on hearing the voice of God and getting direction from the Lord, and really letting the Lord be Lord in your life… It brought back the memories way back from Uganda in 1999 when I had considered doing a DTS with YWAM.

 

NAVIGATION:

Blog, Get To Know Me, Ministry + Missions

Chapter One (of 6): The Beginning Stages

When I met Jesus in 1999 in Uganda, I also met some YWAMers who were doing their DTS Outreach there, and it sparked a bit of an interest in me to “check out” what’s out there in terms of missions and ministry stuff. I thought a bit about leaving college and pursuing YWAM then, but I was already into my 2nd year of a Graphic Design college program, so I decided I should finish what I’d first started. In the back of my mind, as I grew with the Lord through my college years, I began to get more interested in pursuing something in Christian ministry. God so graciously placed me in a church where there were Pastors that took me under their wing and really showed me integrity in leadership, passion for Christ and I had mentors that spent countless hours in prayer with me, bringing me levels of freedom in Christ I had never dreamed possible!

Through these final 2 years of college as a Christian, I had discovered a holy passion for purity, freedom, joy in Christ, our identity in Christ, healthy relationships and it all pointed to one thing. I completely and passionately loved discipling Christians who come to saving knowledge of Christ. Seeing people get set free and then thriving in their new found freedom and see true Christ-like character developed was and is still the most exciting thing I could think of in life! Through those couple years, I also got involved in a Young Adults group at my church and my heart really opened up to ministering to the young adult ‘niche’, at the verge of breaking through to their callings, yet in a transition from adolescense to adulthood, where a lot of confusing influences get intertwined into their lives. THIS was the generation I wanted to reach.

After graduating from college in Graphic Design, I did not pursue a career in the Design and Advertising field but decided to see if God had something for me in the area of Christian ministry, since I couldn’t seem to get my heart to dream of anything but serving the Lord full-time within the church or connected to the church.

This led me to Durham Master’s Commission which was a 9 month discipleship program, focusing on church involvement, leadership development, scripture memory, and taking some Bible College accredited courses, for a taste of Bible College if we decided to pursue it, as well as ministry outreach trips throughout the year. This further spoke to me of my true heart for ministering to the Lord and to His people. One thing that I found funny or interesting to note was how I completed that program, and I remember telling people that I did not have a calling “to the nations”… and that “God wanted me in North America, within our culture”… and at the time, that did feel true.

 

NAVIGATION:

Blog, Get To Know Me, News + Updates

Reflections From This Past Year (2010) [UPDATE]

SPECIAL NOTE: Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa tea or coffee, and come along for a little journey as I share snippets of the significant events and reflections from the past 12 months of my life. I encourage you to take the time to read through each month, as it builds to a satisfying close at the end. ~ Alison


JANUARY: It’s the season to “Dock the Ship.”

This was the beginning of a new season for me, where I was to “dock the ship” and take time away with the Lord, after 4 solid years of YWAM ministry. Mid January, I attended the “Call2All” gathering in Tauranga, which is a global event that draws together the missions and prayer movements from a vast array of organizations to see the Great Commission completed! We see the end goal in sight and believe that Jesus is coming soon! Our Beloved will return to us soon!

FEBRUARY: The Best Valentine’s Gift!

I mentioned that in January I “docked the ship” and it is amazing to see how the Lord leads perfectly… He led me to Tauranga which means “safe harbour”. It turned out to be the perfect resting spot for “Ali the Ship” to dock and find refuge in the Lord. I attended the 3-month Awaken Internship through the Tauranga House of Prayer and it was one of the best investments of time and money of my life. I came up by car and ferry on the weekend of Valentine’s Day. It truly was one of the most precious Valentine’s gifts that my Beloved has given me – a Valentine that lasted for 3-months. Time spent devoted to Him and Him alone, where He wooed me deeper into His vast heart. I recommend to all of you who need 3-months to get away with the Lord, to join the Awaken Internship this February 2011.

MARCH: Thriving in the Desert.

After taking the first few weeks to just pinch myself (over and over again) to have this season of rest, I went into a very Continue Reading

Blog, Get To Know Me, News + Updates

Full Past Blog Archives

I had a blog going for 7 wonderful years and have now moved to this new website.  The number of completion is 7, so that blog is complete and it is time for a fresh start. Out with the old, in with the new! I have brought a few writings over here from the old blog, but for the most part, I have left the old site open and available as an Archive of my life from the years of 2004 through to early 2011. If you are interested in diving back into the treasure chest of my life from the past, feel free to check out:

Alison’s Blog Archives (2004-2011)