I remember getting onto the plane back to Stellenbosch in July 2018. I had just found out, during the holiday, that I failed a module and may need to add yet another year to my studies. I was completely overwhelmed by what was to come. Discouraged. Tired. And to add on to the ‘stress’, I was to lead worship for the very first time that weekend. I remember thinking “God I don’t know if I have the strength to worship, let alone lead people into worship”. And as the plane took off, He said, “I won’t lead you where I don’t go”. I could almost hear Him singing “We Dance” over me.
So that Sunday I lead worship. Weak. Hurt. Disappointed. In complete surrender. And at the end of the final service He said “Now you’re ready for Hillsong College”. I was a little confused. It was never part of the plan. I didn’t exactly feel unqualified, but I definitely didn’t think I was qualified enough to go study worship and actually pursue something in it either. Yes, I had been serving on our worship team for 2 years, but I guess I had limited worship to just the serving on a Sunday. Either way though, my plan was to eventually go into criminology and continue serving on Sundays.
I was initially hesitant to go with God’s plan, but I was eventually willing to go study in Sydney. On my own terms. I would finish my BSc at the end of the year and go study Worship Vocals at Hillsong College in July 2019. It gave me enough time to get that degree in the bag, you know, “in case things don’t work out’. It was a foolproof plan!
One night, I was listening to the song “We Dance”, and I just knew there was more to this “You’re ready.” After a few days of conversations with my mentor, a lot of prayer and petition, it finally dawned on me; He was not just asking me to go to College as a nice-to-have, but as a call to something greater than myself. And so my faith was tested. Would I be willing to forsake everything for His will? Every impression people had of me? Every form of comfort and security? Even my studies? Everything.
Now, anyone who’s been walking my academic journey with me would know that I’ve failed Mathematics more times than one probably should. At first I was discouraged, but I kept repeating it. I was not going to give up. I would extend my degree again. Whatever it took. I would persevere no matter what. So when God asked me to forsake my studies, I felt rather let down by Him. How could He ask me to leave in what could potentially be my final year? I mean I had worked really hard to be where I was. I had sacrificed so much to just leave it all now. I was so close. Surely the Lord understood that I deserved this?
“For your glory or Mine?” He simply asked me.
Truly speaking, it’s pretty easy glorifying God in the seasons that “ work in your favour”, but man, when He calls you out into the deep, it becomes quite the battle. It’s been a difficult journey laying my future down. Trusting His intentions. Trusting that He will never fail me. And sometimes I have to speak life over myself when I’m feeling discouraged and my heart feels forsaken. But despite it all, I am certain of one thing; He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will.
So here I am in January 2019, 6 months before my semester begins. It’s all still quite a blur. I don’t know how it will all come together. And yes, sometimes I want to go back on my decision. It’s scary. It doesn’t all make much sense. But I know that this is no small thing. And despite all human logic, He will order each step accordingly. Because He is a God that won’t lead me where He doesn’t go. And He has proved that several times over.