Hello, my name is Nicole and I am one of the staff here at YWAM North Idaho. Today I am going to be sharing more of who I am and how God led me to Youth With A Mission, North Idaho!
From a very young age I believed in the Lord, and had a deep love for Him. I grew up reading my bible, praying, going to church, and sharing my faith often. It was a simple, child-like faith, but somewhere along the way that hope, excitement, joy, love and light began to go out. In my sophomore year of high school I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety with phobic panic attacks, alongside depression. This was the darkest time of my life as I had on average four to five panic attacks a day that left me feeling hopeless and exhausted.
At this time I felt very distant from the Lord. I felt like God was stripping me of the things I valued the most, which only made me feel more alone. This season of questioning God's goodness lasted for over a year and a half. I remember the night when everything changed. I was in my car driving home from my weekly small group when I began to cry out to Lord in frustration as I couldn’t feel His presence. I recall saying, “Lord, if you are really good, why haven't you delivered me?” and then I heard God say, “you have two choices, you can either keep living in darkness and I’ll hand you over to your own desires, or you can choose to trust me no matter how you feel.” This has radically changed my life.
From that day on I began to choose that God is who He says He is. He is good, just, merciful, kind, loving, fatherly, jealous, Creator, Savior, Lord, and so much more. The Lord's promise to me began to become my reality. As I spent time reading His word and learning to hear His voice, all external struggles began to fade. Psalms 27:4 says, “I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” As I meditated and memorized this verse I started to realize how we are called as followers of Christ to fix our eyes on Christ alone, which implies that we leave worldly things behind. And this is when my YWAM journey started.
To be set apart, to be the light in darkness, to boldly proclaim, to live radically, to have immediate obedience to do His will above all else is what God calls all of us to do. In my own life I saw that I was not living the way Jesus explained in His word. I saw a disconnect between the lives of the apostles and my own life, and that needed to change if I was serious about calling myself a disciple of Christ.
I heard about YWAM from one of the people I followed on instagram. I had never met a missionary or anyone who had done Youth With A Mission, but I saw this young woman's life transformed through doing a DTS. As I saw the impact it had on her, I thought it could do the same for me. Before I could even start praying about how God wanted to use my life, He spoke to me and said, “I am calling you to know me deeper. To no longer live for yourself but to live being an ambassador of my Good News.” Wow, when we pray big prayers, expect big responses! So that day I signed up for YWAM North Idaho’s Discipleship Training School (DTS) and got on a plane three weeks later to start my DTS.
Little did I know then that God would completely change my life to be set on fire for His love and sharing that love with the least and the lost. I could go on and on about the things that God has done over the last year and a half, but it would take too much time. To me the three most important things that I have learned are these: God deserves the worship of all His creation, and 3.2 billion of His creation have never even heard His name. Secondly, if you want to discover real purpose you will only find it in connection to Jesus’s final command in the Great Commission: “Go, and make disciples of ALL nations.” Finally, I’ve learned that if we are to know God we cannot just know Him in our experiences, but we must also know His word. For it says in John chapter 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” If the word is God, and we must know God, then we must know the word!
I am getting married June 6, 2021 to the love of my life: Connor Holloway (who is also on staff here at YWAM North Idaho). We are training to staff the 2021 fall DTS and will be outreach leaders. We are not sure where God will call us next but we both are called to mission work full time, and to dedicate our lives in reaching the darkest, hardest, places of the earth that do not have access to the gospel. We plan on being long-term missionaries to Thailand and hope to be there in the next three to four years. Ultimately we have dedicated our lives to give God the glory, honor, and worship He is so deserving of no matter the cost!
If you told me two years ago that my life would be how it is now, I would be shocked. God’s faithfulness and His plans are so much greater than we can ever imagine. All it takes is us having a willing heart to say yes to the commands and callings that He communicates to us through scripture and prayer. I wouldn't want to spend my life doing anything less than serving Him with all I have!
My fiancé and I are currently in need of more financial partners, so if you would like to learn more about partnering with us in that way, we would love to meet with you. Feel free to call me at my number below. Thank you for taking the time to read my story!