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No turning back, no turning back...

2016 - the year of adventure, traveling and growing in faith. 1 year, 11 countries, and an endless amount of oppertunities to love and serve people. 1 woman's journey with her Creator to live life in turning back, no turning back...

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I am not a dentist...


For the first time in almost a year I thought of how I got to this place in my life. It has been 15months since I started pursuing God with everything I am; just to find that He has been pursuing me my whole life. Back then I was standing at the beginning of a bright and promising career in Dentistry with an unparalleled ambition to make a difference. I was going to conquer the world, alone, one smile at a time! Now, many months later, I find myself on the other side of the world, hardly recognizing that person.

I traded my white coat for a Global Challenge jacket, thinking that after a few months I would just reverse the transaction and get a full refund on my life. This changes nothing. The 20year plan is still in motion but just on hold for a year. But then I started making more trades. At first it was small things that seemed similar: latex gloves for work gloves, mirrors and syringes for note books and blogs, veggies for starch, individual patients for crowds and my car for the privilege of walking. I was still excited, feeling that this new humble season will make me appreciate my luxuries more once I get them back…With the emphasis on WHEN I get them back. If only the trading stopped there…

Sometimes a gamble costs more than you anticipate and you find yourself going all in, giving up the things you worked really hard for, with the hope that it will pay off in the end. So I too went all in: trading not only the salary but also the title, the personal space, the free time and eventually the free will. What did I get for these precious possessions that I have cherished for so long? I got the mandate to lay down my life and ‘die to self’. But I was all in and couldn’t turn back now. So I persevered, still under the illusion that at some point I could go back to how things were… ‘This was just temporary’.

But time reveals all. Now I know there is no going back. There never was. The day I ‘said yes’ to God and He opened my eyes, it was all over. I was all in with that simple ‘yes’ without even knowing it. But He knew and He was patiently waiting for me to surrender and make one last trade: my dreams and plans for His.

On paper I am still the same person: a qualified dentist with some questionable career choices who wants to help people and maybe have a family one day. But in my heart and mind the difference is immeasurable. I am no longer ‘Dr Ambition’. I don’t find my identity in being impressive or smart or important or relevant or needed. I no longer want to conquer the world and make a name for myself. Instead I want my life to lift His name up high. What does that look like? I don’t know yet. For now it is serving tea to refugees and listening to their stories. Yesterday it was planting tomatoes and weeding a garden. Tomorrow it might be teaching music to orphans or wiping the tears off a widow’s cheek. Maybe it means never getting married, never having children or never having a steady income. It will probably only be clear after looking back again in a few years’ time. All I know is that it’s going to be wild, and great and full of Him. Living for Him is an adventure. I cannot be satisfied with anything less. If He gives me a white coat again someday, I will wear it with grace and humility but it will not be the same as before. Some changes cannot be undone…

So here I am, living with only this ambition: to know Him and make Him known. Walking where He leads, in His plans and trusting in Him to carry me through life. There is no going back, and who would want to? I have Him and that is all the assurance I need.

Sometimes you just have to stand still, look back and thank God for the journey.

Rate this blog entry:
Just your average small town dentist on a journey to learn how to love unconditionally while living an advernture and experiencing cultures globally. So with all that I own in a backpack, I embark on this experience of a life time.


  • Guest
    Henk Monday, 02 May 2016

    Yes Amen sus! Now this is real Christianity. Die to Live in His Life. Let Jesus continue to dream and live through you! You are a huge blessings! You gave up your rights and you are gaining Jesus! Hallelujah!

  • Guest
    Kim Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Hind sight 20-20. God makes all things work out to the good of those who love Him.

  • Guest
    Jaco Thursday, 05 May 2016

    Thanks for the honesty... I am 8 months from leaving my professional career for 'a GCEX jacket' and Father and the devil is pulling hard on the rope between earthly comfort and heavenly purpose. One of the big fears is what post 2017 might bring... After reading this I feel the little white string in the middle edged quite a few meters towards His Greater calling....Having Him is all the assurance one might need for 2018 onwards...AMEN

    Reply Cancel
  • Guest
    Nickie van den Bergh Wednesday, 30 November 2016

    After 5 years of being a firefighter I've resigned to go on GCEX Work Your Way. Will be sending in the second part of my application tomorrow and come what may I know I've already taken a bold step to glorify his name through my life and deeds.
    Your post is truly inspirational, motivational and uplifting.
    Thank you!

  • Guest
    Nickie van den Bergh Wednesday, 30 November 2016

    I wish comments could be edited. Meant to say; that come what may it is now my wish to glorify His Name through my life and deeds.

  • Guest
    Petra Monday, 06 March 2017

    This brought tears to my eyes.
    I can identify with you in so many ways. It is definitely going to be wild and full of Him!!

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Guest
    esteban Tuesday, 05 September 2017

    we're on the same boat! I have an engineering degree and starting a volunteering gap year. I totally agree with what you feel.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 September 2017

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