I was a fearful and anxious child, and this continued into adulthood.
I was raised a Christian, but there have been times when I have disobeyed God. One such time brought me to my knees. I heard Jesus say it was time for me to get serious and that he had called me to be his disciple. Through this encounter I understood I was called to be a ‘whole-hearted’ follower of Jesus Christ, not part-time, not half-hearted. I could no longer have a Monday to Saturday life, with church on Sunday. God wanted all of me. So I started a journey that continues today.
I used to hide behind my home and family—I was afraid of everything outside this. I would hardly talk to anyone and was good at staying in the background. But God knew there was gold in me. He sent Salvation Army officers Ivan and Glenda Bezzant into my life. They saw gifts and abilities in me that I had no idea were there. God used them to stretch and grow me, and through this to deepen my relationship with God.
God stretched and grew me through some difficult times. This included the breakup of my marriage. God taught me to use these storms to grow spiritually and walk closer with him.
People had suggested Salvation Army officership to me over the years, but I had a strong ‘no!’ for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that it meant leaving Napier, where I’d spent all my life.
However, three years ago, someone I really respected told me I needed to take the ‘no’ out of my answer to officership. So I started to talk to God about it. God directed me to Genesis 12:1-3, where Abram is called to leave his country and household and go to a new place under God’s blessing.
I knew God was asking me to leave family, friends, and a city I had called home for 50 years to become an officer. I shared this with my two adult sons, asking them to pray and come back to me with what they felt God was saying, because there were big implications to our family if I moved.
I think I was hoping they would say, ‘Don’t go!’ But both emphatically came back with support and the word ‘go’. So I started the process, asking God to open or close the doors. All the way he opened the doors and confirmed my calling.
And so here I am, by the grace of God, starting my first appointment. There is the unknown, but I know God will walk with me, continuing to stretch and grow me and deepen my relationship with him.
God has a plan, purpose and a call on your life, too. So get rid of your ‘no’, lay down your ‘never’ and allow yourself to hear where it is that God is calling you. It may be to the education field, to the business world, to the political world, or sciences, art, media or medicine. People are needed to take the kingdom of God to all areas of life.
God calls us all to be whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. Don’t let anything keep you from answering ‘yes’ to God’s call.
By Janet Green