He’s not done yet
By Perfecta Weeden, Lt. –
As I stand here, I feel overwhelmed by the love and support in this room, the visual evidence of answered prayers on this stage, and most of all, the lengths through which God allowed me to go so that he could reclaim me as his child. He took what I thought was my life, and repurposed it for his plan.
As a little girl, I was raised in a loving family and attended church regularly. However, when my childhood was taken from me, manmade security, family values, and weekly church attendance was not enough to sustain me in my brokenness. Instead I succumbed to the world’s darkness, believing that was just the way things would be; but God was not done with me.
Through life I struggled with feelings of inadequacy. I felt like I had to have it all together. I believed the only way to feel contentment was to mask my flaws, giving the appearance of perfection. This led to substance abuse, toxic relationships and allowing others to define my value by the world’s standards. While it was easier to blend in, my soul was left feeling bitter and empty. Soon I would find out I was with child; but I thank God, he was not done with me.
When I finally came into a personal relationship with God, I was broken and without hope. I assumed I wasn’t going to make it. However, God worked beyond my assumptions. He reached through the darkness in my heart and he led me to The Salvation Army Mesa Citadel. I witnessed the people loving the unlovable. I watched them feed the physically and spiritually hungry. And they accepted my son and me. Each week God spoke to me through music, Scripture, and sermons, but most of all he spoke to me through his people, including a spirit-filled retired officer, as she energetically shared with me, “God is not done with you yet.”
The corps continued to pour into our lives. Through their acts of kindness, patience and love, they exhibited God’s model of unconditional love. It was not because of anything I had done, but because they saw me as his child. God continued to strengthen, guide, and challenge me. He called me to do his work in Jesus’ name as I never would have imagined.
He wanted me to know that he was not done with me.
And as I stand alongside my fellow Joyful Intercessors, I can emphatically declare God is not done with us yet. Our Scripture verse found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 is proof of the constant relationship God desires from each of us: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Though we all have different stories, God has taken each fiber of our testimonies and interwoven them with his strength, peace and joy, into the session you see here before you today.
We are not the same people who walked onto the grounds of the College for Officer Training on Aug. 18, 2015. We, the Joyful Intercessors, arrived with fear in our eyes, and optimistic smiles. What we lacked in wisdom and experience, we made up for in passion and sincere willingness to be stretched, broken and molded into the men and women God has called us to be.
As we prepare our hearts for the communities that God has placed us in, we can rejoice in the work for which he has equipped and ordained us.
We can prayerfully intercede on behalf of the people we serve and the lives that will become entwined with ours.
Through joy and sorrow we will be there. As fractured families arrive at our doors we will be there. As we look into the eyes of the hungry, as we speak into the life of a single parent, we will be there. To every man, woman and child, who has never experienced the love of God, and in every soul that comes to Christ in and beyond the walls of our corps, we will give thanks because in each and every situation God will be found. And we can proclaim that he is not done with us yet.
As my brothers and sisters come to the starting gate, we cannot pretend to know what awaits us at our respective appointments. Sometimes there will be triumphs and victories for the kingdom. Occasionally, we may even fail. Some days we will not have all the answers. In these moments of silence, we will have to wait for the Lord, and that will be okay.
Let us be encouraged by Proverbs 3:5–6 which reminds us: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Because God is not done with us yet.