My Calling: Cadet Mandy Doggett
I had a solid plan. I was going to get my elementary education degree and I was going to marry somebody on track to become a pastor and be a pastor’s wife. I had given God my entire ten-year plan. I was sitting in chapel one day and I had a restlessness in my spirit. I’d been praying about it and out of the blue, I heard God speak to my heart. He said, “The Salvation Army.” I wasn’t really sure what He meant by that. In fact, I was afraid of what He might mean and asked Him to clarify. It was just silence.
I fasted and I prayed. I went to my parents and other godly people and asked, “What do you think God means by this?” The feedback from other people was, “No, that’s not what God is telling you to do.” But I was convinced that that’s what God had laid on my heart. That was my calling He placed on my life. I called the Bartlesville Corps and Captain Charlotte Gargis answered. I told her, “God’s called me to be a Salvation Army officer. How do I do that?” She said, “What? I don’t know who you are. How about you start by coming to church here, and we can meet you and you can get involved.”
I started attending and got involved. I became a soldier. Then God opened the door for me to be the SAMS. I was there for two years, and God taught me so much. He grew me and did things that I couldn’t have seen and experienced any other way. I met Corey there, we got engaged. We decided we were going to step away from the Army and start our own life together. We got married, had three kids, bought two different homes. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Business Management. We just bought our forever home, had our third child.
There was something missing. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I accomplished everything. I’d gotten promoted at my job. God kept bringing me back to a passage in Philippians 2. One night after everybody else had gone to bed, I sat down with my Bible. I said, “God, I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, but I know I need to hear it.” He again whispered that exact same calling that he had twelve years. He said, “It never went away.” I cried because we lived in the same town as Corey’s whole family where my kids could walk down to Nana’s house. I had dreamed that that would be the whole life.
I did not want what God was calling me to. I made a deal with God. “I’ll do this, but you’re going to have to put the same calling on Corey’s life.” I felt pretty confident that wasn’t going to happen. I felt like I had my out. Like. Within a couple months Corey once again heard that calling on his life. He was waiting for me, hoping that I wouldn’t hear it either. He decided to step out in faith and contacted our local corps officers. It was Captains Ian and Brittany Carr. I said, “You don’t know us, and you probably never heard of us before, but we’re called to be Salvation Army officers.” They said, “Okay. Can we meet you?”
We picked up some barbecue and went to their house. After we talked, we got back involved in the corps. The most amazing part is that when God called us back, initially we were so resistant. Then as we began to take steps forward, He began to change our hearts in radical ways. His desire was suddenly our desire. We couldn’t imagine any other life. We were so excited to give our kids this life, to show them a totally different experience of ministry than what they had ever seen before. What we dreaded became this exciting passionate dream that we’re excited to live.