My Calling – Captain Karen Lewis
By: Captain Karen Lewis
Despite growing up without a church background, at the age of 19, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was at college. I never fully connected with the church primarily because the Christian students lived the same lifestyles as the non-Christians.
It wasn’t until years later, when I met Preston, that I pursued a right relationship with Christ. We were married a year after we met and began attending a church in California. We both felt a profound calling to minister to youth. This church was predominantly middle class; however, God prompted me to minister to children from disadvantaged homes and bring them to church. We felt this was the church that God called us to stay with forever, until God called Preston to leave the Air Force and pursue ministry full time.
I fully supported his calling and didn’t think God had any plans to use me. I was fine with that.
That changed the day that Preston accepted a job with The Salvation Army in Savannah, Georgia. God started using him in a mighty way, and one day he came home and announced that God had called him to join the Army. I was not thrilled about this decision because I had found the perfect church. With much grumbling, I submitted and started attending the corps. My first Sunday there, God convicted my spirit. During testimony time, I heard shelter residents and men from the rehab program thanking God for food and shelter. This changed everything, and I haven’t been the same since that day.
After becoming a soldier with the corps, Preston shared that he was burdened to become an officer. I recall saying, “There is no way that I’m going to become an officer. God hasn’t called me.”
We attended Future Officer Fellowship at Evangeline Booth College that fall. All weekend I felt nothing; no leading, no calling. I was certain that this was not for me.
I decided to drive home from FOF while Preston slept. I was speeding and listening to the band Mercy Me. They were singing “My heart is spoken for.” It was in that moment huge tears began to flow from my eyes and I heard God clearly say, “Karen, I am calling you.” My heart was pierced at that moment and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had called me. I didn’t wake Preston up to tell him. Instead, I waited until we got home and wrote about my experience in a love letter to him.
From that day forward, I never doubted my calling. This is both the most satisfying and humbling experience of my life. Even in the most challenging moments, I remember hearing the voice of God, and I’m reminded my heart is spoken for by God who called me to this great mission of helping others.