My Calling – Captain Karen Lewis
By: Captain Karen Lewis
I grew up in the church but didn’t fully connect with it because the Christian students I knew lived the same lifestyles as the non-Christians.
I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 19-years old but it wasn’t until years later, when I met Preston, that I pursued a right relationship with Christ. Preston and I were married a year after we met and, soon after, we began attending a church in California and we both felt a profound calling to minister to youth. This church was predominately 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 and I was fine with that.
This all 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 Salvation Army. I was not thrilled about this decision because I had found the perfect Church. With much grumbling, I submitted and started attending this corp.
On 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 hadn’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 and instead waited until we got home and I wrote this 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.