By Captain Whitney P.H. Morton
March 2000 was one of those months in my life that was just plain crazy – the kind of crazy that you never forget.
My new husband, Ray, and I were preparing to graduate from college and were contemplating graduate school programs. Despite having sensed God calling us to officership early on in our dating life, after marriage and conversations with friends about life in the real world after graduation, we decided that it would be more lucrative for me to pursue law school and for Ray to get his masters in organizational psychology. I sat for the law school entrance exam and completed all my applications that March and quickly heard back from schools with some amazing offers. The future looked bright!
The end of March came and it was time for NSC Youth Councils. We attended with our small group of young adults, thinking it would be a fun retreat weekend together. Despite having withdrawn preliminary applications for officership, we decided to attend the FOF dinner for one reason – food! We snuck in at the last minute and sat in the very back of the room. We successfully avoided speaking to any DHQ staff or other candidates and enjoyed the delicious meal that surpassed the dining hall by far. The final amen was said and the benediction was pronounced. I thought we were in the clear. I was wrong! As we made our way to the back exit, our divisional commander, Lt. Colonel Stanley Jaynes, came up to us with then Major Vern Jewett, training principal at that time. We were cornered. When asked why we had withdrawn our candidate applications I became hot-headed and defiant. My flippant response was, “I think we know a little better than anyone else what it is God wants us to do.” Not my finest moment.
Sunday morning came and the music was great, the sermon was awesome and I was more certain than ever that law school and the fight for justice was God’s call on my life. All of that crumbled as the call to officership was sounded. Without words, Ray and I, at the exact same moment, stepped to respond to the Holy Spirit’s move in our heart. Note that I say heart and not the plural hearts. It was in that moment that God not only affirmed his call to me and to Ray to become officers, but he unified us in that inexplicable way that only he can. It was not that God called me to be a missionary or Ray to be a pastor; he called us to be of one heart, mind and Spirit as soldiers and officers in his Army.
That day the frenzy of paperwork began as Major Cora Mae Thompson said, “We’ve got a lot to do and just a little time to do it!” Come August 2000 we pulled in to 1032 Metropolitan Parkway and moved in as cadets. Though the road has been far from easy at times, we have never regretted joining up for this great adventure together as one: One Mission, One Message, One Army.