Article of the week: Anything is possible
20 June 2020
COLUMN FROM THE COLLEGE
As Cadet Steph White approaches the end of her first year at William Booth College she tells us about her response to God’s calling
I WAS in Central Hall, Westminster, in 2006 when God spoke to me. As my friends marched behind their sessional flag into the Celebration meeting, having been commissioned as Salvation Army officers earlier in the day, all the background noise disappeared. There was just a voice: ‘That will be you one day.’ I felt so far away from accepting this ‘calling’ I’d heard that I was sure it was not meant for me.
Two years later I was there again, witnessing more friends being commissioned. God spoke to me again with the exact words he had used previously. A year after that the same happened again. It was then that I declared I was never going to attend Commissioning again!
In 2016 three friends were to be commissioned. I had tickets to go but was so anxious about hearing the calling again that I nearly gave the tickets away. However, the anxiety of going made me question whether God really had called me to officership.
I prayed for confirmation, and it came – through prayer, conversations, daily devotions and sermons.
I asked God for specific confirmation, such as a conversation with someone who would mention it and a letter through the post with ‘William Booth College’ on it. Both happened, and so much more.
The verse that continued with me throughout all of this was ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13 New King James Version).
I remember singing ‘I Want To Say Yes’ in the songsters one Sunday morning, when all of a sudden I realised I meant every word. I wanted to say yes!
During the sermon that followed I
felt God say: ‘I am talking to you Steph. Let go.’ After the meeting I prayed to him: ‘Please just give me one more confirmation if you really do want me to apply for officership.’
A woman in the corps, who knew nothing of my calling, came up to me straight after and asked: ‘When are you off to the training college, Steph?’ So, I texted my corps officer when I got home, and here I am three years later, almost at the end of my first year of training in the Messengers of Grace Session. I am thankful for the support and encouragement of so many people.
Since accepting that God was calling me to officership I have had a feeling of peace – real peace, the peace that only God can give. It’s a peace about my calling, a peace about being here at WBC, a peace about it all. This feeling of peace continues.
While I have been at WBC God has confirmed my calling again and again. It’s easy here to compare yourself with others but I remind myself often that God called me, Steph, to be here. I don’t need to try and be anyone else, and God continues to affirm that. When I feel that this calling is too big for me – and I think it’s natural to feel that at times – God reminds me that I can do all things through his strength. He is with me. I won’t be able to fulfil this calling without him, and with him anything is possible.
Since the new year I have been finding joy in the everyday – it’s a bit like a new year’s resolution. This has resulted in me counting my blessings daily. And when things are not going so great, I try and find a positive twist on it. Having this routine has helped me during this period of isolation. The joy that I find comes through all kinds of everyday things: a conversation I’ve had with someone; looking out on the quad while cooking, and thanking God that I’m here; or something that God tells me through prayer, a daily reading, a book, a conversation or through nature.
I am aware that we are all currently experiencing an uncertain time. But what is certain is that God is a constant through it. He is amazing, and he is far bigger than anything we face.
If God is calling you to something, I genuinely would recommend listening and responding. An adventure with God is a pretty awesome one – he goes with you and remains with you. With him anything really is possible.