My parents are Officers (Pastors in The Salvation Army), so I grew up in The Salvation Army, In fact my brother and his wife are officers, my aunt and uncle are officers, my grandparents are retired officers, in fact, my family goes back 7 generations in The Salvation Army and 3 generations of Salvation Army officers. So a lot of people have always expected that I would become an officer, it’s kind of a family thing. But I had my own idea of where my life was going and what I was going to do and be.
I decided that I wanted to be a music teacher, so I went to college as a vocal performance and music education major. It wasn’t long after starting college that things started going wrong in my life. I realized that I wasn’t happy, maybe being a music teacher wasn’t for me, and maybe I should switch my major. Just as I was about to change my plans God changed them for me.
There was a school we have called Railton School for Youth Worker Training. It was run by Envoys Steve and Sharon Bussey. And God spoke to me and said “Staci, I want you to be a youth worker in my army, go to Railton.” I was nervous about it at first, but I went. Railton was a two year program, first year in classrooms and somewhat out in corps working and learning, and the second year we are given a job at a corps. I completed my two years of school and graduated from the program and found a job using my training. I was happy, I was doing what God wanted me to. But then, I started to make my own plans again.
For a long time, people kept asking me when I was going to become an officer, and I kept telling them that it wasn’t for me. I’m a youth worker, that’s what I’m good at and I’m going to stick with it. But still, people kept talking about training to me more and more and the more I denied it and tried to make my own plans the worse things got.
The turning point for me was when we started a new song in a music group I was in called “still” the words were simple, “still my soul be still and don’t forsake the truth you learned in the beginning. Wait upon the Lord and hope will rise as stars appear when day is dimming…” And those words touched me, and I finally said ok God, I’m listening, what is your plan. And that is when God spoke to me saying “Staci, I need you to be an officer in my army.” And I finally said, yes Lord, I will be an officer. So I stand here today as a cadet (seminary student) in The Salvation Army training school to become an officer (pastor).
I’ve learned that making my own plans is a bad idea, but following God’s plans is definitely a good idea. And I’ve never been happier than I am now since I said yes to God. If God is speaking to you, listen, be open and follow His way, you won’t regret it.