by Captain Holly Ehler
As officers we are asked every year to submit a personal survey that helps our leaders know how best to support us in our current ministry as well as where we may be open to future ministry opportunities…you know…when it comes time to consider the “M” word—moves.
My first 18 years of life were spent living at one address, so I have never developed an affinity for moving, but God is not One to allow us to stagnate in our “comfort zones.” Each year that survey comes out, and each year I express that, as much as I love where I am, I don’t want to limit where the Lord may want to use me. So, I keep myself open to wherever He leads. I trust God is in the moves, and He works through the combination of willing hearts and leaders (who really do read our surveys) to bring about His will.
Just over three years ago, this ministry adventure of mine took a turn from corps to adult rehabilitation centers. I never would have thought I would be “cut out” for this kind of ministry. It takes a good mix of heart, grit and backbone. The heart I knew I had; it was the others I was not so sure about. With a hugely supportive partner in ministry at my side, I was encouraged to grow and develop not only in my weaknesses but also in my strengths.
Though not one to be considered a Grinch, I believe my heart has grown three sizes since beginning my time at the Waukegan Adult Rehabilitation Center.
I have seen men fighting tremendous battles as they brave this walk of recovery. I have seen unlikely heroes band together as brothers to lift each other up. I have experienced joy beyond measure, and I have agonized over the crushing blow of heartache (though I never could experience the one if I didn’t leave myself open to the other). I have seen successes, and I have seen failures. But most of all I have clearly seen God’s hand at work in the lives of the men, and it has bolstered my faith and fervor. I have grown to love every aspect of this ministry. All this has been made possible because I made the decision to say “yes” to God and follow His lead.