5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Grow! with Cadet Karen B. Felton

5 true things about your spiritual journey

  • It resembles something more like a roller coaster than a straight line.
  • God constantly brings me full circle to show me how far I have come
  • God is always with us and He is always calling us to go deeper with Him.
  • God’s grace can be the most tangible thing we have ever experienced, and it never leaves us where it finds us or how we were when it met us.
  • It is incremental and a lifetime expedition.

4 things that have influenced your spiritual development over the years:

  • Majors Kelly and Jesse Collins and Majors Heath and Anita Sells. Four people who never backed down from any of my tough questions.
  • Reading and more reading.
  • Getting to know Jesus in an intentional way. When I first wanted to become a Salvationist I needed to get to know Jesus in a new, personal way. So like dating, I had to have a lot of conversations with Him, and get to know who He was (In His Word).
  • My husband Gary. When we were dating, he would push this idea of “stepping outside the boat, ” encouraging me to trust Jesus even when things were stormy, and scary, and I couldn’t see what was ahead. He would remind me if I kept my eyes on Him, I would not fail. It changed the way I approached many hurdles that were to come, and still today.

3 things that keep your spiritual life on track:

  • Keeping my “date” with Jesus every single morning for an hour before work or any other life interruptions.
  • Reading through scripture slowly. I read one chapter a day in chronological order, and when I don’t understand something or need to know more I look it up right then and there. And if I still need more I ask questions to someone way smarter than me.
  • Nightly devotion time with my husband. Before we pray we say two good things that happened at our corps that day and two good things we noticed about one another. This has changed the way I view the “hard days” at work, and I am constantly looking for what my two good things will be. This keeps me truly in tune with God’s goodness that is present each and every day.

2 good news things you see happening in the Army right now:

  • PATHWAY OF HOPE!! As someone with a Social Work background Pathway of Hope is one of the few programs I have come across that truly invests in the whole person, and it is not a temporary solution. It holds the lofty goal of helping people move THEMSELVES up and out of generational poverty. It is such a powerful program and I am so excited to see the long term effects.
  • The willingness in the Army to be open to new programs that fit in each of our own unique neighborhoods and the cultures of those neighborhoods. Opening the dialogue that not every program fits every neighborhood, and seeing what we can do to make it culturally, socially, and economically relevant to the communities we serve.

1 final thing you would say to encourage someone else on their spiritual journey:

  • Never, ever give up. God gives us this one life to learn how to love more perfectly and become more holy. And this life is one that can absolutely break your heart one minute and delight you the next. There are so many twists and turns, and if we just hang on, and trust Him, He will show up every single time and surprise us with His perfect plan for our lives.

Cadet Karen B. Felton is a cadet on the field, serving with her husband Major Gary Felton at the Chicago Midwest corps.

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