9 August 2022

Stepping into officership: 'I know God will be by my side'

Lieutenant Abigail Gray

Abigail Gray being commissioned
Cadet Abigail Gray being commissioned
Lieutenant Abigail Gray, of the newly commissioned Messengers of Reconciliation session, shares her story.

If I look back to when I was getting ready to move to William Booth College in 2020, I was super excited at the thought of having time out just to be with God. However, the Covid-19 restrictions took that time out from the daily rhythms of life to the extreme!

It is safe to say that college has been vastly different for all the Messengers of Reconciliation, with summer placements being our first opportunity for practical work – not counting the Covid-19 test centre that was set up at the college.

A group photo of the Messengers of Reconciliation
The Messengers of Reconciliation

I have a very hands-on learning style, so the first year of study being online and without in-person placements was really challenging. However, I can see how God has used these challenges to shape and mould me into the person he wants me to be.

I love a good analogy and I best describe my time at the college as a plant. I have been constantly cared for and have been growing well, but it is when I am in the sun – in my case, involved practically – that I blossom.

At times it has been hard. I have really questioned my calling and wondered what on Earth God was thinking calling me to officership. I have had these two years to wrestle with some hard stuff so that when I am at a corps I can be the best version of myself.

Since receiving news of my first appointment I have gone through many emotions. Now I am excited to meet the people at Sheffield Citadel and Sheffield Castle, walk alongside them in their journey with Christ and get involved in the mission within the community. On the other hand, there is anxiety as I will be a fresh lieutenant who, in the great scheme of things, will have very little experience.

Therefore, my prayers have been that people will be kind as I find my feet and settle into my new appointment. I know God will be by my side, guiding me in all the tricky and beautiful parts of ministry as an officer of The Salvation Army.

Written by

Abigail Gray

Lieutenant Abigail Gray

Associate Officer, Sheffield Citadel with Sheffield Castle

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