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August 30, 2020 2:00 am
God will open doors for you, but He won’t push you through the doorway. In today’s episode Susie discusses stepping into your calling with Major Janice Riefer. Be sure to get your own copy of Susie’s book, Barefoot Cinderellas at https://salvationarmysoundcast.org/
Series: Barefoot Cinderellas
I welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back to the Salvation Army's words of life and welcome to you Cheryl thanks Bernie it's good to be here today. We are excited to be able to share with our listeners what's coming up on this new episode 100 tell them about insurer and today's episode were now on chapter 8 of Susie Erickson's barefoot Cinderella's. I love this chapter as it's about stepping into your purpose in each chapter. Susie offers a secret piece of advice she's learning along the way. In this chapter she says here's a secret life of the barefoot Cinderella doesn't follow a standard fairytale plan.
It's a journey with plot twists and turns, drama and firebreathing dragons will suffer hardships and trials dying a thousand deaths intending to bring life to us and others. Our ability to come through a trial and then God's ability to use that trial to strengthen our journey or to come alongside someone else's journey is an amazing product of grace. God uses that to shape who we are in him continues our story to be able to help others, will today. Susie is joined by her friend that our friend Janice reefer who used to be known as mama referred to those that were under her ministry and she shares her story on her journey. Stepping into leadership roles in the lessons she learned along the way. As a reminder, you can hear the rest of the series and purchase Susie's firstname.lastname@example.org/words of life and my name is Susie Erickson and today I'm in the studio with major Janice reefer and she has quite a story to tell. And as we began I Janice, could you share a little bit with me about your backgrounds.
I.e. you did you grow up in the Salvation Army, I did.
I was probably five days old when my mother took me to the Salvation Army for the first time she was a loyal soldier. She came to the Army because somebody found her on the street should run away from home and they got her back united with her family and she always said she would go back to the Salvation Army when she was a grown-up and can make her own decisions and so as an adult she chose to take us to the Army from the time we were born. And God called you to ministry in the Salvation Army, is that correct that is correct and then where did you meet your husband did you meet him, and on the ministry. This we actually met at Camp Arden Hills.
We were 14 years old and his family had just been appointed.
His parents were officers.
They just been appointed to serve in the Arkansas Oklahoma division and we were scoping out the new guy so I met him at Camp and that's pretty much where we dated for the first couple years of our relationship. How old were you when you both got married we were 20 when he said he met him at 14 and they got married at 20 yeah and so after you got married to you joint ministry together.
We actually served as core administrators for couple years and then we went to training in 1983 and took our then one-year-old daughter with us to training so you went into seminary and had a one-year-old daughter and and your husband and then as you are serving together in an ministry. Other children came along right right yeah we had a son while we were at training and then a daughter followed soon after we got to her first appointment, and another daughter, just a year and 1/2 later so we had to rewrite in a row and then life kinda took a turn for you.net. Could you tell us a little bit about that yet. In 1997 my husband developed a seizure disorder just suddenly started having seizures for no reason that anybody could determine, in June 1998 we moved for the first time in seven years to a new appointments and in October of that year he had a fatal seizure so we came home that night and found that he was dead in our living room, but even in that moment God was so present, even in that really scary moment. We knew that God was standing there with us. So here you are a mom with four kids and you walk in you know to find your husband, dad, what were the days like following that moment kind of a blur, just trying to figure out how do I do this by myself. My kids were great. You know, but they were hurting and trying to figure out life as well. I remember thinking I never wanted to be a single parent. I grew up in a single-parent household, and I was determine my kids wouldn't so just figuring out how to navigate be in a core officer with four kids at home and what that looked like my 16-year-old Diffley stepped in and tried to be the second parent. Not that I asked her to, but that's just how her personality was so it was just kind of trying to figure out how does everything work and how does it work now with Joe gone in that moment, it really change the course of your ministry did not and it did. Definitely we had been core officers.
Our whole authorship which are local pastors within the Salvation Army and then the following June.
He died in October. The following June, I was asked if I was willing to take a position in the youth department at our headquarters in Florida to be the assistant divisional use secretary which felt like the perfect opportunity for me and for my children and meant going to camp for the summer, we moved to Tampa, Florida, and I served in that position for eight years and it was of just an incredible time for my family know you're on ministry really took a different turn.
When you move from a pastorate position into an administrative position in the youth role, but you really have had since Eve stepped into some big leadership choose throughout your ministry. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the other places that you've served beyond the youth work I did eight years as assistant divisional use secretary, and then moved to be a divisional use secretary for two years and then from that. I moved to be the divisional secretary for program which put me in charge of things like HR and a lot of business details that I've not gotten the opportunity to handle before I found out that I loved it and enjoyed the just all of the administrative aspects and then from there I went to be the general secretary which is the second in command and a division and again absolutely loved it.
Loved working with the divisional leaders and figuring out how to make things work best way in a division and I I just had incredible opportunities and learn to if I didn't know how to do something I learned how to learn really quickly how to do that and then from there I came to the territorial headquarters as the assistant secretary for personnel in the job that you do now you really work with people in crisis moments.you I do. Yes, and how how did those moments back on in that home when you walked in and found your husband, dad, how did that prepare you for the type of ministry that you did today with people in crisis.
Will the first thing is I learned very quickly that I can't do it in my own strength but God's strength is made perfect in my weakness, and so I rely on that completely and I just prefer to be weak and let him be the strength but you got to be able to meet people where they are and understand where they're coming from. So whether there have been a crisis that I've had before or not. I can still relate to the fact that they are in crisis and that they can't help where they are or how they're feeling right then and what I need to do is come alongside them. What did you learn about yourself through this journey I learned that I can do almost anything somebody asks me if I if I try hard enough.
I've learned to be very flexible and to be to always be learning paying attention so that if I need to do something I can figure out how to do it. I've learned again that it's God's strength made perfect in my weakness if I pray for wisdom he gives it if I look to God for guidance. He gives that there are times when someone has called me and asked me for how to handle a certain situation or how to do something and I can hear the words come out of my mouth and I don't know where they came from, other than they had to come from God because I there is no way I knew that answer but I had an answer and it was the right answer. There's nothing worse for feet and walking in the wrong size shoe. The same is true when we try to walk in the footsteps of others holding our life up to the mirror of comparison when we have no idea what made them who they are and your life really can't be compared to any other woman cannot. I hope not but yet there are women and individuals. There are people that are listening to us that are in similar circumstances as you. They've lost a spouse and now there a single-parent with stair steps. If you were sitting down at a coffee shop with them. What would you say to them, hold on.
It might be a bumpy ride but it's worth it. I I believe.
I honestly believe that God is in control and he wasn't surprised by what happened.
It was a part of the plan. I do like it. I didn't I didn't think it was fair. But I would not be where I am today and I'm happy and I love my life, my kids are happy and doing well.
So I have to trust that that that this was his plan in this you might not. If, at that I had to get a new pair shoes you had to get a new pair shoes and ones that really you, Eve stepped into. You truly have on stepped into your purpose I believe so well. Christine Kane writes be who God called you to be do what God called you to do, say what God called you to say right what God called you to write go where God told you to go. Don't hold back. Don't second-guess yourself.
Don't fear man don't procrastinate, don't delay, but when you're a widow with four children, you don't have an option. Do you know you really don't you just jump in with both feet right you step into their shoes, whether they hurt your feet are not exactly what. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today and may God continue to strengthen you in your journey and whatever shoes he has for you to fill in the days to come. We know that they are to be the right fit for you. Thank you for the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email us radio USS.Salvation Army.org or call 1-800-229-9965, write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes favorite podcast store and surely give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's life always on social media for the latest extended abuse and more.
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