Monday, June 22, 2015


Yesterday was Father’s Day and in The Salvation Army circles of the South it was also Farewell Sunday.  Those two combined caused my heart to ponder and think.  I have the best Daddy. I am incredibly thankful for him and the way he has led our family.  Since I was 13 I have also watched him and my mom “parent” hundreds (maybe thousands) of men in recovery.  Our holidays, vacations, and daily life looked different because there were lots of “brothers” that needed guidance, discipline and love.  I have watched as mom and dad have met with men, prayed with men, worked alongside, and taught them recovery was possible with Jesus.  Our family has expanded through the years and it has known great joys and deep sorrows. The questions “where are you from?” and “what do your parents do?” has always made me laugh (literally, I giggle almost every time someone asks). How do you explain yourself as a former military brat turned Salvation Army officer’s kid? Seriously. It confuses people.  Yesterday all across the Southeast people bid farewell to their church, where they have called home for a few years and my parents were no different. Except this farewell was different from the previous four.  Mom and Dad are not leaving Suncoast to go to another center to be “Mom and Dad” to more men. They are heading to Atlanta, to headquarters to work on the ARC Command staff. Not gonna lie Jack and I have prayed for this for a few years (good thing I told my mom this the day we found out or she’d pinch my head off).  Atlanta is about 4 ½ hours from us.  2ish from my brother and his family. 4ish from my grandparents.  It’s basically the closest they can get while still serving.   We are thrilled to have them this close but it means a big change for their daily life from the last 17ish years.  It means holidays, vacations, everything looks different.  They have done an amazing job shepherding and guiding men (and staff) through the years and now as they take on a new job, new titles, new responsibilities its exciting and a little sad.  My Dad preached his last sermon as an administrator yesterday, Mom asked them “how they were doing?” (Souled out in Suncoast) for the last time.  I am excited to see how the Lord uses them in this new position because I know the Lord has gifted them  and called them for this time.  It is also with a little sadness in my heart because “growing up” in the ARC has been a joy! I could tell story after story about summers working for them, studying in the staff dining room for finals, bringing groups from school to do service projects, and learning what it means to “lead people in the right way and not the wrong way” all while knowing the Lord had called my parents to do his work in The Salvation Army. Their work is not done it will just look a little different.  I cannot wait to see God’s plan unfold.   Watch out Atlanta … The Wilsons are headed your way!

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