Music the key to my faith in God
Music the key to my faith in God
My grandparents and great grandparents have attended The Salvation Army all their lives.
I was dedicated at the Geelong Corps as a baby, but it wasn’t until I was 13 that I started attending regularly.
My younger years weren’t easy. When I was five my parents separated, which put me in a state of confusion and left me with some pretty tough questions. I lived with my mother for most of my childhood.
I reconnected with The Salvation Army in my early teenage years through music. I was always fascinated by the sound of the brass band at Geelong Corps. It was loud, “shiny” and something I wanted to be part of. When I was 12, my dad took me to the Army hall one Friday night for a cornet lesson. After that, all I wanted to do in my spare time was practise.
Over the next few months I practised almost every day until my grandpa invited me to band practice one Wednesday night. As I developed in the band, I also became closer with the people of the corps and started attending the youth group on Friday nights. This is where I met some of my closest friends and people I am still close to today.
The first time I felt I called to soldiership was when I was 14. It was at the Summer Carnival youth camp that I attend each year. After the speaker gave an invitation, I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus and I let him into my heart. The next night, something inside me felt soldiership would help keep my commitment solid and be something that would inspire me and help me to become a better person.
In the following months I had my ups and downs, as a lot of people do in their teen years. I found myself losing interest in the Army and I stopped attending church regularly. By not committing to church, my commitment to God grew weak.
Once again, however, it was music that brought me back to church. I joined the Just Brass program at South Barwon Corps in 2015 and also began playing in the corps band.
As hard as it was at the time to leave my grandparents and the connections I had made at Geelong Corps, I can confidently say that the move was the best thing for me. I stepped up into the solo cornet section of the corps band, became the band captain in the Just Brass youth band, received a scholarship to Christian College Geelong and, more recently, became a member of the Territorial Youth Band.
It was only last October, after another youth camp, that I felt the call to soldiership once again.
After some conversations with James Ashley (youth worker) I found myself in soldiership classes and then I was enrolled as a senior soldier on Sunday 5 February.
I have grown a lot spiritually. I’m in a small group and I have started to learn a lot more about Christianity. I have started to depend on God for a lot of things that I have been feeling troubled about.
I see soldiership as the perfect way to shield myself from the sin that I see some non-Christian friends getting into, and the perfect way to set an example to my mates and display my faith in God. Today I can confidently declare that I no longer hope there is a God out there, but that I know there is a God and he is looking over me, guiding me and lighting the way forward in my life.