The Words of the Treacy Family
A 3rd Year Captain's Testimony
April 26, 2007
At a recent Workshop our 3rd Year captains, graduating from their mission and moving on to witnessing, shared their testimonies.
I really wish that somehow you could experience what we as captains experienced. I know it's a big commitment to do three years, and one that not everyone has the opportunity to do. But it has been such an amazing experience.
When you're put in the position to take responsibility for not just yourself but other precious brothers and sisters and expected to be accountable for them, all of a sudden your relationship with God and True Parents is pushed into a deeper level. It has to or you cannot move forward. That's when the heat is on. You cannot be fake.
In looking back I realize that when I came to STF I was kind of arrogant in the way that I thought my life of faith was "pretty good"; that I had a "good" relationship with God and True Parents. At the time I didn't choose to see it, but deep down there were many questions, fears and anxieties. So in order to see myself clearly, God had to put me through the "refiner's fire" on STF, on the frontline.
For that reason I truly felt every day of STF that I was never on just a training program or a leadership program. Every day was a life and death struggle, everyday I was seeking to find God on a deeper level and to understand the heart of True Parents and in the process, understand myself better. Even though it made me go through hell sometimes, in retrospect I can find only gratitude in my heart for the precious experiences God gave me in this training.
I started my captains' life with not such a strong motivation. I felt it was good for my training and growth, but I lacked the sense of mission that is crucial to bring victory as a captain. There are many things I could share about but one point I want to focus on is how God taught me what it meant to lead a life of faith, a little bit of what it means to follow True Parents. Do you feel lonely sometimes on the frontline? As a captain you also feel lonely. And when you're lonely, physically, emotionally, you have to go deeper. God gave me challenges through which I really had to question more deeply who I am living my life of faith for. Honestly, up to start of 3rd year my life of faith was for myself. It was a source of comfort in the fact that I know the truth and every time I look at True Parents I know that I am loved. Of course that is true. There's nothing wrong with that. However God didn't want me to stay at that level. It was time for me to spiritually grow up.
In my first year on STF when I was in assistant training, we did a four day pioneer fundraising challenge. Of course I struggled! But on the 2nd night I had a dream which I never really understood until I became Captain. In the dream I was riding in a van and as we were driving by I saw Father standing at the roadside. All of a sudden I was out there with him and he was speaking to me. I don't remember what he said except this one point. He said very clearly and directly to me, "God's will is much bigger than just His will for you." My first reaction was, "Oh, that sounds inspiring." But when I became Captain I could understand that a life of faith may mean that I cannot live well, eat well, sleep well, or live the life that is comfortable, but it is all justified by the simple reason as Father so well put it: God's will is bigger than me. And it took me a long time in my captain's mission to start to break through the pressure and feel the joy in that fact; that the seemingly miserable and lonely life that I am leading is bringing so much joy and liberation to God, True Parents, True Family, and indirectly, all mankind. I feel because of those experiences and realizations I am much better prepared for public life after STF. I have already experienced the pressure and, while I still have so much more to grow, I have the foundation to tackle whatever awaits me in the future.
The ones that God loves the most have to go through the most challenging course. Brothers and sisters, I hope you can all understand why we need to go through this course. If we really inherit God's heart than after STF we won't stop seeking challenge and we won't stop doing God's will. Those things won't be just something that is confined within the structure of STF. Leading a life of faith isn't always a joyous thing but God taught me how to do it out of joy, and gratitude. At one point I was pondering what it would be like if I didn't come to STF, or even if I wasn't born as a second generation.
It is truly a frightening thought. I don't think I will ever truly understand the immense love and blessing that I have received in my life, simply because somehow I was born in a position to receive the love of God and True Parents. And I repent every day because I don't understand the value enough. So, when you face sacrifice and struggle please don't close your heart. Please open your heart to realize that True Parents are walking this way already. This is what will help you after STF to keep going; this common base of heart, of shimjung with God and True Parents that you can only get through going through these challenges and struggles. It is truly a precious life and I wouldn't exchange it for the world.