Chaplain By: Norica Vernon
3 min. read
The Confession of a Chaplain
“Ministry is transparency.” These words are permanently etched in my memory. They were said by one of my professors who also happens to be a chaplain. I don’t just work for PROVEN Ministries, I am a PROVEN woman.
The struggle with sexual integrity has been far too real in my life. I’ve gone through waves where the struggle seemed to be finally over. Other times I wonder what on earth is going on.
Is this ever going to end? I’ve alluded to this wrestling in my two books and have only shared it with close friends.
Military chaplains, like myself, are generally held to higher standards. We are the spiritual advisors to our commanders and are to be the moral compass within our units. This weakness, “my thorn in the flesh” is a constant reminder of my brokenness, the immense and intense grace of God.
It is humbling.
Why a Confession?
So why share now?
I choose to live the O (open and honest) of PROVEN. I have come to realize that victory in Jesus is not a one- time thing but something to celebrate daily or whenever it happens. There are days I wake up and the enemy of my soul showers me with guilt as shame washes over me. It is a tool that he has used for years to try and pull me away from the arms of God who loves me in the midst of my struggles.
As a chaplain I desire to be approachable and relatable to the soldiers I serve. And as a believer in Christ this shows authenticity and removes the sting of hypocrisy which many non-Christians see.
As a woman I too have a past filled with childhood abuse and years of painful rejection by men I’ve loved, a broken marriage and painful divorce. I have had longings in my heart that cannot be satisfied by temporary pleasures but only by the Eternal God. I have cried out to Him, like David did, in the midst of my struggle and He answered. He hears, he heals, he comforts. He extends his steadfast unconditional love and showers me His unending grace.
Strength in Weakness
The R in PROVEN stands for repentant in spirit and I intend to stay that way. I sweetly surrender my problem with sexual integrity to Jesus, remaining accountable to Him and others. What the enemy seeks to use for bad God is using for good. This was a weakness in my life that the Lord is using for as a strength for His kingdom. This confession is part of my story for His glory.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10 ESV)
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Norica wears many hats including the role of Proven Military Liaison. She’s a mom, author, and an Army Reserves chaplain. She has been serving in the military (Marine Corps and Army) for 20 years in various roles, mostly enlisted. She is a 2020 graduate of Liberty University, earning a Masters of Divinity in Military Chaplaincy. Norica enjoys cooking meals from her native country, Jamaica. She also loves to travel and go for prayer walks. For her, traveling is not about the destination but about the journey that may include detours. Norica is passionate about Proven. Her relationship with Proven began over 3 years ago as a supporter who also struggled. She interned with the ministry during her last semester at Liberty University. She led two small groups of Proven Women and helped develop the Sexual Ethics Training for ministers, specifically chaplains.