Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Girls

Life just never seems to go the direction you think it's going to go.  Just when you start patting yourself on the back for making it through some tough stuff and are settling in to enjoy some well earned tranquility, life throws you a curve ball.

For those of you who are not Mormon, you may need some vocabulary clarifications in order to follow this post.

Bishop = the leader of a specific LDS ward
Ward = congregation that covers a specific geographic location
Calling = a certain responsibility within the ward, done on a volunteer basis
Young Women's = girls youth program
President = the leader of an organization within the ward
*I bet you'll never guess what the rest of this post will be about*

For me, that curve ball came back in November when the Bishop called Shaggy & I into his office to talk.  Every Mormon in the world knows enough to feel a little unnerved by those invitations.  Especially when they ask to meet with both husband and wife.  But I was naive, I figured the Bishop was going to give Shaggy a calling.

So I was floored when he looked at me and told me that he'd been feeling prompted to ask me to be the Young Women's President.  I was completely shocked.  I'd only been in the ward for 3 months.  I was currently serving as a teacher for 9-year-olds so I never went to the meetings with adults and hardly knew any of them.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I looked at Shaggy and muttered, "I knew my life was too peaceful."

Under the watchful gaze of the Bishop, I desperately tried to wrap my mind around this information.  I didn't particularly feel like Young Women's President material.  I am just regular old me, who feels overwhelmed enough by my responsibilities to my family.  I didn't know how I would fit such a time intensive calling into my life.

I proceeded to ask the Bishop a million and one questions about the Young Women's organization.  He patiently answered them all, even while fixing me with his nonjudgmental, but calculating gaze.  Once I finally ran out of questions and we felt that our ravenous children would mutiny if we left them in the hall unattended for another minute, the Bishop sent us home with the admonition to think about it and let him know.

We drove home in a daze.  Shaggy and I couldn't even talk about the potential new calling in front of the kids.  These callings are supposed to remain confidential until it's announced to the ward and all the members sustain (agree to help and support) you.  K was in Young Women's--we couldn't have her spilling the beans to her friends.

I spent most of that week trying to figure out how the logistical aspects of meetings and activities would impact my family.  And I stressed out.  In a major way.

Of course, I could have turned the calling down.  If it weren't for the whole revelation thing.  Revelation, the rock our church is built upon.  Revelation, the power by which people in our church fulfill their callings.  Revelation, the source of our leaders' inspiration.   Revelation, the personal and powerful way I can know the will of God.

Within a few minutes of talking with the Bishop that November Sunday, I knew that the Lord had indeed prompted him to consider me for this new calling.  I still felt overwhelmed.  I still felt inadequate.  But I also felt that it was what the Lord wanted me to do.

And an interesting thing happened during that week of contemplation, before I told the Bishop yes.  Whenever I thought about the time requirements or the logistics or how I would manage everything, I felt nothing but stress.

But one day, I turned my thoughts to the girls in my ward, with their fancy braids and ready smiles and easy comaraderie.  And a little tendril of love crept into my heart and expanded until it filled it up.  It brought tears to my eyes, it was such an overpowering feeling.

And that's when I realized that this calling isn't about me.  It's about them.  Those beautiful girls who are loved so very much by their Savior that He is willing to let me borrow some of that love until I have a chance to get to know them and call them mine.  Because I know enough about how this program works to know that they will become my girls.  Every hour we spend together--feeling the Spirit, talking, laughing, commiserating, teaching, learning, planning--will serve to build and strengthen our relationship.  I will learn to love them.  My heart will ache at their misfortune and sing at their triumphs.  I will do everything in my power to help them find the well of strength hidden deep within them; to know and love their Savior as intimately as He knows and loves them.  Wherever they go in life, they will take a part of me with them.

Just as I still cherish the memories and lessons learned from my amazing Young Women leaders.  If it's time for me to step up, step into that circle and give back, so be it.

I may not know how to fulfill this calling just yet.  I may not know how to make it fit into my life.  But I'm going to embrace it, nevertheless.  She whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.  I plan to hold Him to that.  Because my girls deserve the very best I can offer them.  And the best I can offer will require a whole lot of the Lord's help.


Mom said...

You will do an awesome job. I can see you now, surrounded by your girls, teaching them how to turn a cake mix into an amazing and delicious work of art.

Lynnie said...

You're doing awesome. Really, you got an awesome crew (not counting me!) and they just want someone to love them. Keep chuggin!!