Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ebb and Flow

I was released from my calling on Sunday.
That's a very simple sentence, yet so difficult to write. After Bro. R. told me, (right before church started)  I thought, OK, so we knew this was a possibility. As a presidency, we sometimes talk about it. I was sad, but ok.  Then, when he stood to take care of ward business, he read my name. Only. My. Name.  I sat in stunned silence, confused. I knew that this was an inspired change. I have a testimony of the divinity of callings. I even shared that testimony on Sunday. Yet, as I spoke the words, affirming my willingness to do what the Lord asks, inside, my head was crying "No!" The spiritual side of me held on to that belief, but all the human emotions of confusion and grief wrapped themselves around my heart, making it a weight in my chest.  And, then I cried.
 For two days.

I've pondered this change and the effect it's had on me.  I kept telling myself that our callings don't define us. But, it isn't true.  For the time that we have them, they do. It's an integral part of our culture in the church.  If you're catching up with an old friend, one thing you'll ask is, 'What's your calling?'  And, that's all right.  Because, if we let our calling be who we are, that means we're giving all we can to it. Which is what He expects us to do.  But, it's that devotion and all-encompassing love for those we serve that makes it so hard to let go.

Not only do our callings define us, but there is a status to them. Now, that's not what Heavenly Father wants. To Him, they are all equally important. But, we humans, with our frail, fickle minds, assign prestige to presidencies.  I do NOT aspire to be the president of anything. And, I tip my hat to all those who are (Lia and Debbie- you have my respect and sympathy).  But, being in a presidency, well, I loved it. I felt important. And, isn't that what we all crave?

I will miss the young women. I'll miss being at their activities, laughing with them, teasing them.  I mean, who else would get me to ice block down a hill? And I will especially miss hearing their testimonies on a regular basis.  They have inspired and strengthened me so much over the past couple years. If you fear the future, don't. We have amazing youth in this church who are strong and faithful. They will do us proud.

I will miss the other leaders. These women have touched my life in so many ways. They've become my friends. This is what pains my heart the most. They each live only one street away, yet, it feels they are suddenly so far.  I won't let them go, I've told them they can't get rid of me. They've etched themselves onto my heart and soul and will forever be a part of me. So, if for nothing else, this calling brought me them, and so I am grateful.

Each day it gets easier.  The layers of confusion and doubt are being lifted off my heart, so that it isn't so heavy.  In time, I'm sure, it'll feel normal again.  And, I will cherish the fact that the young women know me. They'll talk to me in the halls at church and wave as I drive past in my car.  They'll hug me and share their lives. I hope.

Yes, our callings define us, but it is how we serve that makes us who we truly are.  It is our devotion, or lack of it, that builds our character.  We are all important, because we are all children of a Heavenly King. We are doing His work, representing the Savior of the world.  Elder Holland said it well-

"My thanks to all you wonderful members of the Church—and legions of good people not of our faith—for proving every day of your life that the pure love of Christ “never faileth.” 4 No one of you is insignificant, in part because you make the gospel of Jesus Christ what it is—a living reminder of His grace and mercy, a private but powerful manifestation in small villages and large cities of the good He did and the life He gave bringing peace and salvation to other people. We are honored beyond expression to be counted one with you in such a sacred cause."


Read his entire talk here.

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. I know you loved that calling. I wasn't there Sunday so did you get a new calling?

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  2. Saying goodbye to a calling you put your heart and soul into is always hard. I'll never forget being released from the Primary Presidency in the Balmoral Ward. I had loved working with Mary Ann, Angie and Sally sooooo much. I knew at that time I should let it go and focus on other things, but I felt so empowered to be with those women. I was actually strengthen more to find that they still loved me outside of the calling. Oh happy day.
    It's also hard to be released from YWs. It's a priviledge to work with the youth. You'll be remembered all of their lives for the positive impact you've had, even if they neglect to ever let you know.

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  3. I'm feeling for you. I can remember a couple times being released from callings and feeling like I got "fired". My heart is with you, dear friend.

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