Sunday, September 14, 2008

Called to Serve

Perhaps I should feel embarrassed to admit that I have only a few times in my life prayed more earnestly for something than I once prayed against something.  

This was in January of 2004, unknowingly only months before we moved up the mountain.  Things were getting shaken up in our ward.  I had been 1st counsellor in Primary for about 18 months, and our president was about to have a baby.  My very good friend had recently been called as Relief Society President, and, right or wrong, had let me know several times that she was submitting my name for her secretary.  This ward was funny that way--callings seemed to be open for discussion and gossip well before sustainings ever took place.  So, right or wrong, she began to let me know her frustration that she was getting pretty discouraging replies regarding her request.  Again, it was definitely wrong that she found out that my name was also being submitted for Young Women Secretary, and wrong that she let me know.

I did NOT want to be in YW again.  I was just turning 30 that month and I had already spent about 6 years total in the Young Women's organization, including two as President which had concluded less than two years prior to this time.  I loved the girls, but that is an energy and time consuming calling if ever there was one, and I felt like I needed more of a break.

I decided to petition my Heavenly Father.  There was a choice of two calls that the Bishopric could extend to me.  I prayed and prayed with much energy to NOT be put in Young Women.  I pleaded for a chance to work again with my friend who had also been my counsellor for nearly two years.  But, not wanting to sound like I was bossing God around, I tried to sincerely include the sentiment that I desired His will to be done.  It was only partially true.  I also always reminded Him that I would accept whichever calling I was given, and He knows very well that that was the truth.

My prayers were answered with a resounding "no" when I was extended a call to be Young Women secretary.  I sobbed, which was a little embarrassing.  But I accepted the call.  The president was being newly called, and therefore so were all of the staff.  I was relieved to see that one of the counsellors was another good friend who had served for about a year as my other counsellor in YW and had succeeded me as president.  She wasn't excited to be back either.  

About 6 or 7 months after my release as YW President, the Church revamped the Personal Progress Program for girls.  This had not been done for about 14 years, since I was a 15-year-old Mia Maid myself.  I knew that older program front and back. My friend and I decided to complete the program together, to learn it and be better able to help the girls. I went full speed ahead.  I was nearly finished with it in late May when we made the decision to relocate.

Moving up the mountain also meant moving to a very small branch where there were currently no Young Women.  When my #1 would turn 12 in just over a year, she'd be the only one.  It suddenly all became clear to me.  I needed to learn that Personal Progress program, which no one else in the branch had had a reason to become familiar with, so that I could help my daughter with it.  It has been helpful.  I might even say it was a blessing to have been called into Young Women at the time I was.  I know our Heavenly Father blesses us with "good gifts."  Sometimes even with ones that we are trying to avoid.


Barb said...

Great post! Just incase you were wondering, I found you as a follower on another blog and liked the title, "Tender Mercies" and had to check it out. I love writing about spiritual experiences I had had too.

Brittany said...

I think I cried when they asked me to be YW Camp Director. :p

I remember when they revamped the YW Personal Progress- I had been married about a year and I was the Personal Progress Leader. Wow- that was hard to relearn everything, but it was good because I could better help the girls and that knowledge is helping me write my next book!

Mina said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with tears, Brittany. Welcome to you both.

If you haven't yet, check out the World According to the Little Fish, which I prefer and gets posted on with much greater regularity (2-4 times per month). That one in general contains my observations on life, memories, and the occasional, occasional family news flash. Our family is undergoing a vast amount of change at the moment, so there are a few more of those than regularly.