Friday, April 9, 2010

Her Unexpected Life

When I was asked to serve as the new President of our church women’s organization a year ago, I replaced a phenomenal leader. Known for her acute organizational skills and fearless ability to “Git-Er-Done” (during a routine checkup on a woman who had severe health issues she walked in on her covered in vomit and set to work cleaning up and taking care of her) I was completely out of my element in knowing how to follow in her footsteps. I would certainly have to rely on a different skill set. Nevertheless, I wasn’t entering into this new responsibility under traditional circumstances.

Traditional circumstances would mean that she had simply served her time and it was somebody else’s turn. Traditional circumstances would allow me to spend a few hours with this former President so I could learn about immediate needs and figure out where in the world I was supposed to start. After all, I had just been put in charge of 225 women and I only knew about ten of their names.

But these were definitely not traditional circumstances. This talented, articulate, and generous woman had just been dealt a blow that would make Mike Tyson’s head spin. After 20 years of raising her family and serving the people of our community, her husband (a prior bishop in our ward) had just turned himself into the government, confessing to authorities and his family for the first time that he had been running a Ponzi scheme for the last two decades.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute, shall we?  In your wildest imagination, can you even begin to comprehend what that must have been like?  Me neither.

The moment I found out (which was at the same time I was asked to take her place) I was stripped of words.  She immediately became the very first woman I was worried about, and yet SHE was supposed to show ME what to do!

To show you the kind of person that she is, she insisted that she still come over to my home to give me all of my necessary materials and visit with me about the needs in our area. Can you imagine? Going to visit someone who was taking your place to tell them who they should be worried about when their own name is at the top of the list? Never in my life have I prayed harder to have the perfect words. Just this once, Lord. Provide me the perfect words that will give her exactly what she needs right now. The perfect words never came. She sat on my couch and listed name after name of people for me to be aware of, to watch over, to care for. I was stumped, not knowing how to respond. I had a million questions about my new responsibilities, but what could possibly be more important that what was going on with her? I desperately wanted to give her whatever it was that she needed, so I tried to follow her cues. If she wanted to act like everything was normal, I would act like everything was normal. Everything was SO not normal. At any rate, hers is not my story to tell which is why I’ve never mentioned it before. The only reason I’m comfortable referencing any of this now is because she has decided to tell her own story via this wonderful tool we all have called the internet. An excerpt:
They came.

Government representatives, approximately eight of them. Wearing dark jackets and sunglasses, flashing gold badges, they arrived at my home in dark Suburbans with tinted windows–just like in the movies. Only this time it wasn’t a movie, it was my new and unexpected life.
Another little gem:
My experience of 2009 wasn’t going to destroy me. It wasn’t going to be the only aspect to me and of my life forever. I have a story, and it isn’t only one of ponzi schemes, crime, betrayal, divorce and an unexpected life. I still get to write the book.
She’s a great writer with a fascinating story to tell. You’ll be uplifted by her faith, empowered by her resolve, and validated by her honesty. Check out her blog HERE and start at the beginning. You won’t be sorry.

18 comments:

rocslinger said...

Thank you for introducing me to such a wonderful woman.

How great the betrayal and how much greater the woman who is loyal to our Heavenly Father.

just call me jo said...

I'm constantly amazed at good people who get dealt such pain. How do they survive? I guess prayer and faith (which I don't utilize as I should.)

I'm sure you'll be a wonderful YW president. You'll receive strength and guidance if you plead humbly.

I'm so sorry for that wonderful woman's situation. I will go read the blog. Thanks for sharing. It reminds us to be grateful for what we have.

beanstocks said...

She is truly amazing, isn't she?

Valerie said...

Good thing it's Spring Break because I just spent all morning reading! What an amazing story to tell! Thanks for sharing. :)

Heather said...

Wow. I'm going to check it out now.

Kerri said...

I spent a while reading her whold blog today. I'm amazed at her strength. And furious at ignorant, childish adults who spit venom at children - regardless of why. Thank you for sharing this inspiring link.

Peg said...

it will be interesting to read - many people from our ward were affected. Thanks for the link.

Mortensen Baby Farm said...

A-Mazing!

Yet, I think you filled her shoes quite well my friend! Yes mam!

prashant said...

What an amazing story to tell! Thanks for sharing.
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Meg said...

Thanks for the link. I've always wondered about her story. What an amazing women.

Lorie said...

Can't wait to read it. I'm just preparing the spiritual thought in Ward Counsel tomorrow and am quoting the scripture from D&C 121... and if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thh, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for they good." Sounds like it fits. (Better than those scriptures you dedicated to me, by the way!!!)

ganelle said...

I have been fascinated reading her blog. Her strength and candor are gut wrenching. Thanks.

(That part of you being called wasn't nearly as funny as, well, you being called!)

~j. said...

Wowza.

(I'm not sure what else to say. And I know 'wowza' wasn't the right thing to say in the first place.)

Tia Juana said...

Curse you dear Kristy for keeping me up until 2:00 in the morning! I worked the kitchen at a friend's wedding until late last night and then came home to a house full of teenagers so I come on here to see what you had for me. I did not anticipate staying up until 2:00 in the morning reading this amazing story! This morning, I am not only crazy tired for the wedding but I am exhausted from staying up later than I should, crying my eyes out in admiration of someone's profound strength. I thought she told her story with strength and tact - in a situation that where she could have justly done otherwise given her hard blows. Truly inspirational! I curse you for the tired eyes and half of the headache, but thank you all the same for the introduction to something so inspiring.

And, if she had snakes, spiders and mice in that neighborhood of hers, does that mean you do too? ICK!

violyngirl said...

I had NO idea THIS is who you replaced! I thought about you when I heard about this whole thing, and wondered if they were in your ward. Looking forward to reading her story. Thanks for sharing, and go you, you are awesome!

Ashley's "Random Ruminations" said...

Thank you for introducing me to this amazing story. Just simply amazing. I cannot even begin to comprehend. I am very grateful- it comes at a good time- I thought my marriage was having issues... perspective!!!!!

kimg said...

this is an amazing post. it is so interesting to read about this time from someone else's perspective. as a sister who lived far away during this mess, i am so glad that she had some people on 'her side'. she really needed people to care about her and i am so thrilled that she did. thanks for your compassion.

Vern said...

kimg: Welcome! And you're welcome. Stuff like this is far reaching in its effects and I'm sure you've suffered on your own level from this ridiculous circumstance. Hope you are progressing in your own journey of recovery!