Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Done. But Not Really.


I apologize in advance to those of you who may not speak my religious language, but those of you who do who have been following me for the last couple of years might be interested to know that I was released from my calling as Relief Society President on Sunday.  Many have asked me how it feels, if it is bittersweet – the reality and perhaps the irony is that the biggest thing I feel…is RELIEF.

It turns out that shouldering the burden of 100 women is rather intimidating and sometimes difficult because, have you heard?  Life is hard.  For EVERYBODY.  At first I wondered if I would be able to care about that many people; we had just barely moved at the time and most of these people were complete strangers to me.  Could I actually love and serve virtual strangers in a meaningful way?  Well, a funny thing happens when God asks you to do something and you say yes, because it was impossible not to. 

I feared the “big” stuff the most.  Funerals, divorces, hospital stays, abuse – I encountered all of it.  But more than that I learned that behind every door, was something.  Every mother wants a good life for her kids, every woman wants to be seen for who she is, every wife wants her home to be a safe haven; we all want the same things but the curve balls sometimes hit below the belt and we get thrown.  The trial is knowing we can’t always fix it, the blessing is being able to surround each other when things go wrong, and the hope is that God keeps his promises.  In spite of all of it, the one thing I witnessed over and over again is that Heavenly Father loves His children.  He “will not leave you comfortless”, He knows how to “succor his people", and we keep moving because of the promise of the joy.  That's how Jesus got through it:  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...." (Hebrews 12:2)  

This calling blessed my life.  I met wonderful women, observed countless acts of kindness, saw miracles happen in people's lives, and prayed mightily for miracles in others' lives.  But in the end, no matter who we are or what we are asked to do it's not ultimately about us, it's about HIM.  How HE loved, how HE served, how HE sacrificed, and that everything good we do honors that, and honors Him.

And that was my biggest lesson.

22 comments:

Heather said...

I'm just feeling all warm and fuzzy. really!

Kristina P. said...

I think I would freak out too. Fortunately, I don't think I have to worry about this calling. Have you read my blog? :)

Garden of Egan said...

I bet you were the BEST RS Pres ever.
I bet you fill relief. I can't imagine...thank goodness.

I hope you get a few weeks rest before the next calling.

just call me jo said...

Now you're released from "the big calling" for a woman, you might get called as nursery teacher. (That could make you go to your knees again--in so many ways.) I love hearing such faith-building stories. I'm sure you were guided and will continue to be.

Stefani said...

Beautiful sentiments! I'm calling you for advice if I ever get this calling - heaven help us.
(so what is your new calling? I always say I would like to be "assistant bulletin board coordinator")

Lorie said...

Amen! "Charity Never Faileth"

Rachel said...

Niiiiice. Enjoy your time out.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Wonderful post! Love what you had to say and you obviously learned a lot.

the emily said...

What a sweet post. those big callings scare me! We just moved from UT to NM and I got called to be 1st counselor in Primary. I've been in primary for the past 8 years so I know what I'm doing, but trying to serve children you don't know (I don't even know their names!) is harder than I thought.

Rachel said...

I was called as YW Pres. almost the exact same time you were called as RS Pres. I just wanted to chime in and say that I can thoroughly relate to the thoughts you express here, and to also say thanks for helping me understand the way I felt when I was released. There were about 42 million times during my time in YW when I wanted nothing more than to be released. Once I came to the realization that I was ultimately honoring Him though, I stopped all the crazy wishing. Wouldn't you know it... about the time I figured things out, I got the boot.

Thanks for your post! It was lovely. I'm excited to see what's next for you!

Lani Wendt Young said...

I really enjoyed this - thank you for the reminder of why we 'serve' in callings anyway. (can you tell Ive been complaining/whinging alot lately about my present calling aaargh!) Made me smile the bit about worrying whether you could care about so many women, esp when you didnt know them. When I was RS Pres, that was my biggest fear. Im a 'socially challenged' hermit so the thought of being nice to so many people and making friends totally freaked me out. Two years later and 100 plus friends later...i guess its not that bad.

ellen said...

Sounds like a job well done. Enjoy your retirement. :)

Valerie said...

Beautifully said!

Kristi said...

Nice post, I want to say congratulations, but that's not quite it. "Onward, every onward", maybe that's it. Enjoy the future.

Mom of Three said...

I think the guy meant that "the end of your calling was here". Both Tim and I were released Sunday too. So were you given r and r like we were, or are you on to something new?

anitamombanita said...

Oh Vern, I'm not laughing at your post today. Well, at least I'm not laughing as in 'this was hilariously funny' like usual. Instead I'm laughing with happiness that you rose to the challenge, rose above your own doubts and did what you were called to do (and probably MUCH more). You rock!! I'm sure you blessed many lives along the way. And now... you'll have just that much more time to make me laugh regularly!! You go, girl!

Meg said...

Congrats on a job well done. Now it's Carlos's turn to serve big time.

Marylynn said...

I am currently RSP, and somedays wonder how I will make it through. Like you, I just feel so overwhelmed with pain for the women I serve; everyone has something. Somtimes it's more than one something. I am so grateful for VTing and for inspiration, which I get more often than I deserve. Recently our Stake RSP said something I forget too often: our job isn't to solve people's problems. Our job is to bring them to Christ, and He will solve their problems." I love that, and am trying to remember it. Good luck in life after RSP; I hope to get there someday... but maybe not quite yet!

Jill said...

You also learned not to give out "coffee flavored suckers"

I know you ward was blessed to have you :)

alireynolds220 said...

Kristy!! Thanks so much for your thoughts on your RS experience, you made me get all teary eyed. You truly have a gift when it comes to words!

Paige said...

Great job! I'm sure you are relived. Now on to the next adventure. Maybe cub scouts?

Lisa said...

You know, I'm the RS Secretary, and I would have served under you in a second. Course, I love my current Pres, so we'd have to have done some sort of polygamist arrangement, but whatever...I guess it's probably good you were released. :) Could have gotten messy. :)