We have a hymn at church about becoming a disciple. The chorus goes like this:
I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea.
I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I’ll be what You want me to be.
It’s all about the process. There was only ever one perfect Being on this earth, and most of our ancestors who knew Him or knew of Him, didn’t like Him very much when He was here. (He, of course, gets the last laugh, because He loved, and loves, us anyway.) We stumble along after Him, sometimes mindfully and willingly, sometimes seemingly by happenstance.
I have had two little wrestles with obedience in recent weeks. The first when they asked me to learn how to be an ordinance coordinator in the temple, in an area I love but do not feel I have sufficient mastery over my own knowledge, and I regretfully declined. It’s not that I didn’t think that the temple presidency and the shift coordinators were inspired; it’s that there is so much going on in my life and inside my head, that doesn’t make it onto the blog, and at that point I was feeling more than a little strung-out.
And then, Sunday before last, one of the members of the bishopric popped his head over my shoulder in Sunday School and grinned that he needed to talk to me. He had a sleeping baby tucked into one shoulder; how could I resist? Especially a sleeping baby that the young women in our ward call Cheese Boy because his given names are similar to two of my favorite cheeses?
So I followed the good brother into a vacant classroom, where he asked me, “So, you like to teach? How’s it going in Relief Society?”
“Love it, although I’m not teaching as effectively as I would like, but I’m working on it.”
“Good! We would like to release you from teaching Relief Society and call you to teach Primary.”
At which point I quietly burst into tears. I wonder how often they get that reaction?
While I like individual children very much, especially my grandchildren and those I have come to know on a one-to-one basis (such as the kids in my Primary class when I lived in Fort Worth), after rearing so many short people in so little space, I get twitchy if you put me in a room and surround me with hordes of them.
I told him what I told one of my bishops in Arlington, that just because I have kids, doesn’t mean that I like kids. It’s more complicated than that. Several of my children have significant challenges. Notwithstanding their reassurances that I have turned out to be a good mother overall, the fear that some of those challenges might be my fault, weighs on me. That life might have been simpler for them if I had done things differently. So there is that, and the simple weariness of a body that surprises me every few months with a new normal that is less than I would like, and concern about Beloved’s fight with cancer (with the related desire to spend virtually every waking minute at his side, willing him to get well).
Add to this the covenants I have made throughout my life, to follow after the Savior as best I can from day to day. If I raise my hand to sustain the bishop, and he calls me to do something that I don’t want to do, and I refuse merely because Idawanna, how is that sustaining him? I told his counselor that I didn’t want to do this, but that it didn’t mean I was refusing to do so. I would need to counsel with my husband and pray over it. This is a big change from my younger years, when I reflexively said that I would do whatever I was asked, and just rolled with the consequences.
I don’t have so much roll in me nowadays. But I thought about it for two and a half days, and I talked it over with Beloved, who said he would support me whatever I decided (and, blessedly, did not offer to make the decision for me), and on that Tuesday night I called the counselor and told him, “You win.” He wanted more of an explanation than that.
One of the things that occurred to me in the mulling-over process was that there might be one child who needed what I would bring to the calling. Or maybe I needed one particular child in my life, at this time. But the kicker was the gentle whisper, again and again, that Heavenly Father trusts me with these kids. And as it says in the scriptures, what better answer can I have, than from God?
Oh rats, I’m sniffling again.
Responding to my daughter’s comment re: Mother’s Day, that she didn’t call because she figured it would just irritate me more. Beloved says, “That would have been a reason to call!” He is all about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, which is one of the reasons we get on so well.
Crazy day ahead of us. I/we need to empty out Lorelai’s trunk so we can put Beloved’s mom’s suitcase in there when we take her to the airport. She is visiting the other sibs for a couple of weeks and checking in for the clinical trial in which she is participating. And then we are heading to Fort Worth for the Bitties’ piano recital. I have a better map than I did a year ago, and we are building in extra time because I don’t know that suburb. My yarn is already packed.