As you fellow Mormons know, that is rarely a good thing.
He asked if he could come over that evening to speak with me. About a calling. (A calling is an unpaid job in the church- pretty much every Mormon has one.)
That’s when I knew for sure I was in trouble. You see, I hold two callings: one in public affairs and one as a music leader for the children in my ward (congregation). I knew I wasn’t going to get a third calling, because everyone (especially the bishop) knows I’m too busy with the callings I already have. Which meant I was going to lose a calling. And it wasn’t going to be the public affairs, because that’s at the stake (regional) level, and that’s the stake president’s jurisdiction. Which meant it was my music calling.
My music calling is the bestest calling in the church. I get to be creative, I get to teach, I get to sing, and I get to PLAY with the most wonderful, sweet, amazing children, who have such a strong spirit about them. So when the bishop said he wanted to speak with me?
But alas. It was true. My days as a music leader are now over. I was called to serve in the Relief Society (women’s organization) presidency.
Don’t get me wrong- I do love the Relief Society. It is an extraordinary organization that strengthens and uplifts women in so many ways, and it is a privilege to get to serve with them.
But will I ever get to bring in a screaming monkey toy and yell “INCOMING!” as I shoot it across the room?
Probably not. So it will be an adjustment.
Anyway, as I have been struggling with this sudden change (found out Saturday night, my last day with the kids was Sunday- *sniff sniff*) I have been having to hold onto my faith- my belief that this is the Lord’s work and that I am following His plan. Fittingly, the Sacrament hymn (which came right after the announcement of my release and new calling in Sacrament meeting) was, “Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done.” The very last part of the last line of that song is this: "And pray for strength, that we may say,
As he, 'Thy will, O Lord, be done.’”
So, why am I sharing all this? Well, I think we all have wrenches thrown into our lives at one time or another- those things that happen that throw us for a loop and leave us stunned and saying, “What just happened?” But there is one essential truth to remember which I think is described perfectly in this quotation (which is by someone of a different faith but I happily accept truth wherever I find it):
"Trials are a part of our experience...As surely as the stars are fashioned by His hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us. He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them." - Alistair Begg
My situation might not necessarily be considered a “trial”, but I think this applies to any change: those things that we face might surprise us, but they don’t surprise Him.
I heard a story recently of a woman who had spent hours and hours helping her son finish a big school project. The night before the project was due, the woman was checking the weather for the next day and saw that some nasty storms would be in their area in the morning. Before going to bed, she carefully wrapped her son’s project, ensuring that it would be protected and ready to go the next morning.
The next morning her son woke up distraught, saying, “Mom! It’s pouring down rain outside! My project will be ruined!” His mother calmed him down and said, “Son, it’s okay! I knew the storms were coming and I took care of it. Your project will be fine. I got this.”
This lady went on to say that so often in our lives, when the storms come, we go to God in a panic and say, “What is this? I’m not ready for this!” Yet we don’t remember or realize that He knows about every storm, and He has prepared us for them- He wouldn’t let us go through it unless we were ready.
He’s got this.
So why this change at this time for me? I don’t know. And I don’t have to know. I just have to trust. Who knows? Maybe I can use all that creative energy I had been using to plan lessons for those kids to write my book instead... ;-)