Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cut loose

On Sunday I got released from my calling as a Young Women leader at church. For those of my readers who are not Mormon, this means that I'm no longer assigned to work with the teenage girls. Callings in the Mormon church are all voluntary; assignments are made and changed based on prayer and inspiration on the part of the bishop and his counselors.

I know that my being released was in large part due to the fact that I'm having a baby this week. Debbie, who is the president over the Young Women organization, gave me a heads-up last week that it was going to happen. She told me that even though she should technically have waited until it was official to let me know, she didn't want me to think it was because she wasn't happy with my performance in my duties. And I know that's true, even without her saying so. There were some other staffing changes that needed to be made and with my impending delivery, the timing was right to switch things up.

Part of me is grateful because I know that I need to devote all my attention to this little person joining our family. Now I'll have my Wednesday nights back, not to mention all the other odd hours here and there that I ordinarily spend in meetings, preparing lessons, making phone calls, creating motivational handouts, sleeping in a teepee at girls' camp, coordinating via phone or email with other leaders, and so on.

The thing is, I love working with the girls so much that I never really begrudged that time, and so now that it's sinking in that I've been released, I'm starting to feel a real sense of loss. On Sunday when my release was announced, the girls I work with all came up after church and said goodbye, some of them crying. I didn't cry much, mostly because I wanted to make the transition easier for them; they need to feel good about the new leaders who will be coming in, and its was neither appropriate nor conducive to transition to make this change all about me. And so I told them how much I confidence I had in the new leader taking my place, and cheerfully reminded them that I would still be seeing them every week at church.

It's hitting me today, I think, because later this morning I'm handing off all my leadership materials to the woman who's replacing me—and for the first time in quite a while, I won't be going to the weekly Young Women activity on Wednesday night. I'm just trying to remind myself what a priviledge it's been working with these particular women and young women, all the friendships I've developed that will continue on, and most of all, how much I've learned from and been blessed by knowing each of them.

God is good. He gives me the sweetness of such learning experiences, and tempers the bitterness of transition with other blessings to remind me that there is a season to every purpose under heaven.


aubrey said...

that is sad. i love your last paragraph. that God "tempers the bitterness of transition with other blessings to remind me that there is a season to every purpose under heaven." what a perfect perpsective to have. i hope i will feel that way when i am no longer in primary.

chicklegirl said...

Thanks for the empathy. Primary was hard for me to leave, too! I'm hoping I can keep this perspective; fortunately in just two days I'll be so distracted with new baby stuff that it will probably make me totally forget how I'm feeling right now.

aubrey said...

i'm PRETTY sure you'll be slightly preoccupied with the new baby that you'll barely have a second to think about yw. and you'll still see the girls anyway, i'm sure they're dying to meet little audrey.