It’s been one week.
168 painstaking, anxiety filled, heartrending hours.
One week ago, I was released as primary president and called to serve with the young women.
For those of you that have been with us for a while, you know what that calling meant to me. You know what those children meant to me. You know how much time, love and effort I put into my calling. You know that my calling as primary president literally saved my life.
And it’s gone. It’s all over now.
And I have a confession. My first reaction was heartbreak. Not just sadness. Not just disappointment. It was actually along the lines of despair. And once I got past the despair- it turned to anger. I felt my tears change. They changed from sad tears to angry tears. My demeanor changed. My heart was broken and no one could understand it – including me. I was so hurt that they would take my kids away from me. So. So. HURT. And logically, my brain was telling me- “Hey. You. Heart. It was just a calling and you knew it was temporary. Now, buck up and move on.” And at the same time- my heart was telling me “No one will ever love you like they did. They’re releasing you because you’re not good enough for them. They don’t want you there.” (which is a complete lie…) It was almost as if someone had died. And that was just when I was thinking about MY feelings. Don’t even get me started on the kids. I just got my eyes to stop looking puffy. But, to be fair, it wasn’t ‘Just a calling’ to me. It never was. It was my life. Those were MY KIDS. Mine. And to have them taken away so suddenly was, well, heartbreaking.
But, let’s get back to the anger. After the desparation, the anger came. And I won’t lie- I was angry at everyone. I was angry at the bishop, at the new young women’s president, at the sweet sister that replaced me and most especially at my Heavenly Father. I couldn’t understand why He would put me with those kids and tell me to love them like they were my own…and then take me away from them. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t good enough anymore. I still don’t understand. I probably never will. I will always carry them in my heart. Always.
But here’s the thing. The last lesson I taught them was on preparing to attend the temple. One of the things they need to do to get there is to keep their baptismal covenants- the promises they made to Heavenly Father….that, once upon a time, I made too. Some of those covenants were to follow the commandments, to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, to be my very best me. The one I often forget about is the serving God with all my heart, might, mind and strength. Nowhere in that covenant did it EVER say “serve God with all your heart, might, mind and strength IN PRIMARY ONLY.” I promised my Father that I would serve Him wherever He needed me. I would serve Him happily and with a joyful heart. I would serve Him with everything I had- in all times, and in all things and in all places. And I keep my promises.
It’s so easy to be angry with God for the life that He gives us, for the trials we endure, for the heartbreak and the sorrow and the bad times, isn’t it? We’re so quick to anger and to misunderstand His plan. It’s often hard to remember that, as Elder Christofferson said, “God’s ultimate purpose is our progress.” I hear you. I do. You’re saying “But, Katie. Why can’t He just teach me what I need to know without trials, tears and tribulations?” Yeah. I wish that could happen too. But that’s not how it works.
Sister Neill F. Marriot gave an AMAZING talk at the October 2015 session of conference entitled Yielding Our Hearts to God. It explains it all. In this talk, she reminds us that “In order to have a healed and faithful heart, we must first allow it to break before the Lord.” And it’s true. It really is.
We are being molded into what He needs us to be- not what we want to be, not what we think we should be- what HE NEEDS US TO BE. He’s multiplying and magnifying each of us. I have a favorite song by Julie De Azevedo called “Make Enough of Me”. In that song, she discusses how the Savior could heal the sick, raise the dead, turn water into wine- basically, work miracles. I firmly believe that if the Savior can raise Jairus’ daughter, heal the lepers, and work countless miracles, that He can turn me into the person that I need to be.
My Savior knows my heartache, my sorrow. He also knows my talents, my strengths, my attributes that can make me an asset to the kingdom of God. I want so badly to be an asset to my Father in Heaven and to my Savior. I want to be someone that They can depend on and trust to do THEIR work and to spread their message and their love.
I might not ever understand. But, for now, I’m going to “Be still and know that HE is God”. I will let Him break my heart so that it can become the heart that it needs to be. I’m going to let Him make enough of me, even if I cry, even if it hurts, even if I think I can’t bear it anymore.
And I promise you, He will shape you into the woman that He needs.
Trust Him. Love Him. Serve Him.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
All my love,