Sunday, December 31, 2006

The end of the world

You're cordially invited to my pity party. If you are able to come, please keep reading. Otherwise, close your browser and enjoy your day.

DISCLAIMER: There are a lot of really horrible things in the world happening to people every day. Billions of people have greater reasons to complain than I do. I acknowledge this. This acknowledgment, however, serves only to make me feel worse in my present state. I admit that mostly I need to just go eat worms.

Horrible thing #1:

I've been crying all morning because yesterday I saw a car wreck. I didn't actually see it happen, but I saw it just a little while after. I watched Life Flight land nearby. I saw the smashed up car. I saw people trying to extricate someone from the front seat. It was clear that there was no way this person could have survived. I saw the paramedics working on a smaller person in the back seat. I was so physically ill that I had to do my breathing exercises to keep from throwing up. It left me shaky all day. And then this morning I saw the very small blurb about the accident in the paper. It appears that a mother was killed and a nine-year-old was taken to the hospital. It was the driver of a pickup turning left that caused the accident, but it appears that he didn't do anything really wrong, just didn't see them or something. I feel for him, deeply. I feel for the nine-year-old. But the people I feel the most deeply for, who I can't get out of my head, are the emergency responders. I hope and pray that those people become hardened to what they do, because I would truly be insane right now. I keep replaying it in my mind as if I were them—having to walk up to that mess, and look at it, and do something about it. I really have been praying for these people.

I have been queasy about illness and death all week because I was so very sick last week and really thought I might die. (I had a post-surgical infection, which improved greatly once I got on antibiotics.) I spent some hours last week feeling so horribly, horribly ill that it was a chore to get through the minutes. And I started thinking that someday I will feel that horrible again, at least once, because someday I really am going to die. Chances are not really great that I will have a painless death. And just about everyone else in the world will probably feel that awful at some point in their lives at least once. This thought is so distressing and depressing to me. I've had the hardest time training myself to live and smile in spite of this knowledge. I am world-weary.

Anyway, at some point this morning I got a grip on myself. Then horrible thing #2 happened:

I was released from my calling.

It's so stupid. I suddenly find that I have always looked down on people who have a hard time being released from things. (Just like I guess I used to look down on people with chronic illnesses.) So, in full knowledge that I am being petty and lacking in faith, I say here that I have been sobbing for an hour now because I have been released.

It's just not fair!!!!!!!!!

Several weeks ago they released me "temporarily" until the end of the year so that I could recover. I was always planning on resuming my calling. I have next week's singing time all planned out. I have the next few months all planned out. I figured this was still 2006, right? So I was going to take today off and return next week. I'm ready. I've been feeling better.

Now I desperately wish I had called and asked if I could resume a week earlier (today).

Because nobody even asked me. No one asked if I was ready to come back next week. They just told me, this morning, fifteen minutes before the meeting started, that I was being released, permanently, and that someone else was going to be sustained TODAY. "And then," he said, "when you are feeling better, we'll see about getting you another calling." What could I say? What could I possibly say, especially considering I was already crying?

I am not done! They are still my kids! I still belong in there!

I am so desperately, desperately sad about this.

I then couldn't bring myself to go to church, even though I was all dressed and planning to go, because I knew I couldn't keep myself from sobbing, and because I knew I couldn't sustain my replacement.


I will. I will get to that point. I just need a little time. I have so much faith in this bishopric, who are the ones who called me to this calling in the first place. I have loved this calling, probably more than I have loved any other. It has worked its way into my heart like no other calling has. I have never before felt this strong of a witness that I was supposed to have a specific calling. I know they were inspired to call me in the first place. Why, then, would their inspiration be wrong now? Of course it wouldn't. And even if it were, it is still my job to quiet my pride, my desires, and sustain them and my replacement. I have no doubt that God will have some other way to bless me now. He always has.

See, I do have faith.

It just hurts so bad, so very bad.

On Leading the Singing in Primary

They bob like blossoms in the breeze,
and I, the sun, hold love in my face
and sing to the bouncing, bumpy mass of them.
They dance, mouthing words they barely hear.

Surely, though, they feel the warmth—
see their upturned faces open wide?
I'm planting songs like pollen in their hearts.

Maybe someday, seasons hence, when rain
and cold have cracked the soil, spirit
words will be embodied, ripe:
blood-red fruit that sways in rushing wind.

I will miss you, children of the South Jordan 4th Ward. I have loved you so dearly. Don't forget me.
I see now, after a few hours of pondering, that some of my distress about this release--probably a lot of it, in fact, is rooted in fear:
What if these guys were inspired because God knows that I will continue to be sick for longer than I thought I would be?
For so long I have had next Sunday in mind as my goal to be better by. I have rested, planned, prayed with that date in mind. Maybe this is God's way of reminding me that I can't put my life on a timetable (and, least of all, Him). Maybe it is his will that I be sick for longer.

I hate this thought.
I am sick of being sick!
Also there is the pride aspect. I admit it. I'm embarrassed to be released after only a few months in a calling. I had plans to get good at it. I am embarrassed to know that probably the whole ward knows by now that I was upset about the release. I can't stand the thought of going to Relief Society again after these months in primary; my heart is still in that room with the kids. (Will I become one of the women who slink into Relief Society and sit on the back row and disappear as soon as the "amen" comes?)
No, I won't. God knows my heart, and how much I want to serve (also how much I want to get better). I have faith in the priesthood blessings I have received that tell me I will heal, and that I have a future full of health and energy ahead of me. (And even as I say this I think again about the dear souls who DON'T have health to look forward to. Aaah, selfish, selfish me.)
Blah, blah. So, I'm being a boob. I'm in mourning for my calling. So what? I'll take a few days to
pout around and then clean my face up and try to act with a little grace and maturity about the whole thing.


Ilove2travel said...

I'm so glad you miss your calling as much as we miss you. Here's what I think the plan is...

since we are switching to a junior and senior primary next week Jan is going to have to come in right after Sacrament do the opening, birthdays, visitors, etc.; then we send her to do nursery while we have junior sharing time, she comes back to do singing time with the junior primary, they go to classes and then she does it all again for senior primary. I think we'll have her worn out probably just about the time you are feeling better. I think I'm feeling worn out already!

c jane said...

May 2007 be better for you, my dear friend. I will be thinking of you.

natickgirl said...

All this coming from someone who was terrified of Primary children??? I'm having the opposite problem. Having served in primary for most of my adult life, I felt no nervousness about the call to be a counselor in this ward. "Sure, no problem, I've got all kinds of experience." (No pride there, eh?) I was wrong. This primary is unlike any other I've been in, probably because it's not in Utah. I am beginning to realize just how much I have yet to learn about being humble, and about loving the children. Maybe that's why I'm a Primary "lifer" (as Heather puts it): because I haven't learned what I need to learn. I'm not yet ready to "graduate" from Primary.

I'm sure the children felt your love for them! Children never forget what that feels like.

Darlene said...

Mar?? Is that you? Didn't recognize you at first.