*** DISCLAIMER: this post is mostly for cathartic reasons. If it babbles or rambles, please understand that it is mostly stream of consciousness and I need it to find peace and closure. ***

Remember how a few posts ago I talked about a serious disappointment which gave me a migraine and serious emotional unrest?

This is the story of that time.

When I turned 18, instead of going into Relief Society with all the adult women, I was asked to lead the music in Primary. 

And thus began my career in the Primary. Since then I have been the song leader three different times, and a teacher more times than I can count! And I have loved it more than words can articulate. The children are so wonderful and entertaining, and the spirit that is always with them is impossible to explain, but is something that has always lifted my spirits when I was down. I have had three breaks from Primary since then. Once was for the 18 months when I served as a missionary, once when I was a Young Women leader for 6 months, and then for one year I was on the activities committee. As much as I loved serving in other capacities, I have cherished my time with those Primary children, and when I am called to serve elsewhere, I miss them dearly.

September 27th was our Primary Sacrament Meeting Program. It was beautiful! The children were amazing, and the feeling of love I have for those kids nearly burst me. They did such a wonderful job, and I know that they touched many people there. That following Wednesday I was asked to visit with the Bishop. That whole day I lived in dread. I couldn't imagine why he would need to see me. I went through all the possibilities in my mind as to why he would conceivably want to talk with me, and I came up with 
  1.  We failed with the Primary Program. Which I knew wasn't true, but... what if?
  2. He needed to talk with me about some names we had submitted for callings. That didn't seem very plausible either.
  3. He wanted to release me. But I had only been in half the time the other Presidents had been in, so that couldn't possibly be it either, right?... But what else could it be?
With that final thought, the trepidation grew and the knot consumed my whole innards, and the dread became colossal. I talked with Jeffrey about my worries before I left, and he just laughed at me, assuring me that it wouldn't happen.

And so I met with my bishop.

And my nightmare became a reality. 

Bishop thanked me for all the hard work we have put in over the year and a half we were in, and then extended a release to me.

I said no.

He smiled, and said it didn't work like that. He could see my love for the kids and the calling were immense, but it was time for me to step down and for someone else to have the opportunity to serve in that capacity. I had to take many deep calming breaths and look at the floor in able to speak. I impressed myself with how well I held it together. We discussed a few other things, and then it was time for me to go home.

And that is when I lost it.

I got out into the Pumpkin and the full on adult sized tantrum began. I screamed and banged on the steering wheel. I broke down into shuddering sobs and screamed some more. Because screaming felt so good, it helped somehow. I didn't want to go. I wasn't ready. I felt for sure that I would have at least three years in the Primary, like the other presidencies had. I was excited for next year's theme, and was already making plans for it. I was thinking of Christmas gifts for the children and the teachers. We had several callings we were waiting on to get things taken care of, and the Primary is in charge of the Fall Festival and service project. It wasn't fair to throw a new presidency in for that. They wouldn't know what to do, and they would only have a week to prepare for it. I actually enjoyed going to Ward Council, and would miss it terribly. I would miss the kids and the teachers, and how on earth was I expected to go to Relief Society and not get to have a once a week meeting with my wonderful counselors and secretary?! I did not want to go!

I got home from my meeting with the bishop about a minute later (we live very close to the church), walked into the house, and ran straight for my room. The tantrum was still in full swing. I was no longer screaming (as much), but I was experiencing body shuddering sobs and the inability to suppress my cries. Jeffrey and the girls did what they could for comforting me, but I really just needed to be alone and get my heart-break out. Because I was heartbroken. Such a mammoth disappointment had been suddenly given to me. And while I knew I was being irrational, I couldn't help it. 



And that is why I got a migraine for two days. And that is why I cancelled all my plans. And that is why I disappeared for a few days. I needed to get myself okay to be around people without bursting into tears, embarrassing myself, and making everyone around me feel crazy uncomfortable. 

And today was the much dreaded day where I was officially released. I knew it would be a hard day, but I couldn't not go and say goodbye to my kids, they are like family to me, and I love each and every one of them! In Sacrament meeting they released me.

And I blubbered.

They called the new presidency, and I know they will be wonderful and do an incredible job, but I still don't want to go.

I went to Primary, and I was holding it together really well, until our music leader began teaching the kids a new song. We'll Bring the World His Truth. This happens to be my favorite Primary song, and for months I was wishing there was an excuse to teach it to them. But I couldn't stay in the room and listen to them learning such a powerful song without crying in front of all of them, and because a lot of them are so little, they probably wouldn't understand why I was crying, so I had to leave the room. A few times!

I have never had a reaction to being released from a calling like this. Except for my mission. I didn't want to come home, and I cried for a few days. But at least I knew exactly how long it would be and could ready myself for the release. This one came as a sudden shock.

I had a nice visit with the bishopric counselor over Primary today, though, and it helped. He said it is okay to not want to be released. I have been praying to be okay with this, and to want the Lord's will, and to understand. I have been feeling guilty for not wanting to go, and hearing him say that has actually helped quite a bit. He also said that he didn't understand why I needed to be released. I had told him about a month ago that I love my calling and never ever want to leave it, and so it had been hard for him as well, but he knew it was the right thing. All I can do now, is continue to pray for peace and understanding, and to seek for it. 

I have been assured that one day I will be grateful that I was released. I have a hard time seeing that, but I trust in the Lord and know that my plan isn't His plan. I just have to figure out how to align my plan with His. 

Basically, I love the Primary. It isn't a mystery. But if I am needed to grow in other areas, I will do my best to do that.

This is what happens when you love a calling too much, I guess. Hopefully I will be able to love whatever calling I receive next, as much as I love this one.

In the work of salvation, there is no room for comparison,
criticism, or condemnation.
It is not about age, experience, or public acclaim.
This sacred work is about developing a broken heart, a contrite spirit,
and a willingness to use our divine gifts and unique talents.
~Carol F. McConkie


Chantel said…
We submitted your name for a RS teacher in the Ogden Ward but got told know because the Primary had asked first!! How you feel about Primary is how I feel about Gospel Doctrine. I'm going to cry when they release me!!! You'll do wonderful wherever they call you.
i wish I could be as devoted towards callings as you! I can say I have only ever been relieved to get released, which makes me wonder, what am I doing wrong? I think what you felt towards your calling is probably how all of us need to feel with our callings and when we aren't progressing it's time to move on! I am anxious to hear what your calling will be next. Maybe you are needed somewhere else right now. I hope you are having a great day and are able to feel the comfortings of the Spirit! I hope you make a follow up post cause I can't wait to hear where the Lord sends you next.
Susan Anderson said…
It is always a bittersweet feeling for me to get released from a calling, especially a big one where I've really invested myself. Sometimes it's hard to trust the inspiration that says it's time to move on, but I've always been able to get a confirmation when I open myself to it.

Can't wait to hear what's next for you. Be sure to write about your new calling when you get it, okay?

*Jess* said…
I've been an inactive member since I was 18 so I've never held a calling within the church. However, your experience is so different from what I grew up with. Both my mom and stepmom never felt joy in their callings. In fact, I remember when my stepmom flat out told the Bishop, "No, I will not do that. Nope, not going to pray about it, either." The fact that you served your calling with 100% dedication and joy speaks volumes about you as a person.

I know that it seems like "the end" for you in Primary, but you will fall in love with your next calling, I know it. And whomever you serve, be it your Gospel Doctrine class, Early Morning Seminary instructor, or YW president, I know you will make a difference in their lives.

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