Sunday, January 17, 2010

Insight

Life has been hard lately. But before I get any further, if you are reading this and have a comment to make telling me that I should let go of certain responsibilities, please don't even say it. To a lot of people I am crazy. I take on too much. This church I belong to dictates my life. I've heard it all from people who are not of my faith.

I was called to be Primary President back in March of 2009 (in a ward of about 170 children under the age of 12). When I was first issued the call, I was scared beyond description. I was overwhelmed, yet excited. I had a surge of what I can only describe as a spiritual adrenaline rush. I had to rely on the Lord a LOT during those first couple of weeks as I painstakingly chose counselors. It was hard and I learned a lot about how the Lord works. I remember that sleepless night after the bishop issued me the call. I remember having a distinct understanding of how much the Lord knew me. He was aware of me and I felt his love. I had an asurity that I would be blessed by accepting the call, so accept the call I did.

I received the calling only one month after discovering I was expecting our fourth child. Those first few weeks in this calling were very difficult ones but I gained a lot of invaluable experience. As I naively awaited the blessings promised to me, it seemed that the opposite began to occur. Rather than seeing blessings come to pass, I received trial after trial. One of the most excruciating trials of my life occurred during that time with the death of my dear brother. I couldn't help but wonder why this was happening.

To make matters worse, our financial situation has gone from bad to worse in the last several months. We continue to pay our tithing and we are doing the things we should be doing. Both Cody and I are faithful and very dedicated in our church callings. We serve others and we are good parents. Why hasn't the Lord blessed us with what we "need" and "deserve"?

Life has been hard. Money is unexplaiably tight as of late and there are days when neither of us know how we will make it until the next pay period. Unexpected expenses seem to hit us from every angle lately. As I've struggled to come up with a solution, I decided to start teaching piano lessons to bring in a little extra money. Piano playing is one of the few lucrative skills I do have (conducive to being a stay at home mom) so I needed to capitalize on it. So now the precious few hours I have a day to get anything done or spend quality time with my children are now taken up with teaching piano lessons to 17 students.

This weekend was stressful and last night I felt I couldn't take any more. I tossed and turned most of the night and I realized that SOMETHING has to give. I toyed with the idea of telling the bishop I needed to be released as the Primary President. This morning I could barely drag myself out of bed to get ready for church. I did not have it in me. It was my turn to do Sharing Time and I dreaded getting up in front of the kids, teaching a lesson without my heart in it.

This morning I unintentionally exploded all over Cody. I cried and cried and he listened to me. I told him how I was contemplating asking to be released, and he discouraged me. I was a little surprised. He gave me a few words of encouragement and then I got ready for church. I did not have it in me this morning to get anyone else ready for church so Cody stayed home with the older three kids.

During Sharing Time we did an activity that included some songs. While I led the children in "A Child's Prayer" my eyes filled with tears and I lost my voice.

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?
Some say that Heaven is far away,
but I feel it close around me as I pray.

I knew at that moment that Heavenly Father still knew me like He did months ago when I had my answer to accept my calling. He had not forgotten me. He has seen me hurt and struggle over the year. He knows my pain and the desires of my heart.

I decided to talk to the bishop. Our bishop is an amazing man. He is my age and definitely the youngest bishop I've ever known. He is so full of insight and wise beyond his years. More than anything, I just needed to vent to a "neutral" party. I cried in his office and he just listened. I poured out my heart. It felt good to have someone listen. I told him how stressful my calling is and how it is affecting my life. I told him of the many trials I've encountered since I accepted it last March. I told him how instead of life getting better for us, it seems to have gotten harder and harder. Why? What was I doing wrong? I was doing everything I could, yet it wasn't enough. Why?

Then he opened the scriptures to me. He read from D&C section 122-


"If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;....And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

We talked about Joseph Smith. He had done EVERYTHING the Lord asked of him. He did everything right. He gave everything he had. And he suffered immensely. It's the refiner's fire.

Bishop pointed out some very interesting wording in that section- "If thou art called to pass through tribulation". How stressed how interesting it is that it says "called". He said that The Lord has chosen me to test me. In a way it should be an honor that I was called like this. It is very hard at times, but the Lord picked ME!!!

Right then I knew it would be okay. The bishop and I talked for a long time and gave me some very inspired counsel. I walked out of there with a terrible crying hangover, but I felt rejuvenated. I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows me personally. He knows of my trials and my heartache. The blessings will come. I know that times won't always be hard like they are now. Life won't always seem so out of control. For now it is very hard, but it won't always be. I'm thankful that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to burden me so.

10 comments:

Mandy said...

Wow, such sound advice! You do have a pretty amazing bishop, and you are pretty amazing too. You'll get through it! Lots of love to you!

Chambers Family said...

And I thought I was busy! You truly are amazing. I don't know how you can handle 17 students. I had 7 at the beginning of last year and now I am down to 2 (and not complaining too much!), but no one wants to take anymore?? I think that the harder the objective, the more rewarding in the end. Hopefully that is how it will be with your calling. I have changed from the pianist to the choirster! It's a big difference, but I love it:) I do have a lot to draw from with my mom:) I hope the Lord will "strengthen" you to deal with your challenges. I think that is how he answers our prayers instead of taking things away. I hope things start looking up for you! Even though I haven't seen you for so long (has it really been around 8 or 9 years??) I feel so close to you through your blog. My heart goes out to you. If you ever need someone to talk to: give me a call - 435-730-3510!

Sarah Stiles said...

Thank you for sharing that! I so so so needed to hear that!

I feel like every day is an immense trial. New trials every day. The burdens are sometimes too much, and I feel like all I can do is cry, because it seems like there is nothing else TO do.

I love that scripture, and I am going to write it down and put it by my bed. I think I have always known how true it was, but it helps to be reminded of that. Frequently.

By the way, if there was a "Bishop Thatcher Fan Club", I would so be in it! Truly a man of God in every way!

R.D.L.L said...

Veronica- you are amazing. I know first hand how difficult it is to be a Primary President and have young children at the same time - but I only had 2 young children - not 4 and I was not teaching piano lessons at the same time. There were many many many times when I thought about how my calling was stressing me out and taking me away from my family - when the church is supposed to be all about strengthening families right? But I do believe that the Lord blesses your family and more than makes it up to them somehow. Just remember what I told myself over and over - you can't be a perfect primary president when you are a mother of young children. I know you, you are an absolute perfectionist and anything less than the best is not good enough for you - but it is impossible. Focus on being the best mother you can - people are watching you and looking to your example of motherhood and through that you will be blessing the children in your primary. Focus on the missionary aspects of Primary and delegate everything else. Call me anytime to chat or vent, looking back I wish I would have listened to my own advice:)

Joey and Nettifer said...

I think you are doing an amazing job! If you ever need me to watch the kids so you can do more or just get things done. I would love for them to come over and play! I am VERY serious with this offer!
Hang in there!

bethany said...

First of all, I have so much respect for you-teaching piano, Primary President, 4 kids...I don't know how you do it all.
I too have been feeling this way-why us? We try to do everything right, yet it's been one thing after another-Zak lost his job, we had to move, our house situation fell apart, we were threatened with a lawsuit, this past week our car up and died and fixing it was going to cost more than what the car was worth....the trials just keep coming. My Dad pointed out the same thing though when I was complaining to him-in fact, he pointed out ALL of the many righteous people that have suffered despite their diligence. Job, Joseph Smith, Mormon... Most of the people in the scriptures suffered enormously--no one is immune. It's the refiner's fire. One thing that is always a comfort to me is that there is opposition in all things-that means for all of the awful things that happen, there will be equally wonderful blessings that we will (and do) receive.
I read this talk by Elder Eyring about 100 times while Zak was unemployed:
http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,49-1-1032-7,00.html
We'll be praying for your family1

Bellie said...

Sweetie you do have a lot on your plate I admire you for doing it all. Hang in there the blessings only come after the trial of your faith, and when it does it will be that much rewarding and sweeter :)

Living My Dream said...

That is one of my most favorite scriptures and one that helped me walk through some of the trials we have gone through in the last couple of years. I told myself a long time ago that my goal would be to sit down in eternity with great men like him and then I realized what I asked for... and that trials would come to help me be worthy of such blessings... how could we possibly feel we could associate in the eternities with great men and women if we have not walked through our own trials and had faith that we could get through them better and stronger! You can do it!

Ute Family said...

You know, I know there's a lot that we can't do to help but that word "delegate" needs to be used more by you. Margo, Alicia and I are totally here for you. Please let us do more. You are an amazing PP and I see the love you have for the children. And hello, you're kids are so sweet and so well behaved so we all know you're an incredible mother. Like everyone has said, just hang in there and the Lord will continue to bless you in ways that you can and cannot see!

Jylaire said...

Veronica!
When it rains it pours for you! I love that you always seem to find the silver lining, or at least know that "this too shall pass." I really enjoyed this post; not because of your struggles, but because of the great counsel you sought out and shared with us. We could all use it! Thanks, and know that I'm thinking of you!

Blog Archive

Follow by Email