Sunday, February 1, 2009

It’s not what I would have chosen…

I was reading Denae’s blog tonight about her calling.  And I left a super long comment about how much I love callings…and thought I’d turn it into a post.

Our church is run by unpaid members.  We are “called” (asked/offered/requested) by our church leadership to serve in various capacities throughout wards and stakes.  We do not ask for these callings (at least we shouldn’t) and often are not necessarily qualified for the callings we are given.

Picture 063Picture 030August_08_003

(Some pictures from callings in Primary, Cub Scouts and Girls Camp)

I have a deep belief that these callings come from God.  I believe He inspires the men and women in charge of our church to place people in positions where they can grow and change and where they specifically can bless lives. 

I have been deeply blessed by every single calling I have received.  There are some that I have been excited about and would have chosen myself (Young Women’s advisor/teacher) and some that scared me to death (Ward Choir Director, anything to do with Girls Camp). 

And that is the beauty of callings.

Heavenly Father knows we are creatures of habit and comfort.  He knows that we, mostly, are happy to do what we enjoy and think we are good at.  But where is the growth in that?  How reliant would we really be, if we only did what we had time for/were good at/enjoyed?

I have never had a calling that I didn’t end up loving.  And I have never had a calling that I couldn’t, with Heavenly Father’s help, complete in a manner pleasing to myself and Him.

Today in Relief Society, our teacher told a story   about a young boy who sneaks away from his mother at a famous pianist’s concert.  He ends up on stage plunking out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  As told by Elder James E. Faust:

“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.

“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’ ”

This is my testimony of callings.  As we accept those callings that come to us and try our very, most prayerful, most diligent best, He will encircle us and make of our work a masterpiece.

I am so grateful that I have been able to try my hand at Teaching, Girls Camp, Activities Chairperson, Cub Scouts, Primary Presidencies, and even Choir Director.  If I had said no because of fear or busy-ness or pride, I would have missed out on amazing friendships, incredible experiences with the Spirit and witnessing the Father’s love for all of His children.

I am so happy the He has confidence in me.  I am so happy to be called.

29 comments:

Annemarie said...

I needed this. Cub Committee Chair is getting old.
A friend in our ward bore his testimony today saying that his son (10 years old) said "Dad, I want to bear my testimony. Will you walk with me to the front because I'm nervous." Our friend paralled this to the way we call on Heavenly Father. We want to do or accomplish certain things, but (hopefully) we ask for His help when we need it.
Thanks for the reminder!!

Jeanelle said...

Love this! I asked my home teacher for a blessing tonight because I'm worried about my first camp meeting of the year this week and it was just what I needed. I love that Heavenly Father never leaves us alone in our callings -- He is always there and ready to help when we need Him. p.s. thank you for your sweet comments on Gabi's blog! :)

jessica said...

AMEN! You know how I feel about this because we have talked about it many times before...hey I just realized you didn't return my call...call me tomorrow...

Anyway...I absolutely loved serving with you in the trenches of Primary. I miss those days...we had such and awesome team. I love callings...when we do it with our whole heart the blessings overfloweth...

Abbie said...

So true. I was pee-my-pants-knees-shaking-about-to-die-cry-every-saturday-night (okay, you get the picture) scared of Primary Music Leader and wondered over and over and over why the heck He asked someone who can't sing a solo to do this calling (we all know that all you do in Jr. Primary is sing solos and act like a clown and pray that they feel the Spirit). It was really so hard for me.

Then I got it down! And love love loved it! And I was so blessed with confidence in all areas in life. I wasn't scared to introduce myself to new people, I could get up in front of people, I could comment in R.S. with confidence that I knew what I was talking about, etc, etc. I was so the right person for the job, even though I'm sure the teachers didn't love my breaking voice. But I did it and loved it and I learned and I grew and I was happy.

blah blah blah, could this comment be any longer? In short, amen!

Jenna said...

I love the analogy of the pianist. Sometimes I feel like I have given all that I truly have to give and it is still not enough. Luckily, I am strengthened far beyond my own ability to keep going. Some callings are definitely more fun than others but I always learn.

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, Jessica...I really needed this. I try so hard to do my callings well...I need to remember to take my concerns to Heavenly Father and He will help me.
I am in Young Women again and I am having a hard time with the weekly activities. I don't want them all to be fluff...but I am having a hard time with getting the girls to desire to do anything but play games and have fun. I really need to be more prayerful about it. The nausea isn't helping because I just feel lousy...I just want everything to be meaningful and it hasn't been working...at all...

I need to be more grateful for my chance to serve...not be overwhelmed and feel, "put upon".

Liz said...

What a great post! Sometimes, our callings are hard, then just as we get used to them, they change. I know I'm getting entirely too comfortable with my callings right now. (Cubmaster and Scout Advancement Chair) It makes me nervous just to think what might be coming next!

andrea said...

i'll bet you find out more about people's church experience through comments on this post than you ever thought you'd know!

i've been president of almost every organization in the church, and never dreaded it. i loved the challenge, loved the responsibility, loved the stretching and growth. then i had the whole life-falling-apart experience, and became the nursery leader. i felt like i had failed so badly, i was being demoted.

little did i know.

the calling couldn't have been more what i needed at that point in my life. and i grew to love those kids so much, that at the end of the year, i threw a dignified yet whiny fit until the primary allowed me to move on as their sunbeam teacher. wait, did i just ASK for a calling in SUNBEAMS. yep. who'd'a thunk. god is good!

rubberbandgirl said...

Well, someone was inspired!
Needed this.

Lisa-Marie said...

Can I just cut and paste Abbie's comment? That is EXACTLY ME right now. Yesterday was my second time as junior singing time leader. It is so much fun and scary and embarrassing all at the same time.

shauna said...

Amen. I agree. Beautiful thoughts!

Ilene said...

Still need a calling. I'm trying not to let the lack of one shake my faith.

I mean it is easy to not have any responsibilities but really, I need something to make me more involved and help me grow. Heaven knows I won't do it on my own.

Jenibelle said...

Wonderfully written and obviously very needed. I am lucky because I have the best calling in the church and I love it and will do it till the day I die if they would only let me!!!

D-dawg said...

I totally agree. God knows what we need so much more than we do. For me, it tends to be the opposite of what I thought I needed. I'm looking forward to finding out what I'll be doing next. I love our church.

Kara Jayne said...

awesome post jess..as usual! i feared my current calling for years and actually cried when I received it. it is ABSOLUTELY my favorite calling ever. shows how much i know. the church is amazing and gives us so much more than we give.

Christie said...

Bowing my head in shame for having just spent a good part of an hour griping to my husband on the phone about my calling. Thanks for the gentle wake up call, friend.

Kirbell said...

You just have a way of saying things, Jessica. That is a great gift. I need to stop being scared of my calling.

Brooke said...

I think that post was for me because I haven't received a calling yet out here in CT but worry that it's going to require alot with all the other demands of a newborn. So thanks for the great insight and now I feel a little more excited about whatever calling I get.

gab said...

Yes! Amen and Hallelujah!

I think it is also humbling to be released and realize that Primary/Girls Camp/Enrichment really does not revolve around you...and that even though you gave it your all...the Lord will pick right up where He left off with somebody else.

And I am happy happy happy that my Seminary lesson is planned and I got to read this post before my early bedtime! Thanks, Jessica.

Bridget said...

Totally agree. The one calling I am really scared to get would be Gospel Doctrine teacher so I'm sure someday I'll have to do that. I have loved every calling I"ve had for different reasons. Like Ilene said though, it is hard to NOT have a calling. Then you really have to do your own personal digging to find places to serve but that works too.

Paige said...

Good point. i would NEVER pick cubs but completely love it.

AMY said...

Great Attitude. Others should read and be inspired.

Hazen5 said...

Thanks! Sometimes I need a little reminder telling me I am were I am supposed to be.

AZ Karen said...

This is written just for me. I am struggling with my calling right now, and that story really helped put things into perspective. Thanks.

queenieweenie said...

that story gave me goosebumps...so inspiring.

i was DEVASTATED when i was called into nursery (we had 50+ kids and one of them was mine)...but it ended up being SO MUCH FUN!

Carie said...

What a great post Jessica. This more than anythings makes me wish we lived closer.

Momza said...

I am reminded that we are called where we are needed and sometimes we are called because we need.

Great reminder!

Bethany said...

You and I have talked about this. I'm SO glad you have a testimony of callings...for multiple reasons. There's always an amazing and personal lesson in store when you accept a challenge from Heavenly Father.

Meg said...

That was beautiful. I feel like calling Education Week and let them know who they should book next. Talk about an exciting calling.