Monday, April 1, 2013

Today I was served up a generous portion of humble pie. Here I've been allowing myself to become so overwhelmed with our calling as Seminary teachers and feeling sorry for myself... and then my lesson this morning turns out to be exactly what I needed to remind me of the way things really are.

My struggles with seminary have included but are not limited to:
  • the M-F preparation and teaching nature of the calling
  • the early hour of the class
  • being scared in the building on the days I go without John
  • still not having been released from my teaching assignment for Sundays
  • the compounding effect of being in a new full time job (twice)
  • trying to take this on as a newly-wed couple
  • feeling too tired to do the little things like have family home evening, go to the temple, make dinner, and even reach out to friends and family

So I got all fired up this week and emailed our Stake President basically begging him to get on my Bishop's case so I could finally stop worrying about preparing 6 lessons a week and just focus on my 5.   It's not that I don't LOVE my Sunday School class. I really do, but it's too much while also teaching seminary. Anyway, one email turned into one emotional breakdown in the Bishop's office on Sunday. I mentally shot down every one of his nice pieces of advice in the beginning - but did genuinely come out feeling sufficiently pep talked and ready to finish out these last 8 weeks.  

But so when it reallly became clear to me was as I prepared this morning's lesson. 2 Corinthians 11-13. Those who will not endure the thorns of mortality can never enjoy the roses of eternity, I learned. Exaltation doesn't come easy. It is not a cheap experience. And we not only need the faith to be healed - but also the faith to NOT be healed. I need the faith to accept that if it's the Lord's will, these trials will continue. My burden isn't always going to be lifted. My hope, however, is in Christ and in the power of actually changing the nature of the experience from burden to blessing through acceptance and love. 

“As we confront our own trials and tribulations, we too can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, that we “might not … shrink”—meaning to retreat or to recoil. Not shrinking is much more important than surviving! Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus. Continuing, we too may experience moments of mortal aloneness. These moments are nothing compared to what Jesus experienced. Nevertheless, since our prayers may occasionally contain some “whys,” we too may experience God’s initial silence. Certain mortal “whys” are not really questions at all but are expressions of resentment. Other “whys” imply that the trial might be all right later on but not now, as if faith in the Lord excluded faith in His timing. Some “why me” questions, asked amid stress, would be much better as “what” questions, such as, “What is required of me now?” or, to paraphrase Moroni’s words, “If I am sufficiently humble, which personal weakness could now become a strength?” -Neal A. Maxwell

As Elder Bednar said in his recent youth fireside, I too believe that "Strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting His will and timing in our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted." Sometimes I need to be reminded that I believe it, but I know that I do. 

I do enjoy seminary. I love our kids. I have enjoyed studying the scriptures in a way I haven't done since my mission. I feel healthier getting up early and kick starting the day. I know it is a blessing and I am grateful for it. But don't call me bitter for being grateful when it's over!


kassidi bridge said...

I really love this. It always seems that with time I'm able to see that "His timing" is everything. Perfect, and always in our best interest. It doesn't change the fact that it's hard to understand NOW. It's so human to want answers, and to try and figure things out logically...instead of fully accepting His will and timing. Hang in there sister, you are doing awesome. I know it!

kassidi bridge said...

p.s. I was thinking about this post again this morning and just wanted to agree with you on the fact that we're always going to have trials. Like last year at New Years I looked at Bran and said, "There is no possible way next year will be harder than this year (with all of the miscarriages)." Then BAM. Cancer. That scripture in Corinthians is so awesome. Thanks again for sharing. I'll be thinking about it all day.

Jenna said...

I was called to be a seminary teacher in August. The stake president told me he felt bad calling me because it is sooo hard. But I love that it forces you to be in the scriptures every day and you get to form a relationship with your students. I won't miss waking up at 5 and planning lessons each day. its like a 20 hours a week calling! What age are you teaching?

amanda said...

Faith NOT to be healed. sighhh. and thankkkks. this post was/is a good gig.