Friday, January 15, 2016

Relief

The day after I wrote that last post, the Bishop of our ward came over and called me to be the Relief Society President. My journal is full of the emotions, thoughts, and experiences that have filled my heart since then, and I hesitated to even write about it here. I decided that I did want to mention it though because my children are too young to remember this time, and I want them to be able to look back and see that this calling has already been a blessing to our family and continues to strengthen my testimony. 

My feelings are tender and sacred. I have never felt the Spirit so constantly and powerfully in my life. The Lord is blessing me with giant measures of love and an intense desire to study the Gospel. I love the sisters in Relief Society. I love that my calling, first and foremost, is to offer RELIEF. What an amazing responsibility! I love that it is not only my calling, but that it is the calling of every sister within our individual societies across the world. We are to love, uplift, encourage, improve, and enjoy each other. Many people have said things like, "Oh dear this calling will take up so much time!" "I feel bad for you, wow what a big calling" and even "I'm sorry that you were called, how will you manage with three kids and this?" I understand where they are coming from and yes, as far as callings go this one does come with large time and energy commitments, but what better way to spend our time? My heart is continually pondering how I can best help these women and their families, and it is an incredible, merciful feeling to get a glimpse of the way the Lord feels about us. 

I had a headache for three days after I got called because my brain was on overdrive, learning everything I could and positively soaking up the Gospel and deeply thinking about the sisters in the Trendwood Relief Society. I was driving to meet with a dear friend about her experiences as a Relief Society President and as I listened to one of my most favorite, dearest hymns I had a beautiful realization: the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a RELIEF. 

It is a RELIEF to be worthy of the constant companionship of the Spirit. It is a RELIEF to know that my prayers are heard and answered in the way the Lord knows they need to be. It is a RELIEF that we have so many resources to study and learn about the Gospel - scriptures, conference talks, journals, histories, videos, family counsels, Sunday meetings. It is a RELIEF to keep the Sabbath day holy. It is a RELIEF to be able to fall back on sweet and simple truths during times of difficulty. It is a RELIEF to know that the Savior deemed me important enough to suffer for my personal sins and failings and then die for me so that I can live with Him and my family again someday, and it is a RELIEF that I have the opportunity to bring this testimony to those in our Relief Society who have forgotten and need to feel the love of Jesus Christ. 

It is an enormous blessing to feel love for sisters whose names I see on our roster but don't know anything about, and it is even more wonderful that part of this calling means I get to organize the effort to minister unto them. The Lord is in charge - He sees everything, has a hand in everything, guides us and directs us and is there for us. It is amazing to feel like an instrument in the hand of God as I have tried to do His will in an extra measure the past two weeks. I have already seen so many blessings and, truly, miracles in this work, and I feel an intense and divine gratitude to my Heavenly Father to be privy to these experiences. 

One last thing before I get back to regular posts: counseling with the Lord about who needed to be my counselors required more faith than I think I have had to utilize previously and has changed the way I pray and rely on the Lord, but I want to emphasize that He sends us EXACTLY the right people to be a strength and a joy in our responsibilities and it is a tender mercy to see blessings and proof that the women in our presidency are all there for specific and critical reasons. The unity we have all felt despite our obvious differences is palpable and sweet. 

"Charity never faileth" - "Love one another as I have loved you"