In the middle of the weekend before Quayd came home, I had, what I am convinced is my biggest shock ever! Bishop dropped by on Saturday night with his wife to visit about Quayd’s return. Then, on Sunday, we spoke a few times again about Young Women and Quayd and a few other things.
Later that night, Bishop texted and asked if we could meet on Thursday night. He’d already told me that he had an assignment for Quayd that night and I assumed that he meant that. Then, after a few more texts, I realized that he wanted to speak to Doug and I. Then, he asked if we could meet in a few minutes. I asked Doug if he had any idea of what the Bishop wanted. I was clueless.
Thirty minutes later, the Bishop appeared at our door. We invited him to have a seat in the living room because the girls and Ben were in the den. He handed me some cookies and said, they were “condolence” cookies. I said, “Why would we need condolences?”
He then went on to explain that he had known this and felt strongly about it for over two months, but that he had been fighting the feeling because he did not want to take me out of Young Womens. He decided to "wait for the right time." He said that he’d called and spoken with our Stake President, earlier in the day, in lieu of all that we have on our plate right now, and this being the craziest time imaginable to do this, President Burns said that now was the right time, "Do it today!" and, he continued “Sophia, the Lord wants you to serve as the Relief Society President in our ward.”
I was too speechless to say a word! I just started to bawl! Doug looked at me with tears in his eyes. I asked him, “ME? There are so many amazing women in this ward, Bishop. I’m a counselor, not a president. I’m a great counselor! But, I’m not a president! He said, “You are now.” And with that, we discussed it for the next hour and more. Finally, he asked, “So, you haven’t answered me. Will you serve as the Relief Society President?”
I have never felt so humbled, so surprised, or felt so so so many emotions! I’ve been a counselor to Relief Society Presidents, Young Womens Presidents and Primary Presidents for most of my adult life. I’m a great counselor! I do what I’m asked. I’m creative and put my fun flair on things to make them over the top and wonderful. That’s a gift that Heavenly Father blessed me with. But, a president has so much more responsibility than making things over the top pretty and fancy. The serious and more important responsibilities are theirs, such as welfare and compassionate service to those in need. And this ward is filled with some of the most remarkable women I’ve ever met who could do this so much better than I could. I was nervous, overwhelmed, scared to death, mostly humbled.
I am anxious to get to know and serve these wonderful women. We bought our home, moved into the ward and after only a few months, Doug was called into the Young Single Adults. I attended with him in the YSA until I was called to serve in the Young Women in our home ward. For the past year and a half, I have not spent much time with the sisters in the ward because I’ve been in YW. I’ve tried to be with Doug, supporting him in his calling and honestly, I didn’t think that I could name ten women in the ward. HOWEVER, I’ve driven around our neighborhood at 1AM for the past two weeks, looking at the ward directory and map, looking at photos of the ladies and I know a lot more than I thought, by name. Now, I will have the opportunity to really get to know them as I serve them. It will be a new adventure in our lives. I’m just praying for the strength to be able to do all that is asked of me and to be healthy enough to give it my all!
I spent the next two weeks on my knees! I was literally thinking about selecting counselors and the Relief Society while we were at the airport picking up Quayd. I actually texted the bishop from the airport and said, "What's wrong with this picture? My son is coming down the escalator in a minute and I'm thinking about Relief Society!" I had a wonderful experience and confirmation of who my counselors should be. I was also asked to choose a compassionate service leader, to be called immediately. The answers came to me with strong witness that these sisters were who the Lord wanted me to serve with at this time!
I was sustained and set apart last Sunday. This week has been such an eye-opener. I've learned very quickly just how time-consuming and demanding the calling is. And I've loved it. I've enjoyed visiting with sisters, getting to know them, helping them with specific situations and challenges. I still feel so inadequate and realize just how much that I need to learn! I have spent a lot of time praying and asking for guidance as to who needs my help and how I can help them and simply to be able to recognize the needs of those around me.
This will be an interesting experience, to say the least. I'm happy to serve. It was funny. We didn't tell the kids right away. Finally, ZJ said, "OKAY! WHAT IS GOING ON??" She'd walked in on my and found me on my knees too many times and in tears often. Quayd came in from a meeting and said, "Mom, here's a scripture for you." He then read, Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." That verse gave me hope and strength! I can do this! I'm blessed to live in a wonderful ward with wonderful women and families and a great Bishop. I can do this.
One last thought, I was asked, just before the meeting, to speak for a moment at the beginning of Testimony Meeting last Sunday. As I gathered my thoughts, my first thought was of the girls that I will no longer be serving in Young Womens and the awesome ladies that I've grown so close to this past eighteen months! I will truly miss them and have really grown to love them.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love His church! I love the growth and learning that comes from serving in it! I LOVE the relationships that I have gained through the years of serving in the organizations of the church! Life is good!