Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Being Prepared

It was just a little over four years ago when the Bishop extended me a call to teach in the primary.  Although I was very excited to finally have a non-music calling, I wondered a bit about the divine inspiration that had led to the offer.  Kirk was serving as a ward clerk and had mentioned to the bishop that I had never had an opportunity to serve in any capacity besides music, and a week or two later, I found myself with a new calling.

That opportunity recently ended, with what seemed like about as much inspiration as it had begun.  I was released after bursting into tears when, during Adam's baptism interview, the bishop asked me how my calling was going.  After I explained that my increased hours with children due to student teaching made me very impatient in primary, he told me they would find a replacement.  "But," I explained through embarrassed tears, "Shouldn't my release come as a prompting from Heavenly Father telling you, 'Sister Fife can't handle this?'  If you haven't been told that, maybe I am just supposed to handle it."  The bishop explained that my bursting into tears was the prompting, and I gratefully accepted my release.

But one week later, when Kirk's not so subtle hints to both bishopric and Sunday School presidency ended in an extended call to teach Gospel Doctrine, I started to feel a little... overlooked.  Didn't Heavenly Father have any specific plans for me?  Would I only ever serve in capacities suggested by my husband?

I accepted the call, excited to do something so challenging, and appreciative of a husband who is willing to advocate for opportunities for my personal growth.  But I still wondered a bit at why it seemed the sequence of events was man-made, when I have been taught that callings come fro Heavenly Father.

I prepared my first lesson carefully, trying to adapt my experience with teaching kids to techniques for leading a discussion in a room full of people smarter than me.  I rehearsed certain sentences in my mind, working out the rambling, choosing efficient words, basically writing it out like a blog in my mind.  I prepared a graphic organizer to keep me on track and to offer as a take-away for the lesson.

I didn't really notice my lack of nerves until Sunday morning when I reflected back to day 1 of my student teaching.  On that morning, I was sleep-deprived and nauseous from the extreme nerves.  I paced at the back of the classroom until it was my turn to teach.  But the morning of my first gospel doctrine lesson, I was calm and well-rested.  And at that point, I realized something.

The Lord had prepared me for this calling.  In the pursuit of my elementary education license, I have had so many experiences that contribute to my ability to teach adults (without freaking out).  And I realized something else.

If the Lord had prepared me months and years in advance, then this must be a part of His plan.  And how my Heavenly Father chose to carry out His plan should be no concern of mine.  Just as I have been taught, callings are extended from our Father in Heaven, and I now get an opportunity to do a job for which the Lord has prepared me.

I am not overlooked.  My Heavenly Father loves me. 

Now I just need to pray that the nervous rash that starts at my neck and spreads to my chest and face will not appear during my next lesson so my brother-in-law and Kirk's friends will not feel it necessary to remind him not to give his wife hickies on days when she has to teach Sunday School. 

I was not particularly prepared for that.