This past Sunday, I was released from a calling I had held for two years and eight months. Allow me to explain- in the church that I am a member of, we are given calls to serve, and releases when our time of service is at end. My time drew to a close at 10:00 am Sunday morning.
I had been called to be somewhat like a shepherdess to the women in the Atlanta area. It was a calling that initially brought a tremendous feeling of inadequacy and in the end had planted in me a love for these women that will remain in my heart forever. It was a priviledge to be a part of their lives.
I did not serve alone. Along side me were two women who have become like sisters to me. We went together like good soup, each of us bringing something different to the pot, and when they were blended together made something that was delicious and nourishing.
I think that was the key- nourishing the women with the good word of God. Bringing them to a knowledge that they are beloved daughters of a Heavenly Father. ( I will not get preachy here, but is that not just the most wonderful thing to know?) Drawing them closer to the Savior by giving them opportunities to serve and to be served. It gives purpose to a life.
In the process, a connection developed that is difficult to explain. Like a beautifully woven fabric, our lives intertwined and strengthened each of us. Names on a page gave way to a face and the face to the heart of each of them. And each of them became important to me.
What this calling gave me was a greater capacity for compassion and understanding. Praying for these women gave me a deeper love for them. It kept me connected to my Heavenly Father and the Savior on a more intimate level. Those are the things I hope to carry with me forever.
This release has been a great gift. It allows me to know, with a certainty, that I am being watched over and cared for by a loving Heavenly Father. That what occurs in my life does not go unnoticed. It has brought me peace. joy, comfort and a surer sense of place.
So, the torch is passed on to someone new. Someone that I know and love. Someone who has all of the qualities to shepherd these women gently, giving them a place of solace from the whirlwinds of the world.
And I will serve elsewhere, in a place where my talents are needed. It doesn't matter where. As long as I am able to serve, I will- with a happy and grateful heart for the new flock and experiences that will come my way.
I hope my heart is big enough to hold everyone.