Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Moulding Process

A few months ago after sharing a sweet experience with the young adults in an Institute class, I sat thinking about what had just happened. I remembered clearly the overwhelmed and inadequate feelings I had when I received the calling to teach Institute. Yet that night, a few months ago, I felt like every single thing went right.  I loved whenever I had that feeling after hours and hours of preparation. In the more than three and a half years I taught Institute, the young adults and I shared some incredible spiritual and learning experiences together. And though not every lesson went like that, by and large I could pretty much count on having a spiritual experience with them every Tuesday night while discussing the teachings and applications of the Gospel.

It was a privilege to serve them, to learn from their insight, and to be a part of their lives. I felt the Spirit in abundance in that calling. Often the Lord would tell me exactly who needed to hear what on a certain night, and so that is the lesson I would prepare. So many of them needed a clearer understanding of the Atonement, and so, as a result of studying it, literally for years as part of that calling, I was personally blessed to come away with such a rich and truly deep understanding of the Atonement myself - in ways I had barely scratched the surface of understanding previously. 

Then I thought back to the first calling I had as a teacher in church. I was a very young adult and I was called to teach Spiritual Living in Relief Society in Florida, and I was BAD! It was a struggle/fail experience almost every time. I remember thinking, "Surely I'll never be called to teach again."

Funny how one of my primary self identities now is that of being a teacher. I LOVE teaching! (something I never dreamed I'd hear myself say...ever!)  Teaching comes very naturally to me now on many levels. Lessons at church. Music at school. Speaking in church. Substitute teaching as employment.  I must concede that the Lord was wise to call me to do something I knew nothing about - as part of my moulding process - to help me discover who He knew I could be, and become who I needed to be to fulfill the mission I was sent to earth to accomplish. 

I think back to who I was before having all the many callings I have had in my life. Each one has molded me in an important way. Each one has contributed to who I am today. And I like this "me" much better than the "me" I was before those moulding opportunites.  If you stripped away who I have become because of my callings, I would be so unhappy and undeveloped as that person.
Isn't that a common occurance in the cycle of callings in our lives? We go in unlearned and inexperienced, and we come out the other end of a calling having 'mastered' it (except, of course, when I taught RS!) and having become a person more closely resembling our better eternal selves as a result.

I have no idea why I have the new calling that I do. When I was called I instantly flooded the Bishop's office with tears - a lot of them! I think he was caught a bit off guard. I know I sure was.  But I submit and commit myself to the Lord's service, and to the service of His children, knowing I will probably have a few more notches carved in my eternal growth chart before all is said and done.  And I will thank Him for it. This I am sure of.

1 comment:

  1. Jonna, we are ALL so excited (my kids are too!). I had chills today when they read all your names; I am thrilled about who will be teaching my children the gospel every Sunday.