Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February love number 15

Tonight we had our monthly activity for relief society. I had to do a little schpeel about doing chore charts for our spring cleaning/home organization theme. I said what I needed to say and then asked for a few comments. After I was done, I was free to mingle for a bit. I pulled up a chair next to my neighbor Karen and friend Michelle and started to chat.

Now, I need to back up a tiny bit. Two Sundays ago, I went back to my old ward for a missionary farewell. I was all excited to go to church there that day, imagining myself sitting in relief society with some old friends, feeling at home and what all. After all, I was going back to the ward where I spent over 10 years of my life, the ward where they watched me go from completely inactive to teaching the lesson on Sunday. I imagined it would feel like home. But you know, it didn't. I didn't really talk to anyone that I thought I would talk to. I stared eagerly at the priests blessing the sacrament - they were the kids I had taught in primary almost 8 years ago, all growed up with deep voices and bored teenage stares at the congregation in front of them. My kids even wanted to go back to our regular ward for primary - something I didn't expect at all. I agreed to take them back and so we sat through the meeting, listening to the talks. When it was over, we left the chapel, greeting a few people on the way out.

I wasn't expecting this. I've been holding on the idea that I don't really belong in my current ward but in my old one. But I don't. I was excited to get back to sitting with my new friends in my new ward that day. It's a little bit like high school - you watch the people that you are in high school with for many years. You might see them go from nerd to captain of the football team in the space of a few years. But you still remember that person being a nerd before they were cool. Everyone in my old ward knew I had Issues. I was other in so many ways. I felt a bit like a charity case - oh, she's the one who has to come to church by herself. They saw my struggles and remembered. I don't think they judged me for it, but they still knew me back when I was - - - whoever I was 10 or 7 or 4 years ago. Not who I am today.

But I have that in my new ward. I'm just me. I still show up by myself, but it isn't a big deal. Shane and I can go to scout pack meeting together and I don't feel like everyone is nudging each other --- look who's here! --- behind my back. I don't feel on display or someone to be pitied. I'm just Becky and my kids are just Thomas and Ben and Shane is just Shane. How awesome is that! I realized it again tonight when I went and pulled up a chair and sat by my friends. They weren't my new friends or my second-best-friends-because-it's-the-other-ward friends. I might not have watched all their kids grow up from birth to primary to mutual, but there's time for that. We have stuff we talk about. I still gravitate towards the same type of person - someone who has common interests with me - but I realized I was talking to a group of ladies who know me and accept me and don't expect me to be anyone else but who I am today. They don't remember me from then. How awesome!! I finally am feeling like I'm looking forward instead of back.

I'm feeling the love for my ward. I know, how cheesy is that. But it's comforting too and that's okay.


Melanie said...

I guess it's true that you can never really go back. It's a little bit sad. But I think it's so awesome that you feel at home in your new ward. That can take a really long time. But you're so easy to talk to and down to earth, I'm not surprised you've made friends easily. :)

Lucy said...

I think this is very sweet and very true. I’m glad you feel comfortable. I hate that you ever had to feel that you were someone people talked about in hushed voices or a charity case because YOU ARE INCREDIBLE and AWESOME and every and any ward is blessed to have you. True.

Apryl said...

I'm also glad you like your new ward. I like my new ward because I don't have any friends there yet. I like being unknown & that no one asks me to do anything. I LOVE that I'm not in a presidency and that I only have to do what I'm told (make handouts! Woo hoo!!!). It is AWESOME. (And really horrible, now that I read this! Ha!)