i learned a lesson today at church.
me: "i hate singles wards"
b: "i hate them more"
me: "bless..this ward. just bless it."
this was the conversation my friend and I had before sacrament today. this was after i sat through a 30 minute sunday school lesson where the teacher giggled about adam and eve the entire time and said 'like' more than i would have 'liked' her to. i thought about getting up to leave, but didn't want to be TERRIBLY rude...so i just tuned her out entirely and pulled out my conf talks on my phone. ANYWAY. it was a frustrating day at church to say the least. i think i may have rolled my eyes.
sacrament began, announcements are made, the 2nd counselor then says the bishop is out of town for the next week so please hold off on sinning, (i found this hilarioius and gave the singles ward 1 point for this) and the hymns were sung.
in walks a girl with a dress so short, my friend and i almost audibly said a prayer that her entire behind wouldnt show to the rest of the congregation when she sat down. and please bless she was at least wearing underwear!!! lucky for us, her hiney was covered as she sat...but was terribly close to being exposed. (note to young, hip, stylish, fashinista girls: hooker shoes and short dresses shant be worn to church..but if they must, CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER!!!!)
this gave me another reason to roll my eyes.
right before the sacrament, my friend says to me...
b: "this is the second sacrament i'll have been to today...soooooo......"
me: "welp, my mom just had surgery and i should go take care of her anyway..soooo...lets bail after the sacrament is passed?"
i knew i probably shouldnt leave..what if one of the speakers were really good? i mean, the speakers WERE visiting adults and not 18 year olds. but i just wanted to. me and my dear friend have had this conversation more than once unfortunately, as we are guilty of sneaking out of our ward. it is just uncomfortable to be in a setting where testimonies are being borne about how grateful they are for 'the wind' and how members like to get up 10 minutes after the alotted time is over, to tell the whole ward how much they just love 'outer space' and how cool they think it is. (NOT JOKING).
so, after the sacrament, my friend whispers to me...
b: "i think i'll stay for at least the first speaker..."
a familiar face got up to speak. i didnt exactly personally know this woman, but she is a friend of a dear teacher of mine and i knew who she was. she was from the stake, and began to speak about how excited she was to be in this specific ward today, as she had been looking forward to it for about six months now.
she began speaking about the importance of recieving personal revelation through the spirit....and how it is the most important skill we can acquire. she then rhetorically asked the congregation if anyone had had a revelation from prayer or the Spirit that did not 'pan out' or did not come true.
I thought to myself...'well yes.' but i thought that the answer to that rhetorical question was 'it will always come true and will always pan out if you receive the revelation'...so i was a little inwardly discouraged as maybe this talk was going to make me feel like a loser for getting that answer.
wrongo. this is what she said:
"I am going to give extreme examples here:
Do any of you young singles...ever feel like things arent fair? You feel you are doing everything right...going to church, paying your tithing, praying, keeping the commandments...but feel like you are being left out of the blessings of being married and finding your spouse? do you feel frustrated and alone because you feel it isn't fair, even when you are doing all the right things, and you have a rightetous desire that is still going unfulfilled? do you feel undeserving because you aren't getting these promised blessings and watching everyone around you recieve them?
Are there any of you sisters...who was dating a man, and just loved him SO much. SO much, that you decide to go to the temple and ask a loving Father in Heaven if this is the man you are supposed to be with forever? and did you get that wonderful, peaceful feeling that the answer was YES? were you so excited to spend your life with this man because you loved him SO much...and couldn't wait to tell him the confirmation you recieved? Did you get this revelation and feel your prayer and inquiry was answered? And then.... three months down the road, only to have him leave you for another woman, and marry her instead.
Do you have a 2 year old sister, who was recently stricken ill with cancer...and had to watch her fight for her life? Did your father give her 3 blessings, blessing her that she would LIVE through this disease and be healed, only have her to die 6 months later?
Or perhaps you may experience something like I did..to watch a child have a wonderful life with a wonderful husband and children...only to be on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. and as a mother, i got the reassurance after praying that she would be okay, and it would work out. And six months after this mental breakdown, she left the church, started living a different lifestyle, and is excommunicated. She is now divorced, and I am watching my grandchildren go through this. I wonder... that if i got the revelation that everything would work out..why couldnt it work out now, or even soon? soon enough that she could at least raise her children?
because as humans, we have this finite time schedule in our mind...we want it in our time. but it is not in our time, or our way. It is in the Lord's, and it is in the Lord's own time and own way. Do not let your faith become diluted because of these experiences. Do not slowly stop believing because things didn't pan out the way you thought they would. Are you going to let your faith be diluted? Are you going to give up? Are you?"
i tried to not cry in the chapel, but my snot and tears were about to get the best of me.
....this is just what i needed to hear. its what i've been needing to hear for months. it made my heart ache. so much, that i ran to the bathroom after her talk to go cry a bit in the women's bathroom.
life is tough. and it is tough when you get answers to prayers that you recieve and you think to yourself..."finally!".... and then they don't 'pan out' the way you thought they would, or SHOULD or in the time table you believed and felt they would. i have experienced this and it is unbelievably frustrating and confusing. it is difficult to submit your life to the will of the Lord, but that is the only way to survive. His hand is in all things. He has the opportunity and ability to bless us any time and in any way. We must remember that. We also must remember that there is a reason we go through things and the trials and tests are for our refinement. And we are being tested, as to whether or not we will give up and walk away, or stick it out. and its not easy. Its the furthest thing from being easy.
After her talk, me and my friend stayed for the rest of the meeting, without discussing the option to leave.
I'm really glad i stayed at church.