Let me tell you about something that happened to me two weeks ago.
Before I start though, you might need a little background story.
First of all, I’m what people call: a Mormon. It’s one of the best things about me. It means I belong to a church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What most people don’t know about this Church is that it is actually the original church of Jesus Christ, which was lost for a while, but has been restored in our day, for people like us. You can find that out for yourself if you want, which I would highly encourage, because it will extend your heart into more than you ever thought your heart could become, and suddenly, life will make more sense, and you will know exactly what to do. You can’t fully experience that just by reading a blog, so I won’t try to make that happen right now, but you could start here.
Okay, so because this church is the same organization that existed in the beginning, it is run completely on revelation. That means we receive direction from God about what we should do. Anyone can do this in their own personal life. You can pray about individual things like, Where should I move? How can I be more patient? Who can I trust? God will send you answers in whatever way is best for you—a feeling, an experience, a friend– and then you can make the best choice based on what he sends you. Our church also receives revelation about what we should do as a group. This means we pray about who should be asked to do what at church. Who should teach the little kids? Who should help the unemployed people find jobs? Who should speak in church this Sunday? Who should regularly visit the elderly woman on Brawley School Road and make sure she has a friend? These responsibilities are called callings. Sometimes you get a calling because it will help other people. Sometimes because it will help you. And sometimes, usually, because it will help them and you. One of the main people that pray about these group choices, like who should do what calling, is called the Bishop. And recently, the Bishop asked me to fulfill a really big calling at church.
This is the part where I stop talking about my church at large and start talking specifically about me– the personal part.
When the Bishop asked me to do this big thing… when he told me that my full name came into his mind at while he prayed and that he received definite confirmation that this responsibility was for me… I found myself feeling surprised. In my mind, I thought something like this, “Really? I didn’t know I could still do significant things like that.”
Before that moment, I didn’t consciously recognize that I’d doubted my own significance, but I did doubt my own significance! I must have or else I wouldn’t have thought that. I don’t know when it started, but somewhere along the way I had started thinking that I was no longer on God’s list of people he could trust with significant tasks.
In the years before my mission, I remember feeling so empowered. I knew God was aware of me. I knew He knew my name because I could feel Him sending me to different people who needed someone like me. Someone like me, who believed in herself and had great faith in what was to come. Someone like me, who was capable of doing difficult things, things beyond her understanding, because she knew how to ask God for help. On my mission I felt the same way. God trusted me to help other people find Him and learn to rely on Him. God sent me to help other missionaries. He sent me to love people who were difficult to love. He sent me to do what I didn’t know how to do and was not capable of doing, because He knew I would seek Him out and receive His help.
Then I came home from my mission.
Then I found myself trying to be a daughter or a sister who didn’t get impatient or prideful or rude. Shouldn’t that be easy? I found myself struggling to manage my time well. Didn’t I learn how to do that already? I found myself to be pretty lame at doing the wife stuff I was probably supposed to be doing—cooking and keeping things clean and being pleasant all the time. I found myself batting with depression. (Again?) Again. I found myself with so many weaknesses. So many simple everyday tasks I couldn’t seem to do well. So many expectations I couldn’t seem to meet fully. I felt so… insignificant. For a while I was confused, Is this really the former Sister Brown? The former Lyndsi Shae? Is this really what I have become? I felt so anti-climactic. And so slowly, all that big-deal stuff, that helping-other-people-feel-loved and having-something-great-to-offer-the-world stuff, started to fall under the category of “former-stuff.” Those were things I just didn’t seem to be capable of anymore. I felt like I was nothing that special anymore, just, average. I felt like that’s just the way it was going to be from now on, or at least for a while, and that I should find a way to be okay with that.
And just like that I stunted my growth. I shrank. I receded.
And I didn’t even know it.
I didn’t even know it until the Bishop was saying that God wants me to do this big thing and my mind responded with “Really? I didn’t know I could still do significant things like that.”
And the thing is, of course I can’t do this big thing the Bishop asked me to do. Not by myself. That’s not the point because God will help me do it. The point is that I’m still on God’s list of people He helps, but even better, I’m still on His list of people He can trust.
And since then, I just can’t believe the change I feel in myself. I am not so heavy with deception. I am hopeful. I am believing. I am prepared.
Since then I feel like I was capable of significant things all along—I was just deceived into thinking otherwise. I was deceived into shrinking and receding because I thought I was insignificant. I believe that if you feel this way, you are being deceived too, and that you can, as my Mamaw says “cut yourself loose.” You can ask God to help you get free. And I just know if you are sincerely ready to act on what he sends you, it will work.