I felt so on top of my game! I had lots to say in Sunday School, and I didn't get all nervous and flustered and my face didn't turn bright red with the stress. Which, hasn't happened in a REALLY long time. When I first started going to the single's ward, I was a mess. I was so shy and I didn't know how to make friends and I didn't talk to anyone. But I forced myself to make comments in class and participate. And then I was called to be a RS teacher after a few months in the ward. I could comment in class until my face turned blue, I was so okay with it at that point. And then I stopped being a teacher. And then a bunch of new people got put in our ward. And it was no longer this cozy little den of a ward. It felt like we had been invaded (no longer feels that way, btw), and these newbies were all beautiful and way more spiritual than me and I was no longer good enough to comment in class. So I stopped. And when I did comment, my voice was all shaky with Nervous. And my face and my ears would turn red because of stress and vulnerability. And that was hard. I had a hard time with that.
But lately, I've been trying really hard to be more vulnerable. This is not the first time I have had to really work on that. I have a hard time being vulnerable in large groups of people. It's hard to let people love me. To let them look at me and see me. And SEE me for me. But, I also love the rush of participating in class, and helping others feel the spirit. And sharing my insights with "outside my brain" peeps.
I gave the thought at ward prayer tonight because I was one) lazy and didn't want to go through the trouble of finding someone at church to do it. And two) I feel like I should sometimes take a turn when I am having to ask other people to do it.
And you guys. I was clearly inspired to give the thought that I gave. And it was so cool. Aside from the fact that I cried A LOT. Like, the whole time, basically.
I talked about how I was kinda freaking out when I was preparing to go through the temple. How I knew that it was from God, and I knew that God wanted me to do this and HE knew I was ready, but I just didn't know if I thought I was ready. I didn't FEEL ready. I went into April's general conference just pleading with Heavenly Father to give me SOMETHING. Something to help me feel okay with all of it. And during Elder Gerrit W. Gong's talk, "Always Remember Him", there was a paragraph or two that were the answer to MY prayer.
"...we can always remember Him by trusting when the Lord assures us, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”...
Once we repent and priesthood leaders declare us worthy, we need not continue to confess and confess these past sins. To be worthy does not mean to be perfect. Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness invites us to be humbly at peace on our life’s journey to someday become perfected in Christ, not constantly worried, frustrated, or unhappy in our imperfections today. Remember, He knows all the things we don’t want anyone else to know about us—and loves us still."
As soon as I heard this part of the talk, I was immediately overwhelmed with peace. I knew that I was ready... because God knew I was ready. If we do the things that God asks us to do, even when we don't feel ready or adequate or ENOUGH, he will bless us. He was bless us ESPECIALLY if we feel unready, inadequate and less than enough and we do it anyway. If we will put our trust in Him. In His timing. Heavenly Father knows. He knows all the things about me that I don't broadcast. The mistakes I've made. The things I don't like about myself. AND LOVES ME STILL. And he told me that it was time to go to the temple. So, I did it. And I felt good about it.
I went to a fireside with Sister Oaks a few weeks ago and of COURSE Elder Oaks was there and said a few things. The topic that he focused his remarks on was TIMING. It's all down to timing. And even though going to the temple at that point was not MY timing, it was the RIGHT timing. Because it was 100% GOD'S TIMING. I gave it all over to Him and I know now that I did the exact right thing. I know that God has a plan for each of us. And it is completely tailored to you. And even if it's not YOUR timing, its going to be perfect timing. Because God knows exactly what you need, when you need it, to not only get YOU back to Him, but so you can help others along the way.
My bishop came up to me afterwards and told me that I answered someone's prayer tonight. The Spirit was definitely present, I was overwhelmed myself (hence all the crying), so I feel pretty confident that the bishop was right. And that is SO AWESOME. I love that. I love being that for someone. And like SO many people came up and hugged me (which I'm starting to get more used to) and even some VERY unexpected people hugged me. Which... I didn't hate? I don't know. Today was just a really really good day. And I'm really happy. A good end to a good stretch of time off and a holiday. Yeah.
Life is good.
God is great.
You are gorgeous.
-Reille K. :)