Sunday, April 10, 2011

Progress

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I have worked very hard in the last few weeks to move beyond the frustration and bitterness I have felt towards some of the women in my ward. I have worked to just be happy with myself. To just be me. It has been working, too. I have not felt anger towards these women. I have been extremely happy in my own progress towards forgiveness and repentance. I still do not have a calling, and I am still grateful for that fact. I have been working on improving myself. I have been reading a lot. I have put a renewed effort into our Family Home Evenings. I watched Conference with great interest. I have been studying and praying, and, in the last few weeks, I have felt more peace than I have in a long time.

I knew it was a matter of time before that progress was going to be tested. And then it happened: I was asked to substitute teach in an adult class. Thankfully, I was given three weeks to prepare.


Today that progress was going to be tested.
 
Today was going to be a day of reckoning for me.

And today is the first Sunday in a long time that I had a good day at church.

I was a bit nervous to teach...I never feel nervous when I teach, but today two of the women who have made my church life challenging (to say the least) were sitting in the front row. I was not intimidated by them (I am not a person who has ever been easily intimidated). I was, however, nervous for their reaction to me teaching. I saw their faces when I walked up to teach. They were not happy; they looked annoyed, but I cannot recall the last time I saw either of them smile when I was in the room. I ignored their faces and focused on the friendlier faces of the people around me.

As I stood up to teach, I felt the nerves wash away. I felt the Spirit uplift me and guide me. And then I felt a change. Maybe it was a change in them, as I swear that I saw their faces soften as I taught, interacted, and listened.  They even participated when I asked questions. Their participation was reluctant at first, but  as I worked to make eye contact with each of them, I thought I saw the reluctance waver. I felt the Spirit truly guiding my lesson. I felt inspired to share a personal story that I had not even thought of during my preparation. Other women began sharing, and the Spirit was so strong in the room. Regardless of anyone else, I know there was a change in me.

Truthfully, I have no idea what the effect was for them; maybe it was my imagination that saw their faces soften. Maybe their reluctance was my imagination. But it was not my imagination that felt my own heart softening. Maybe it was my heart that was finally forgiving. Not a maybe. My heart was finally softening.



I actually felt good while teaching. I taught adults for the first time in years, and I relished in the Spirit that I felt in the room. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I truly belonged. I felt that I actually made a difference in someone's life. And a difference in mine.

Progress made. And more to come...

1 comment:

Wendy Williams said...

Excellent! So glad you had a good experience. Way to go!!