Perfection def.- A feeling of pure joy & bliss; a “pain-free” environment (or so I thought, I was dead wrong)
I guess now that I am walking a mile in my own shoes, I am thinking a little harder on this subject. The conclusion that I was wrong makes sense now, but for some ridiculous reason, I never prepared to be whapped up-side the head with a brick of depression as my daughter walked out the door to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was supposed to be HER sacrifice, or so I thought.
As Mormon mothers we focus so intently on nurturing and teaching our children with their long term happiness as our goal, that we sometimes have not prepared ourselves for the realities of their plans to serve the Lord. Guess what? It’s not about us, it’s about the work, the field, white and ready for the harvest… but OUCH! It’s a hard pill to swallow, a pill we are unprepared for.
I think with this historic wave of Sister Missionaries we may also need a wave of Celestial Support Groups. No, I am NOT joking.
For the last few years, I have attended exactly zero Relief Society events that have happened on any day other than Sunday. My main excuses are: I am exhausted from my elected positions in the community, my callings, my 2 jobs and my service in multiple community groups. I figured that my time served in a Relief Society Presidency somehow exempted me from participation for the remainder of my life.
Since 1991 I have served in some constant capacity in the Boy Scouts of America, even before I had a son. I was determined to help rear the kind of young men I hoped to someday have as sons-in-law, and as such, I have always been prepared.
As a trainer on the county Community Emergency Response Team I have taught others to be vigilant and to be prepared for every scenario life could bring.
I did not prepare for this. Tomorrow we take our daughter to the Missionary Training Center, her ultimate destination: Tokyo, Japan. I walked past her room and her sheets were removed, her bags packed and her ultimate teenage offering of her IPOD, cell phone and laptop sat on her bedside alter to be put away for the next one and a half years – and I burst into tears, I bawled like a selfish, ungrateful mother, moping around whining to anyone who would listen.
But you know what? People have listened, women have shared stories, given me hope, solace, peace and lifted my spirits. Which women? Oh those would be my Sisters In Zion, yes my own Relief Society friends and acquaintances. You know, the ones that I haven’t paid attention to, interacted with or built any meaningful friendships with? Yep, those ladies.
We always hear how much families are blessed when their children serve missions, but the Lord doesn’t just bless them for the sake of their parental status, I am learning that we are truly blessed when we make hard sacrifices. That thought brings me so much more empathy for my perfect Heavenly Father, you know the one I always thought had the perfect, pain-free zone around Him?
Yep, the Heavenly Father who sent his Only Begotten Son to Earth as a sacrifice for our sins, that we may return to Him? Funny how a simple life experience can teach you so much… gotta run now… headed to Relief Society with my daughter before she gets set apart tonight.