Monday, March 2, 2009

In Which Sue and Her Spouse Undergo a Sea Change

Early Sunday afternoon, my husband was sustained as bishop of the singles ward in our area. It's a humbling and sobering responsibility, and we've spent an interesting week since we found out this would be our new direction. Sometimes, in our 36 years of married life, we've sort of known a certain calling was coming, but this one arrived as a complete surprise to both of us. 

I'm not sure why it never occurred to us that we would be in this position. We love young people, and a couple of our adult children have attended this ward in the past as members. One of our very good friends has already served as bishop there, and a couple of the counselors have also been dear friends. We've attended the ward to hear our children speak, spoken at the ward when my husband was on the high council, and had many of these young adults in our home. We've even attended a couple of their YSA dances, though I'm not sure why. (Were we chaperones?...Do they even have chaperones??) I guess I'll find out, soon enough.

At any rate, the theme for us this year will obviously be change...change from one bishopric to another, change from one ward to another (though I hope to keep my calling and attend the "home ward" frequently enough not to be a stranger), and change from being empty nesters, whose contact with the younger generation is decreasing, to full-on participants in a young adult community. Our lives are going to be very different. In fact, they already are.

For example, my husband has done the previously unthinkable by creating his own page on Facebook. Okay, he actually asked me to create it, but still! It seems the new bishop is diving in head first. He's even conceived a specific e-mail address for ward purposes. (To understand how "big" all of this is, you'd have to know how disenchanted he's always been with most things internet.) For him, computers have existed for work only...and never, EVER as a tool for enjoyment. At this rate, he'll be blogging by next which case I will know he has been forever altered. I'm not holding my breath, by the way.

Of course, he's been preparing spiritually, too, and so have I. Becoming a bishop (and a bishop's wife, for that matter) at our stage of the game is no small commitment. Thankfully, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, we "don't have to see the whole staircase; just that first step." Today we took that first step. (On second thought, we took the first step a week ago, when we accepted the calling.) We were filled with gratitude to think the Lord would trust us with such a stewardship, and we were filled with trepidation to think the Lord would trust us with such a stewardship. There's always that dichotomy in life, isn't there? 

One thing's for sure. We aren't going to let fear hold us back from serving these great young people. It felt good to be among them yesterday, and we are both looking forward to this unexpected but not unwelcome journey...this sea change.  


PS. Here's a funny thing...When he said my husband's name and asked him to stand up in the congregation, the stake president used the word "they," so I stood up with him, thinking we were being introduced to the ward. Turns out, the stake president was going straight into the sustaining, and the "they" referred to his counselors. Needless to say, I sat down quickly! Later I asked the stake president if he'd been afraid I was going to be sustained...
I think he kind of was.


Natalie said...

How exciting!! You will be a tremendous blessing in the lives of those single adults! A sea change...I like it.

Love and hugs to you!!

jen said...

I've missed so much on your blog since I've been on vacation.
Your analysis of the talk was amazing, and I'm going to spend some time with TSM today to see what he said!
Thanks, and best of luck with the bishop thing. What an adventure!

Lisa Loo said...

too funny about the standing! congrats and good luck on the rest!

em said...

sue, so fun!!!! when we lived in rexburg sean was the 2nd couc of a singles ward. it was our favorite ward. the single adults were so inspiring. so much energy. i loved getting to know the members of the ward. it was the first calling i've ever had (or sean's ever had, rather) where i really fell in love with the members of the ward in a deeper way than ever before. i still have such fond feelings for that experience. awwwww, sue, i'm so happy for you!

Kristin said...

you guys are going to be awesome. and come on, you deserved to stand up. you'll be doing tons of work, too! haha.

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