I know we’ve talked about this subject before, but since I’m currently debating with myself over it, I decided to bring it up again and let the rest of you debate with me.
I’m currently the leader of the wolf den in cub scouts (with another woman) and the teacher of the 6-7yo primary class (with my husband). I hate it. I’ve been doing them both about 9 months, and I’ve hated them pretty much the whole time. I guess the primary class was okay for two or three weeks, but that’s about it. I knew I wouldn’t like the callings when I accepted them, but I’m a big believer in accepting any and all callings, so I did. (The one exception to this was just before they called me as a primary teacher. They wanted to call me as the primary music director, which I would have liked a lot more than being a primary teacher. Unfortunately, I had a 15mo son and my husband was already a primary teacher (with another guy), so there would have been no one to watch my son.)
I’ve never wanted to be a primary teacher. I don’t connect that well with kids between about 6 and 13. I mean, they’re nice enough, but if I get to pick I’d much rather be around toddlers or teenagers. But there are many callings that need to be filled, and many of them are ones that people wouldn’t pick, so I try and do my part and accept callings even if I don’t particularly like them. (Oh, and I certainly never wanted to be a scout leader. I personally think the church shouldn’t be involved in BSA, but that’s an entirely different discussion that I don’t want to have here.)
So I accepted the calling, and was even faithful about doing it. As time has gone on, I dread it more and more, and I do less and less for it. (For instance, at the beginning my husband and I were switching off who taught the lesson every week; now I make him do it every week, and I just sit in the class and help.) I hate the calling so much that it makes me want to avoid church entirely. No, this is not rational, since the calling pretty much just involves sitting in a room with my husband and some (actually pretty nice, though rather rowdy) 6yos for 40 minutes. Not that big a deal, right? And yet, I dread it. A couple weeks ago when my brother- and sister-in-law were visiting, I thought “Hey, they have two who are going to be in nursery, too, so they’ll probably need extra help in nursery. I can stay in there and get BIL or SIL to go to class with DH.” I know it’s pretty bad when I’m more than willing to go to nursery with my two toddlers (who I see way too much of) just to get out of going to our primary class.
So, I really want to be released. I’m miserable and hating church. But I haven’t yet managed to convince myself that I should ask to be released. Part of this is because I know there are other people who do callings they don’t particularly want to, but they are good and gracious and do them anyway. I feel guilty asking to be released from a calling that really isn’t that hard. I also worry that if I ask to be released, they’ll release my husband as well (because it can be hard to find another guy to teach primary), and my husband actually enjoys the calling and is really good at it. I’d hate to deprive him of the chance to teach just because I don’t want to. I also feel like I can’t ask to be released from cub scouts, because if I don’t do it no one else will. They’re currently trying to fill 4 other cub scout leader callings (and have been for a couple of months), and they can’t. So like I said, if I don’t do it, no one else will.
On the other hand, I’m miserable. I dread church. I hate going. I’m also starting to get bitter and resentful. A few new families have moved into the ward recently, and the wives have been called to do things that I would really love to do. One was called into YW, another to teach RS. And I find that I resent that they get these callings and I don’t. After all, I’ve put in my time in a miserable calling, shouldn’t it be my turn for a good one? Shouldn’t they have to put in their time being miserable before they get to do something good? I hate that I have these thoughts, but that doesn’t stop me from having them (at least sometimes).
One more thing that further complicates my thoughts on the whole affair: I have asked to be released from a calling once (kind of). I was the chorister and a nursery leader in the ward that we moved to right after getting married (and I got called to these soon after moving into the ward). I enjoyed the callings, but after almost a year I still felt like I didn’t know anyone in the ward (except for the few who had 2yos). I was feeling very alone since I also didn’t have friends outside of church (I had moved to a new state when I got married and didn’t know anyone), so I determined that I would ask the bishop if they could call someone as a substitute nursery leader to take my place once a month so that I could go to RS and get to know some of the adults in the ward. I made an appointment with the bishop, told him my concerns, and asked if they could do this. His reply was that they’d actually been planning on calling me to another calling, and the next week they called me as the RS secretary, where I got to know the sisters of the ward really well. It really made me feel as if the Lord was aware of me and what I needed. So now I’m even more hesitant to ask to be released, because if the Lord’s that aware of me, doesn’t he know what I need now? Wouldn’t he inspire my current leaders to call me somewhere else? Does he really need me to keep being miserable and do what I’m doing?
I have no answers, just lots of questions. And lots of passive-aggressiveness. And way too much over-thinking. But thanks for listening to my ramblings. Please feel free to share advice (kindly), or your own personal experiences.
- 15 August 2008