Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big Changes

for me, at least.

This is going to sound ridiculous to most of you (if not all of you), but I'm going to tell you anyway.

If you didn't already know, I've been in my home ward since graduating high school. I just never saw any need, or felt any desire to attend a singles ward. Most people end up in a singles ward because they move out to go to school or because they want to meet people. I never moved out, and I'm never really keen on meeting new people (due to my turtle-shell nature), and I love my home ward.
The week I graduated from high school I was called to the Nursery. I love the bitty children. I love them. So I was pretty happy, plus, also I didn't feel like I was ready to surrender myself to the "oldies" in Relief Society. So Nursery it was. And it was love.
Through nursery I learned to pay closer attention to the simple things and my eyes were opened to the true beauty of God's children. I gained a greater love for everyone around me, and it was all because of my bitty babies. Each of them taught me something I needed to learn, especially that underneath it all we are all beautiful people with hearts of gold, our differences only help us work together, we are all divine, and we all just want to be loved.
I spent two beloved years in nursery, and at the beginning of January this year, I was invited to move up with the bitty babies becoming sunbeams and teach their class. I was elated. But really. These particular bitties were the babies I'd started with. We had come in to nursery together and now we were moving on to primary together. Over those two years they had come to mean so much to me and I was happy to know I wasn't going to have to spend the next year wondering if they would remember me and all that we'd learned together. It would have been hard to have have made all this progress with them as they grew only to miss out on their new responsive selves.
We started the year out with seven beautiful bitty babies but along the way we lost a few to new homes and new wards. We're down to five and they are five of my very favorite people in the world. Hearing them (finally) refer to me by my name, listening to them stutter out lengthy stories, watching them smile with crinkly noses when I awkwardly speak-sing to them, asking them questions during the lesson to find that they are actually listening, truly feeling their whole-hearted and unadulterated love for their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I want to say that I don't even know why I'm crying right now, but that would just be a lie.

In the past two or three months I've had this recurring thought that I should go to the singles ward. For the first month or so, I ignored it and tried to think of anything else to get my mind off of it. You have to understand that the thought of a singles ward has always made me uncomfortable. When I was a junior in high school I swore I would never go to one, and meeting Kam only solidified that vow. 
This has not changed. Singles wards still make my skin crawl. The people are awkward, either too nice or oddly rude. I never do well with new people, especially when it's a forced type of welcome. I don't make friends easily, and I'm not particularly funny, witty, pithy, clever, or even all that interesting. Small talk always makes me feel like I'm going to blow chunks. And more than anything else I love my home ward. I love my babies. I'm comfortable where I am. I don't like change.
But this feeling just won't die. 

And I feel like this complacency is the problem. I've plateaued.
It's time to shake things up, to learn new things, to try new things.
To grow.
And as much it kills me to break my vow and leave the comfort of my home ward...
and as much as it kills me even more to leave my bitty babies...
I think I have to.

If I could just do both, I would. But I think Heavenly Father knew I would try to pull that so he made sure both wards would have conflicting hours.

I'm scared, and so sad, but I know it will be worth it.
Even if it doesn't feel like it right now...


Kayla said...

Ruth :) We can be Single ward buddies :)

Lys said...

I had a difficult time making myself go to the singles' ward but had a similar feeling of needing to anyway. And I never thought I would actually say this, but I am forever grateful that I listened. Not because I found me a mate (haven't gone on a single date with anyone in my ward, actually. this is the greatest flaw/blessing of my particular ward haha), but because there are things I needed to learn that I simply could not have found elsewhere.

Heavenly Father was very nice to me and he let me have a little time to adjust, so I spent a few months sitting in the back, and then a few months with a minor calling, and now in the Relief Society I kind of have to go the whole hog, but it's the perfect timing for me to do so! He always knows how these things work. I'm not sure I would have ever learned how to love people I don't get along with or how to pray so hard for someone else that it hurts or even how a real live ward works with real live adults if I hadn't made the switch. I've also found that my ability to recognize personal revelation in real time has grown exponentially.

It'll be a blessing in your life. I have a testimony of that (woo, a singles' ward testimony? is that a thing?), and I can't wait to hear more about it. Plus, it was so fun to see you at stake conf!

Ok sorry to leave a novel on your blog. But for what it's worth, I always always always love reading your blog and I thought you should know. That is all.

Kelsey said...

Singles ward is the pitts. I agree with everything you just said.

hailey said...

i loathed the single's ward and felt exactly like you......but somehow after being divorced at 23 i knew i needed to go back. and to my utter shock i was called to be the RS president after being back for only 2 months. It's the hardest/most rewarding thing i've ever done. i still have the hardest time being patient with everyone....but it's a phase in our lives that we all have to make it through...and just know, you aren't alone! many of us brave the single's ward weekly. and yes i swear i almost threw up on the front steps my first time back. UGH. good luck! heavenly father won't let you fail :)

Maddie Violet said...

I personally have not loved singles wards at first. They are awkward and the people are too nice or oddly rude, but I found if you just get really involved, it's easier. Not all the time, but most of the time. I find myself signing up to bring a dish because no one else will. Don't worry, I'm not much for small talk either...makes me nervous.