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Feet Don't Fail Me Now

Discussion in 'Latter-day Saints DIR' started by Bishka, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    This is a wonderful little article about a sister who was less-active because of her 'uniqueness' from most of the 'saintly sisters'. Reminded me of me actually.



    [SIZE=+2]Feet, Don't Fail Me Now[/SIZE] I have always disliked my feet. They do tend to get the basic foot locomotion job done; it is just that my pinkie toe has this bizarre, warped, peanut shape and my big toe is club-like. My feet are callused, lumpy, and just a little weird. But then, so am I. For example, in college at my very first homemaking meeting, after having trouble with the walls of my traditional Christmas gingerbread house, I made a gingerbread freeway complete with a squirming snowman under the tire of a tractor-trailer -- all while other women created virtual Taj Majals in gingerbread. Clearly, in this situation and others, I have felt weird -- even out-of-place -- amongst the sisters.










    Unknowingly, I thought that I was the only person ever feeling uncomfortable amid such categorically saintly women. In fact, as I became an adult, I wondered if there was a comfortable place for me in the Church. At home and at seminary, I was taught the Lord's Church has a place for everyone -- and I knew that in my brain, but I didn't necessarily know that in my heart.





    The feelings of distance and alienation became stronger as I traveled through my college days, and not always through the actions of others. Because I felt I didn't fit in, I didn't want to try. Proud enough to think that different meant better, I began to cultivate my weirdness. Plaid pants, spray-painted gold shoes, and big chips on my shoulder were a regular part of my wardrobe. A new vocabulary seemed to accompany the unique apparel. My speech began to contain words and ideas that tore down those around me. I mocked those who did "fit in." Indeed, I moved right into the penthouse in the Great and Spacious Building. Satan laid that trap for me and I walked right into it. No, I didn't just walk there, I ran.


    Soon after college graduation, I married a handsome and talented young man who didn't mind my feet. But I didn't marry in the temple. Isaiah was speaking of me when he wrote, "thou has said in thine heart, I am, and none else besides me" [Isaiah 47:10]. I decided that I was special, thus not all the commandments applied to me. I couldn't have been more mistaken.


    Now, I am certain that I am not the only sister -- at certain moments -- to feel separated from the membership of the church. In hindsight, it is reasonable that the adversary would tempt me to notice my differences -- to lead me to believe I didn't belong. As a righteous member of the Church, striving to follow the Savior, it was difficult for Satan to tempt me to break into my neighbor's garage, steal his car, and flee to Argentina. It wasn't as hard for him to whisper, "You don't belong here. The others don't like you. You are better than they are." I began to believe those lies. I said to myself, "If the membership doesn't want me, then I don't want them." Why wait for them to push me away? I decided that I would separate myself from the body of the church and save my self-esteem. At this point, my self-esteem went from low to almost non-existent.


    Soon after our wedding, I stopped going to church regularly. I had ignored the counsel regarding temple marriage, and I paid the price by becoming more of a stranger. Depressed, I stayed at home and found plenty of "excuses" on every Sunday. After a few years and a few moves, most of my visiting teachers, home teachers, and friends had stopped checking up on me. My family was worried, but they prayed and hoped that I would return to "the body of the church." I unhappily but steadily walked away.


    Before the birth of my second child, I pulled myself up and, full of false bravado, I returned to the Church. Without the gospel, I didn't feel like myself and I wanted the comfort that the Savior and his Spirit bring. So I walked into a Homemaking meeting with my head up, ready to admit that I had been "less active" (which needs to be whispered). The possibility that some good-intentioned member would begin visiting, her arms loaded with brownies and her mind set on making me the ward service project was frightening. The prospect of scarlet letters "L" and "A" emblazoned on my chest was not encouraging either, but I was committed to living the gospel. I returned, determined to stay, serve, and grow on a permanent basis.


    I began to understand that I have specific gifts; I wasn't expected to have them all. I am required to magnify my gifts and work on developing the rest. In softball there are many positions. I like to be noticed for my abilities, and in the more elite positions like shortstop or pitcher it's possible to standout as a player. But in church softball there exists the position of "Rover." Instead of sticking to one spot, the Rover is counted upon to run around wherever you see the team needs help. If there is a batter who really rips the ball up the middle, as the Rover I get to station myself right on second base. If my first baseman just broke up with her boyfriend, I am able to run there to back her up. The Rover is the greatest position! It is there that I get to help wherever I am needed.


    For example, in the Young Women program in my ward, I'm not in the "decorate for New Beginnings" position. No one ever consults with me on possible color themes, musical selections or asks me to teach a class on make-up and hair, and I don't blame them. But if there is a roadshow that needs to be written, or a computer that needs to be fixed, I rove that direction. If there is a less-active girl who loves science fiction novels or someone needs help with an Emily Dickinson paper, I can help.
    This ability to rove where needed is a strength that I possess both on and off the softball field. It is one I finally began to recognize as a gift from a loving Heavenly Father to a very needy daughter. Regular, old, weird, proud, talented, daughter-of-God me -- possessed a skill that was needed. The body of Zion needs feet!


    It is beginning to sound like my husband arrived on his white horse, with his temple recommend in hand ready to sweep me off of my feet and ride into the "happily ever after." Surprisingly, this is not exactly how it has happened. At times I still feel I don't belong as I wrestle my children in the back row of sacrament meeting alone. Sometimes I fail at a homemaking project and often no one understands my jokes, but I still attend. I pace down the "straight and narrow" serving at the temple alone, having Family Home Evening without my husband, and praying that in time we will all be sealed as family. My faith comes from believing that the Lord will "take up [my] stumblingblock out of the way" [Isaiah 57:14]. He will take my stumbling-block of pride, fear, and inadequacy. Once again, Isaiah was speaking to me when he wrote, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that . . . the lord, . . . fainteth not, neither is weary? . . . He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. . . . [But] they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" [Isaiah 40:28-31]. These words bring me comfort and I plead continually, "Feet, don't fail me now!"
    -- A Reader in Arizona
     
  2. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    This reminds me a lot of me, and things I need to change, I feel that sometimes I'm running right into that great and spacious building.
     
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