In October, just before Hurricane Matthew, I was going to church pretty regularly. One Sunday, my Bishop calls me into his office and asks me what I know of callings.
I basically knew this:
But I had a feeling, a feeling that because I was a music teacher they were going to ask me to do something musical. I dreaded this because I was not feeling remotely cuddly about my profession at that point. More music, like working 5 days a week with it isn’t enough. Playing piano (not so good at that), learning hymns, other adults… opinions, comparisons, judgements…
Anyway, back to the Bishop’s office. I’m sitting there and he makes sure I understand what a calling is and then offers me what I expected him to, but with a twist.
Primary Music Leader. I would work with two other ladies in shaping the learning of 4 year olds to preteens.
Gosh that sounds a lot like K-12 Music to me.
At the time, I try to sound excited I mean, how do you tell your Bishop you’d rather go deaf than teach one more music class?
So I tell him I would do it, but I need to ask my husband about it. Interestingly enough, if Ry was Mormon too, they would need his permission first before they even extended a calling to me. I could accept or refuse on my own accord still, but they would have to ask his permission. The idea is to not cause extra stress on the family situation I suppose? So old-fashioned. However because he’s not it was truly up to me.
Now here’s where it gets foggy. I don’t think I ever came back and officially accepted this calling because the Hurricane hit. We were out of school and church, for almost a month. While one weekend I helped with disaster relief specifically with the church (I did more volunteer work just not specifically with the church), I pretty much saw nobody until we returned to school in November.
Then, I might have gone one Sunday maybe two in November (doubtful), and nothing was brought up. I completely missed Church in December. Most Sundays I was at home with a sick son or a sick husband. I even got sick after the concert.
So I kept my diseased self home, away from the church babies who I was also afraid of infecting.
I figured, they figured I wasn’t really worthy. Which made me feel like… I was letting people down but at the same time I was totally going insane at work trying to get 9 weeks of band music/learning/skills crammed into my student’s brains in 4 weeks. Hurricanes can upset your timeline, when they knock you out for school for almost 3 weeks. Sick men left and right, having your parents bring you food, trying to get enough paid/to eat/medicine is really exhausting.
January, I missed a week and then mentally shook myself. I was well, Ry was well, CDubs was well. I needed to be back in church.
But what about this calling? Surely they think I suck by now. Let everyone down that knew about it. Why would they even want me? At the same time, do I even want this calling? I’m not exactly perfect for this position…
They say, prayer organizes the mind. Maybe its God that organizes a person’s thoughts. Maybe it’s with God’s help a person can organize his or her thoughts.
I decided the thing that was scaring me the most was the piano playing. I made grown men weep in exasperation at my finger placement on the keys. Renting of garments occurred at every piano test. I retook Piano 1 because I was the first person to every work my butt off and only accomplish a “C.” (2nd time I got an A, but still)
The second thing that scared me was a visiting teacher during the summer and he basically said that what I knew about teaching from being a licensed educator had no value in teaching within the church. Now maybe, maybe my brain misunderstood and took that way out of context. Maybe he was just frustrated with my answers. Maybe I went too far challenging him. When I heard him tell me that, it got my back up to say in the least!
(I felt like this for more than a week! I prayed for that man, let me tell you…)
Now I bring this up not to be petty but I thought, “Do I even know how to teach music the way that they want me to?” I mean, it was a legitimate worry.
Finally, I decided if they brought it up again, called me back, prayed more on it and received words about it, I’d do it.
The Sunday after I did, one of the Primary Teachers saw me in Relief Society and asked me if I was coming.
Apparently during my absence I was voted in by the congregation as Primary Music Leader.
I admit for 2.5 seconds I was like, “Wait now, I never said… but I kind of did, but I didn’t…” but then again I never brought back a yes or no as promised. I also told God if they still wanted me, I’d do it.
Well that seems to me to be the answer. So, after that impromptu lesson in Primary I asked to be officially made the Music Leader, which they thought I had been set apart to do so, but I think I’d remember being prayed over concerning this position. He didn’t mind doing it “again.”
That upcoming week my Primary Leader set up a meeting and she really made me more at ease with what I was to do. If the church pianist is available, she’ll play for me while I work on the singing with the kids. If she’s not available, I’ll play a recording. The LDS website has all of the children’s music (for the most part) uploaded. There’s also a music app I can use.
The children have had in the past Music Leaders who could play, who sang a capella, and who made do. I admit I’m not the greatest but I’m what they’ve got…
If it doesn’t work out, they can also ask me to step down. Or I can ask to be released. I’m going to try it though. I’ve been working on the main hymn for this year. The kids have a presentation (religious Concert) once a year to show what they’ve learned in Primary. It’s a very reverent event. I can play the first line okay, I’ve practiced it both hands this week. It’s truly not a song for people like me. I’m playing the melody and harmony not a score reduction or a filled out piano part; just truly a hymn:
I’ve got a lot of tiny people praying just for me. Bless my heart 😉