(Posted on both of my blogs, in case you think you're seeing double)
In my church, we have lay clergy and everything is done by volunteers. For example, my bishop has a day job - he's a doctor. I'm a lawyer, but for the past almost 4 years, I've been working with the 12-17 year old girls in our congregation. It has had a huge impact on my life and has taken up a lot of my physical and emotional time and energy.
Some of our girls come from tough backgrounds. One of the girls was 13 when I started, and now I plan to help her with her college applications in the Fall. Two of our girls are starting college in the Fall. Some of them are the first (or second) in their families to go to college, or to even think about college. I'm so proud of the goals they've set for themselves and the things they've accomplished, all while being active with Church and just all-around good people.
I won't lie, I've been feeling kind of burned out. I've tried not to let it show to the girls, but I worry that it has. We have lessons every Sunday that I coordinate. We have weekly activities, sometimes on Saturdays a long ways away. We have other activities in other states. There is a lot of driving (a LOT of driving) and coordinating. And then there's just generally being concerned about the girls and wondering if I'm doing enough for them.
(The answer? No. It's never really enough, but sometimes I have to set limits for myself.)
Last Sunday the Bishop called to ask if he could come by. I had a feeling either Jason was getting a new calling, or I was getting released from mine. It was the latter - I was getting released as the Young Women's President.
Yesterday, I was officially released, and the new Young Women's presidency was put in place.
I've spent the last week feeling alternately relieved to not be in charge anymore, and near tears as I think about not spending as much time with the girls. I've also spent a lot of time pulling together resources and information for the new Young Women's President. We got together Friday night and I went through my typed, page and a half outline with all of the things I wanted to discuss with her. And I realized this morning that I still forgot something. I wanted to tell her a little bit about each of the girls, and also about how we've done things in the past. I'm hoping she might still want to do some of the fun Summer activities I had started to plan. I know she'll want to do her own thing, but she is brand new in our congregation and in the Young Women's program here, and she seemed to appreciate my thoughts.
The good thing is, I'm not moving away, so I'll still be around to help if anyone has any questions, and I'll still see the girls.
Jason and I are driving 5 girls to upstate New York this Saturday for a giant regional activity and then I'm officially done. I feel completely confused as to what I'm supposed to do with myself. Concentrate on my job? Exercise more? Dedicate more time and effort to the two local organizations who just put me on their boards? Clean the basement? Probably all of those things, really.
I still haven't been given a new responsibility at church. Jason speculated yesterday that maybe Bishop is letting me rest. My swimming buddy told me this morning to enjoy it. I still feel like there's an emptiness where I used to be so consumed with something so important - the girls. Now they're someone else's official responsibility, and it's hard to realize that and relax.
On the other hand, yesterday I conducted the music in Sacrament Meeting and I had a flashback to my huge student ward in college where all I had to do every week was pick the hymns and wave my hand around in front of the congregation and no one really cared if I was right or wrong because half the people never even glanced at me, and the other half didn't know enough to know if I was making mistakes. Sometimes an easy church job with extremely low stakes sounds appealing.