I taught my first lesson on Sunday to the 16-17 year olds, including Savannah as one of the 17 yr olds and Craig as my co-teacher. I wanted it to be amazing. I wanted to capture the attention of all those teenagers and have them so riveted that they didn't want to leave an hour later. I wanted to pour into their little heads ALL of the millions of things I had learned over the last two weeks in preparation for this lesson.
None of that happened. My lesson wasn't a complete disaster, but it wasn't stellar either. It was just a lesson. Not memorable. Not life changing. Not amazing. Just a lesson. And so I came home and tried to regroup and remember that this calling isn't about ME. It's about THEM. And it's about THEM feeling the SPIRIT.
But when I'm in that place of insecurity, I don't just doubt one thing...like my teaching ability. I doubt EVERYTHING...my parenting skills, my fashion sense, my hair style, the sound of my voice, how many friends I don't have, how clean my house isn't, how little I actually know about the Savior, how often I give in and drink
It's slightly debilitating.
So, I lingered next to my bed and ended my prayer today asking to feel good enough, to connect with someone today, and to see pretty in the mirror. Weird things to ask for, I know. But sometimes those are the things I need the most.
As I lingered there, I looked out the window and I saw my very tall, very thin neighbor with her perfect hair out for her morning walk. I know her pretty well. I know she has a truckload of responsibilities, a daughter about to leave for a mission to El Salvador in two weeks, a few health concerns, some financial burdens, and 40 kids at her house every week for piano lessons. I watched her walk by and I thought for a second how amazed I was that with all of that, she still manages to carve out time for a daily walk.
An hour later, she knocked on my door. She wanted to come by and visit for a minute. While she was sitting on my couch, she said, "I wanted to talk to you about something I was thinking while I was on my walk this morning. It's a little out of my comfort zone to do this, but I just felt like I should come over here and mention it, so I am." And she went on to say that she has been struggling with this overwhelming sense of not being enough...not good enough, not doing enough, not accomplished enough. She goes to bed every night after a long and busy day of doing EVERYTHING, feeling completely mentally exhausted because she has spent the entire day trying harder and doing more and still not feeling like enough.
How is it that we can live in these houses all lined up next to each other on the very same street and never really know the things that are going on inside our heads? Just this very morning I thought she had it all together and I wondered how I could be more like her. Well, she thought the same thing. And it turns out, we're already so much alike.
We had a long and heartfelt, unguarded conversation about our insecurities, the negative talk that plagues us, and what we could do to fix it. And when she left, I felt like we had connected in a way that we had not ever before.
I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. That He decided to whisper to my neighbor the exact thing that I was praying for help with. And that because she listened to that little whisper, we were both uplifted.
"God does notice us and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other. We have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did - to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us." Spencer W. Kimball
"Often the answer to our prayer does not come while we're on our knees but while we're on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone's prayer, we often find the answer to our own." Dieter F. Uchtdorf Waiting on the Road to Damascus