Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sticks and stones......

I really hate cliches, but tonight I feel the need to drop a good one, that one that says "no good deed goes unpunished". It's my husband's favorite; he says it every time he goes in to turn off the boys' light and tuck them in. Without fail, the minute he leaves the room the man child wakes up and demands to go watch "T" (tv). Doesn't he get that it's midnight?

Tonight though, this hammered saying is all mine. I just got home from Young Womens and headed straight for the high fat foods. That's a really bad sign. I am a big time comfort eater. And stress eater. And happy eater....

Six months into it I'm still not sure why Heavenly Father would call the most inept and unqualified woman in the entire ward as Young Womens president. Fortunately He inspired me to call extremely wonderful and capable women as counselors and advisers who more than make up for all my deficiencies. We've plugged along pretty well so far, with no real casualties to account for.

But tonight I hit my low point- it's the first time a girl has actually made me cry.

I absolutely LOVE the girls in our ward. The are amazing, unique, beautiful and inspiring. But I REALLY, REALLY love my Laurels. Sunday lessons are spiritual because of, not in spite of, them. They are fantastic missionaries. The younger girls want to be just like them. I could not ask for a better group of girls. Our oldest Laurel, however, has reached that age where she is "done" with Young Womens (by her own admission, I might add). She rarely comes to church, and to activities even less than that. I understand the way she feels to a point- I think we all went through that weird transition between feeling too old for YW but not comfortable with joining the old ladies in Relief Society. However, I see her so rarely that I haven't really had an opportunity to get to know her and try to make her feel more comfortable with us.

Tonight we had barely 10 girls in attendance when the activity started, but as the window for mormon-standard-time came to a close, more and more showed up. It's kind of a standing rule with the girls that whenever someone arrives we all shout out her name and clap/cheer (think "Norm!" in Cheers). At one point tonight, there were so many girls coming in one right after the other that it took me a minute to register that I'd just heard the infamous anti-Laurel's name called out. She was really there, for the first time in months! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to see her. I jumped up and walked over to give her a one-armed hug. I had just gotten "I am so glad you're here.." out of my mouth when she glared at me and said "Please do not touch me".


What's my response to that? I couldn't get out of there fast enough- I really didn't want to burst into tears in front of all the girls and leaders- so I made the excuse that I had to go make copies in the Library. Once locked in the library, I couldn't stop shaking. I was mortified. This girl had just COMPLETELY rejected me. However socially retarded I might be with adults, I have NEVER, EVER had a problem relating to or befriending teenagers. She completely crushed me.

Thankfully, I was able to compose myself enough that I didn't break down as I feared I would (because everyone within 10 miles can tell when I've been crying, and I didn't want her to see the evidence that she'd hurt me. I reserved the crying for later and in the presence of my darling and sympathetic hubby), and I returned to the activity as if nothing happened.

But something did happen. I'm supposed to love these girls, ALL of them, as Heavenly Father does. I'm not supposed to judge them. I'm supposed to turn the other cheek. But right now, I really don't like this girl. The natural man in me is screaming to hold on to this grudge for a good long time, to relish every bit of anger, to criticize her for petty things, to reflect the scorn she has shown so willingly right back to her.

I know I can't. I know I won't. I really, really want to, but the fear of Heavenly Father's disapproval and disappointment is much more powerful than any pleasure I may get from making her feel just as bad and as insignificant as she made me feel. Right now the mature part of my brain is telling me to show her an outpouring of love, but the more vocal rejected and wounded part wants to crawl in a hole and hide.

At least she didn't see me cry. Maybe tomorrow the mature brain will be able to take back over. For tonight, I just want wallow.


  1. hey Min....I am so sorry that you had to go through that....whatever that girl is going through, whatever random teenage issue she is experiencing....I'm sure that one day she will look back on that moment, and really really regret is. (I know I would) I wish I had something great to say...but just know that you are loved, and that all of those girls are so dang lucky to have such a freakin' awesome woman as their YW pres. love ya!

  2. Thanks Michelle- you are awesome as always. I probably just need to get over myself and realize that not everyone is going to like me, and that's okay.
    Love ya! Hope you are feeling better and getting to the "fun" stage of being preggers!

  3. Mindi,
    Having been in this situation before and feeling humilitated, embarrassed, etc. in front of the girls who really did love me, and knowing they felt absolutely crushed for me, you handled this really really well. She was testing you in her own manipulative way. She may need an outpouring of love, HOWEVER, I firmly believe that overcompensating for her rudeness can be enabling. The YW president in my old ward dealt with a family of girls who were smug, uncommunicative, acted like it was a chore to be there, rolled their eyeballs at the leaders and girls (always lovely), and the Laurel wore the lowest cut tops ever. But she has moved on to RS now as a single Young Adult. Time answers some of the problems you will face. I'm so glad you have James and Taylor. They are a great support system. No doubt in my mind that you are doing a fantastic job. Love, Marie