What do you do when those horrible words come out of your leader's mouth? The ones you really didn't want to hear...your worst nightmare of a calling. It may be the worst calling due to the people you will serve, the amount of time it takes, because it involves a big fear, or simply due to the time of life your in. Regardless, you said "Yes" because you're not going to say "No" to the Lord. But now what?! I went to straight to church's bathroom and sobbed silently. It felt like way too much. It's okay to cry at first. What you do next though will make a huge difference in your life and those you serve. Try these tips:
Pray Like Crazy
Pray for peace, pray for help, pray for strength, pray for desire, pray for understanding, pray for motivation. Say a whole lot of prayers. Pray to know that you calling comes from the Lord. Yes, sometimes it seems like the leaders were desperate or you were the only one that would say Yes but all callings really come from the Lord. You are where you are right now for a reason and it may be for this calling. Pray to love those you will be serving and serving with. As your love for them increases so will your love for your calling.
Do it. Do it right. Do it right now.
You've said Yes so now you have to do it and not simply do it but do it right. Otherwise you're short changing yourself and those you serve. Find out what your responsibilities are and everything that you need to know to do your calling right. If you're a teacher, read the Teaching, No Greater Call manual. If you are a Young Men's/Women's leader, read more about the yearly theme and the last General Conference talks that were directed towards the youth. Read through more of these Teaching Tips and Tricks and find something that you want to implement. Then don't procrastinate. Nothing kills a love for something more than putting it off to the last minute. You'll hate preparing for it and those you serve will be able to tell. Not only does it ruin your attitude towards your calling but it'll end up ruining the rest of your day too. One bad thing tends to influence everything else you do. Do it right now and get it out of the way.
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
Go ahead and make a list of all the reasons you don't think you are right for this calling. Then turn it over to the Lord. Pray about your weaknesses and He will make them strong. Listen to the answers. Write down the promptings as they come so you can remember and act on them. Look at your list again. Is there someone you know that has a strength where you have a weakness? Ask them to help you develop that skill or assist you for one activity. Can you ask someone to give you a Priesthood Blessing so you can have greater peace in this calling or additional blessings in other parts of your life so you are able to do your calling? Did you remember to get set apart? Is one of your weaknesses something that your leaders can help you with? If you need another person in Nursery with you, ask for one. If you need help understanding your calling, call the last person and ask them for help. When I was released from the doing the Ward Bulletin I spent the next month training the new person because she wasn't comfortable with computers. It's okay to ask for help. You don't have to do your calling alone.
Find Something Good
Find something about your calling that you like. ANYTHING. It can be that your classroom is the furtherest away from the Primary Room so it takes more take to get there therefore you have less time to teach. Find something to like and hold on to it. Focus on the good and build on it. For example: Since your classroom is so far away, you pass the water fountain and everyone can take a drink now instead of interrupting class later. This means you have minimal class interruptions which allow for the Spirit to be there. Having the Spirit in your class allows you to know what to say as you teach. Because you are being led by the Spirit the people in your class are understanding and asking great questions. You start to love interacting with your class each week and really enjoy those you teach. Thus you no longer hate your calling. Focus on the good.
Find a Scripture Hero
Study the scriptures. Find the inspiration and answers you need right there. The scriptures are full of heros that understand how you feel and can help guide you through. Joseph Smith while he was in Liberty Jail, Job, Jonah even the war chapters in Alma can be useful. If you read Joseph Smith- History you'll find that Joseph found scripture heros he could relate to as well as he went through many persecutions. While you aren't being thrown in jail or swallowed by a whale; it sure can feel like it sometimes. Find someone that you can look up to and study his life and spiritual patterns then copy them.
Keep a Learning Journal
Every time you finish doing something for your calling, take a minute to write in your journal the things that you learned as a result. It can be more knowledge, a new skill, a greater love for others- write it down. Keep track of all things that you learn though this calling. By the time you are released even if you don't fall completely in love with your calling; you'll find the wealth of knowledge that you did gain from it all and that's something to treasure.
Your Turn: What helps you get through the difficult parts of callings? What did you do when you first learned about your nightmare calling? How did you cope?