I need to share with all of you a true experience that I have recently been a part of.
A year ago -- probably two! -- I was the Relief Society music leader. Besides conducting the opening and closing song, I was also given a few minutes at the beginning of Relief Society class time to present music -- learn a new hymn, or have a special number, or anything that would bring the spirit and music and teach the topic of the lesson. I loved this calling.
There came the time where I was told that I would soon be released, as soon as they had a chance to call someone new. I didn't know exactly which day I would be released, but I was expecting it.
It was during this time that I thought of a very special musical presentation I wanted to give. The lesson was on temples, and I knew that this particular teacher was very creative and experienced. I knew she would have prepared a great lesson. I knew exactly the song I wanted to share with the Relief Society sisters! A special treat! I planned to bring my cassette tape with the song, and just allow the sisters to listen and feel the Spirit -- and then they would feel so soft and special for the lesson.
I can't remember now (isn't that just how this type of forgiveness story goes??), but that particular day turned out to be one of my more difficult. I couldn't find the song at my house, and then when I did, I couldn't get a hold of a player, and after I did that, I was wrestling with my baby, and when I got there I found out this was to be my last day in the calling; that they had found someone -- so on and so forth. I don't know what else was going on. Maybe I had a penny in the bank. I always struggle with mental and emotional challenges, so maybe that contributed. Point being, I was in a very vulnerable position. I was counting on the fact that I could share this song that meant something to me with the sisters, and that it would make everything better within me. It would make the troubles worth it, put it in perspective.
Michelle, a very lovely, kind lady in our Relief Society presidency, was conducting. There was a very long list of announcements. There was discussion about who needed help in the ward, and who had good news. There were sign up sheets to go around. (Meanwhile, I wrestle with the baby, and think about my song.)
At the very moment when Michelle should have announced my name and music time, she instead turned the time over to Sis. So and So who would give the lesson. She forgot about me completely. I'm normally not shy, and if I felt that I could I would have said, "Excuse me, music time?" with a big smile. But Sis. So and so had started, and she had already said, "I'm so nervous for this lesson, and I have really have felt the spirit while I prepared this lesson, and . . . "
Well, I had felt so dark, that this development was too much for me. I scooped up my wiggly baby, and from the front row, rushed out of the Relief Society room. I knew it looked bad, but I just didn't want to burst into tears in front of everybody. And honestly, it was very out of character for me. But that's what happened.
So in the bathroom (sincerely hoping no Sunbeams would need to go potty in the next few minutes) I bawled. I actually was never angry with Michelle. She is the sweetest lady in the world, and even at my worst moment I couldn't lay it at her feet. I figured if I was ever in the Relief Society presidency, I would want people to be patient with my mistakes. I was ticked off with God for a bit for not helping things "go right" when he KNEW I had something special planned (sigh. . . he he), and I was really angry with myself for putting so much of my heart into the situation. I was very sad too, because since I no longer had the calling I wouldn't even get a second chance.
Well, Michelle came in the bathroom, and apologized (she was stricken!) and even as I bawled, I told her that it was okay, and that I was just upset not to have been able to share and that I was having a hard time anyway, and had just been really looking forward to it. (I think she even apologized in front of the whole Relief Society the next week.)
So I thought we had gotten through it, me and Michelle, and things were fine.
Well, a few weeks ago, Michelle came up to me and gave me a hug, we were just saying hi. And I think we were in the bathroom. But then she said to me, "Jxxxx, I can't look at you without remembering how I screwed up." She said this very sweetly, it wasn't rude or anything. We even laughed about it.
This is 2 years later! Oh, Michelle, I thought, no no no! I put her in my arms, I said, "Oh, no, Michelle." We confirmed that it was "all right". It was. And it wasn't. Here it was two years later, and she was still hating herself for -- really, absolutely nothing. My petulant behavior.
So two days ago, I saw her in the hall, and hugged her and said, "I'm going to try to give you a new idea for me, Michelle."
So moral of the story for anyone who needs it. Sometimes people just don't mean to hurt us. They don't. And they would be VERY hurt if they knew that they had hurt you.
It gives a whole new meaning to 3 Nephi 12:23-24.
Please, forgive me Michelle!!!!
Tags: Forgiveness Sacrament Brotherhood Understanding Inactivity Reconciliation