In my home ward growing up, the ward choir director (an incredibly accomplished, very experienced pianist) was released and replaced by a woman with zero experience. For a while, things were very uncomfortable. It was clear the former director was frustrated with the learning curve and wanted to jump in to assist, and clear that the new director was terrified but clearly determined to learn and do things on her own. We choir members endured several highly awkward practices, many tense exchanges, and some unasked-for criticism. Then shortly before our Easter performance, during a particularly charged moment, the former chorister openly disagreed with a direction from the new chorister, and as we all inhaled in horror, the old chorister said laughingly, "I'm just teasing--you're doing great." That joking kindness broke all the tension and from then on, it was clear she was there to support and sustain the new chorister--who over the years turned out to be very accomplished herself. When we sustain someone to a new calling, we pledge our support and our patience and our willingness to pass the baton, and that can be hard, but if we look at that sustaining as our "calling" to be supportive and enthusiastic and open to change, we'll make that transition easier. The more we serve, the more we realize how much we need to give and receive that encouragement within our ward family.
Thank you for an excellent article full of great insights! I found this so helpful! I remember being called to be a Stake Young Women's President 3 months after we moved to a new area. It was so daunting, but at least I had no idea whose shoes I was filling. Almost simultaneously, my marriage went through some severe trials and we were in counseling during most of it. What crazy timing! Satan used everyone of these ploys mentioned to make me feel this calling must have been a mistake. Only years later did the insight come to me why the Lord called me to that position at that time. I wish I could have trusted His wisdom more while I was serving. My point is to trust in the Lord through it all, not just in hindsight like me.
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