Sunday, May 23, 2010

So Who Am I Now ????

For the past nine consecutive years and three additional years before that, I have been the "Seminary lady". I have personally taught well over 100 students and supervised the seminary program at six buildings in what is now two stakes.

I have seen the Surprise seminary program go from a small group of six students that met in a small room over a garage to a large group of over 20o. And I have seen our stake's seminary program go from two classes at one building to 12 classes in two buildings.

I worked with five high council advisors, numerous teachers and countless students.

And a week ago last Friday, it all came to an end.

I thought my heart would break.

I know the kids will all move on and be fine. And I know the seminary program in our stake is in good hands and will continue to grow and improve.

It just made me so sad to no longer be a part of it. And I couldn't help but wonder . . .

Who am I now??

Seminary truly has been such an important part of my life for so many years, I hardly know who I am without it.

But then something happened last night that made me feel better. I was attending a wedding reception for a young girl in our ward. Her older brother was in my second seminary class and her older sister was in my third. It was fun to see them and how they have progressed since high school.

Then on my way out, I saw Natalie M. Natalie was in my very first seminary class 17 years ago. She was sweet, kind and receptive, and had a strong testimony of the gospel.

About a week after class ended she came to my house and brought me a little bud vase with a single pink rose in it, along with a thank you note. I still have the vase sitting on a shelf in my bedroom and the note tucked safely in my drawer.

As Natalie saw me at the reception and hurried over to give me a hug, it occurred to me that we really never leave our experiences and those we love behind. For those who have touched our lives will always stay in our hearts, and those with whom we associate, influence who we become.

Each student, each teacher, each advisor, has added color to my life, and dimension to my character.

Each is a part of me. Each is a part of who I am and will always be.

And each has brought great . . . joy to my journey.


KC Mom said...

Wow. I bet you really are having an identity crisis. I know how hard that must be. Seminary is the most difficult and rewarding thing ever and it becomes such a part of your life, I'm sure you must be feeling very conflicting emotions.
But you are right, you have learned the most valuable lesson through it all. It's about the impact you have made in someone's life and that will NEVER go away.
Congratulations and regrets both, I know it will be hard and wonderful at the same time.

NatureGirl said...

That part of your life has not "come to and" it has only come to an end...for now. There will be more...most assuredly...there will be more.

Handsfullmom said...

It's true -- I still remember things that had an impact on me that were said by Seminary teachers, YW leaders, friends. You've done a great work and it will continue with those students.

Sue said...

It's always hard to close out a calling you've had for a long time. But it sounds like you had some wonderful experiences...


Dave and Camille said...

Well put. I know this is a hard time for you... but at least you have your new calling to look forward too! :) Love you!

Rebecca Irvine said...

I love that the Lord gave us a memory -- it is somewhat akin to the eternal nature of things our spirits are used to.

I know there will be many great and wonderful things for you to look forward to in this new chapter of life.

Roger and LeAnn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your post on teaching seminary. I too taught seminary for 4 years and it was the number one best assignment I ever had. I taught my first group in a converted garage room with a stove fireplace. It was in a small little town and I had to drive about 10 miles too get there. I had 10 students and we had some very sacred experiences that year. I can't imagine what it would be like to be leaving this after so many years. It was hard for me after 4 years. I remember crying over it.
I am sure you touched many lives.
Blessings and hugs to you!

Momza said...

I love my one and only Seminary teacher, Rosalie Keith. I learned so much from her--to this day, it is the scriptures that she taught me that are the ones I can recall quickest.
There's a special place in heaven for Seminary teachers, I'm pretty sure!
Enjoy your retirement...I'd bet something else is coming around the corner soon!