Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why I Shouldn't Be a Youth Leader

I always thought I would make a great youth leader in the Church. I'm fun, peppy, but serious when needed, you know? I figured I would be those types of Young Women's leaders who girls talk about later in life (like how I talk about my YW's leader, Rozla), and I would just love, love, love the energy and excitement of working with teenagers.

Wow. I was wrong.

Oh, it's not that I didn't enjoy Youth Conference. On the contrary! It was fabulous! In fact, at one point, I found myself surrounded by 14 or so young women who kept asking me questions:
What were some of the best dates you went on in high school?
What were some of the worst dates you ever had?
How did you meet your husband?
How did he propose?!

It was fun to sit (in inner tubes, on a lake, no less) and talk and laugh with these girls. The best part (and I would be lying if this didn't make me proud) was that I could tell them about 90% of my dating life without being embarrassed (I totally didn't tell them the 10%; they didn't need to hear, at that moment, the stupid things I did. I'll save that for later!). I enjoyed the time I spent with these young women, during our "down" time. They truly are/were remarkable and it was great. It was!

But by the end of the weekend, I realized the truth --I'm not cut out to be a youth leader in our Church. I'm too emotional (Do they like me? What if they hate me?) and it's all very, very exhausting. On many levels. Like spiritual levels, and emotional levels, and mental levels, and physical levels. I know some adults who love working with the youth because they make them feel young again (which, ironically, I quipped "You guys make me feel 17 again!" to the girls after our dating discussions), but after three days of youth conference, I was so exhausted! I realized I didn't feel younger; I felt old and worn out. And I'm not even 30 years old!

Ah, well. This doesn't even matter, you know. I've never been a youth leader. Brandon has always worked with the Young Men (over 6 years --the entire time we've been in a family ward), and I have never worked with the Young Women until this very short Youth Conference calling (which we were released from last week). I've always done Relief Society, Primary, or Music, and I used to be sad because I had never been called to be in the YW. But now? After this? I think I'm actually okay with it. I wouldn't do a very good job of it, and so I'm perfectly content to serve in other areas of the Church.

In fact, now I just want a calling. Any calling! Can anyone explain to me why I have been back in our ward for 4 months and haven't been given a calling? I mean, my son is in nursery now; it's not like I just had a baby or something. What gives? I'm trying to be patient....patient...patient...Some people have told me to just enjoy it. Enjoy what, though? Being the permanent substitute for myriads of callings because I have the time? Enjoy no responsibility? I'm just afraid (seriously, I'm kind of scared here, people) that the Lord is making me wait so that my desire of wanting a calling will increase and increase and increase, and then when He gives me a calling, I won't say no. Not that I would have said no, but what kind of calling is it going to be?? That I have to be prepped so well for it?? Makes me a tad nervous, you know...

Do you work well with the youth? What callings do you enjoy the most? The least? Any guesses at to what calling the Lord is prepping me for? Because I have no idea!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, as soon as you hit 30 you're totally old and worn out.

I think you're going to be the next ward employment specialist. Just kidding. You'll probably be put in YW just because now you're saying you shouldn't be a youth leader.

Cheryl said...


Hey, that wouldn't be "situational irony" would it, Susan?

Cheryl said...

Okay, I should clarify: I knew I was responding to Bythelbs, but it was Susan's post that talked about situational irony. Bythelbs knows this, but the rest of you might not, so now I feel better and quite silly all at the same time for clarifying this tiny, tiny issue.

flip flop mama said...

I was totally thinking the same thing that you would be called into YW. :) Go and ask the Bishop for a calling. It may just be an oversight.

Oh and I think like you that it would be really fun, but I'm not sure I can hack it.

Julie said...

Looks like we're all in agreement, here, you're going to be called into YW. My thought while I was reading was that they're not giving you a calling yet because they're waiting till they reorganize the Young Women and they want to call you as president.

Or maybe the Employment Specialist.

The Motherboard said...

I had the same thing happen to me when we moved here. I went 5 months... It got to the point that I was joking "Just let me fold the stinking programs. I will be the best program folder you have ever had!"

You are SO in YW now. You just jinxed yourself! :>)
But, maybe they think you have a calling-- you should tell them. Hey, they are Men, it could happen. :>)

Brandon said...

When the bishopric counselor told me on Sunday morning that we were get release from our Youth Conference calling, I told him... "That's fine... but my wife is going to want to know what her next calling is." I've dropped like five hints in the last two months. They keep saying, "Lots of people want her... just wait."

hehe... I think she'll be the assistant ward organist.

Cheryl said...

Ha. Ha. I can't stop laughing. So. Hard.


Well, mom just called me Brandon, and she said that I should trade places with her! (she's the RS President, for those who wouldn't know).

ECS said...

I think you'd make an awesome YW leader, Cheryl. It's exhausting, but the youth leaders I had at Church were such a positive influence on my life. I now realize that they probably had a hundred things they'd rather be doing than dragging themselves to youth conference and girls' camp, but they were always so fun to be with and we thought they were so cool. They were great examples to us, and I'll always appreciate how much time and effort they put into our lessons and activities.

You'll be awesome in whichever calling you end up with, but the girls in your ward would be lucky to have you in YW.

Cheryl said...

Aww, ecs! You are too kind. Too, too kind. Not that I mind. :) But, thank you!

Becky, I have a cat said...

Um, what is the ward Employment Specialist?

Weatherspoon Family said...

Cheryl I worked as Young Women President for 5 years they called me when I was 21! I was horrified! It was truly an awesome experience but I only felt relief when they finally released me! cool blog check out mine.

Cheryl said...

The Ward Employment Specialist helps people find work, basically. Their job is to help those in the ward, who have found themselves unemployed find employment opportunities (but in a limited sense, I guess.). Anybody care to explain better?

weatherspoon family-
WOW! 21?? That's amazing! Oh, and welcome to my blog.

And, holy freak! I just realized you are Polly! Polly! Yay! Welcome! Okay, enough with the exclamation points...

(Becky, you know Polly!)

Becky, I have a cat said...

Hehehe, I just clicked over wondering if it was The Polly. :)

Hi Polly!!!

Thanks for the explination on the ES.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I've never worked in YW either. I think it would probably be a good idea, seeing as how I'm one year into becoming a jr. high/high school teacher....or maybe it's best to be surprised?

Anyway, the last time I was yearning for a calling I became Primary Pres. So I could really see you being in the YW presidency. :)

I enjoy my current calling as RS teacher. I get to teach from the JS book, and I really don't have much of a problem talking in front of the women. I do miss the kiddos I served in Primary, but not the amount of physical work. ;)

I've always (jokingly) said that my testimony stops at the Scouts door, 'cuz I really think that calling would just be too much. But I'm pretty much destined for it, what with the 3 Wild Boys and all. So for now I'm just enjoying the last 7 months of freedom from scouting until our oldest turns 8. :)

Amanda D said...

My dream calling would be ward newsletter. I could do that REALLY well! My least favorite calling is primary. Which is where I am now. I guess I still need to learn something...

I was in YW for years, and I totally loved it! The best calling was secretary, but I was an advisor, and president and loved them all!

Keep us posted on what they choose you for.

Jeanette said...

In my last ward it took about 5 months for me to get a calling. This really bummed me out because I'd never gone that long with out a calling. I had a few people tell me not to feel bad that things were just needing to fall into place etc etc. I did end up getting my dream calling which was great except that we moved 7 months later.
I was YW President when I was 22. I think I was too young and inexperienced. If I ever get called back into YW, I would like to be an adviser or the secretary. I really want to be back in RS but I am slowly getting the hang of things in primary. (I've never had a calling in primary before now.)