#hearLDSwomen: I Was Pressured to Accept a Calling
I was called to be a counselor in the stake Young Women presidency. I didn’t think I could or should fill that calling. I have MS and my energy and physical abilities are limited. But the stake president was certain that God wanted me to serve there. He was insistent, and I accepted the calling.
I did my best for two years but it was too much for me. I asked to be released. The stake president told me no, God wanted me to be there. For a few months I tried to have faith in his certainty even though I was exhausted.
I began to feel a total lack of autonomy. Why was I trusting a leader I barely knew to make decisions about what was best for me? I again asked to be released and was again told no. I went home devastated.
After praying about it, I knew what I needed to do. I told the stake president that I would fill my calling for one more month while he called my replacement. He was taken aback. He sputtered. He insisted he knew better than I, that God wanted me there. But I stood my ground and have never regretted it.
A few weeks after I spoke in sacrament meeting about having postpartum depression, I got pulled aside by a bishopric member to get a calling. He asked for my husband to come with (my husband had gotten a calling a few weeks previously and I was not invited to that meeting; they also assigned us to speak in sacrament meeting without asking me). He asked me to serve in the primary, which is what I felt was the last thing I needed for my mental health. I expressed my concerns and he told me to think about it and get back to him. I felt like no one was listening even though I was trying very hard to express myself. I didn’t feel like that was ever going to change and I quit going to church a few weeks later.
Pro tip: Trust women to know what they can or can’t handle, and respect their decisions regarding callings.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23).