To some, this may not be a big deal, but to me...it's been a 4 month in the making big deal. There is a culture that is perpetuated by us, the Mormon's. It's a culture within the culture, one that I've been a part of for the last 13 years of my life, one that most people only step into for a couple years and then successfully bow out of by way of what has been pegged a "graduation" of sorts, it typically involves a blushing bride and handsome groom. The crowning success that YSA bishops track with tick marks on the office white board or a "Wall O Success" displaying all wedding announcements from their tenure.
I WAS one of them, I was a YSA, young single adult, now technically the "Y" in the equation has been removed and now I'm a SA, single adult. Unfortunately I was not a graduate, but fortunately my tenure was one of the longest allowed. I have had so many unique opportunities to serve. I have been able to do things that have stretched and pulled me in ways I would not necessarily have thought possible. I was SPORTS Co-Chair for Heavens sake! I don't play sports, I know sports but I don't play them, I had the time of my life. Sacrament meetings were silent, allowing for great thinking time, I've had my share of free meals at mingles every other week. I could go on, but you just can't explain the culture until you live it
So this brings me to the transition part of this message, I was out, it was my time to transition. It was scary for me, so I hung on as long as I could, I felt comfortable, productive, helpful, and needed in the YSA ward. But I finally decided, January was the right time, a new year, a new ward. The family ward was it. I know I have a place, I know I belong but sometimes knowing it and feeling it are different, it takes time. I know my talents, I know my abilities, I know I can get along with people, I know I have the capacity to serve faithfully in whatever calling. But it doesn't make it easy.
Enter the Kenwood 1st Ward. If you want an example of how to make one such as me feel welcome, you may consult the Kenwood 1st ward. A huge blessing. They have got it right and my prayers have been answered, and to those who have said hello, stopped me in the hall, sent me a quick e-mail, remembered my name and sat by me, I thank you. I once was the one on the flip side of this, the one who felt I needed to seek out those who needed a friend, now, I'm the needy one and this is how Heavenly Father takes care of everyone, through others. I now understand a bit more and my life is better, much better and I'm going to love my new ward home.
So, transitions can be hard, and may involve tears, but in the midst of the transition you find blessings, it took me 4 months to be okay with my change in status from a YSA to Wendy, I'm not a single adult named Wendy, I'm just Wendy. It's simple, and I like it.
A few unrelated photos just because....you have to balance out the words with photos. It's necessary.
And...I'm just really grateful for family. REALLY GRATEFUL! I don't let them know enough. So, family, I love all of you.