Monday, November 2, 2015

Say, Say, O Enemy

Have you ever disliked someone for no reason?

There's just something about them that just grates on your very soul, and you can't stand the sight of them?

I have.

I'm not proud of it.

But I firmly believe that this happens so that we can learn to love those people, if we take the effort.

Some of the people I have felt this way about have become my best friends. It's funny how that happens.

I don't know how they felt about me, or if they noticed my dislike.

My guess is they probably did.

And I'm sorry for it.

You see, now I'm on the other side.

I'm the object of dislike. Intense dislike.

I'm not aware of doing anything that would provoke it. So, that leads me to believe it's one of those situations where I'm just dislike-able to this individual.

Now, I'm not afraid of people disliking me.

It makes me sad, but since I know what it's like to dislike someone for no reason, I respect that that is something they have to decide to work through (or not, as may be the case).

But when I have to work with this person on a weekly basis, and am constantly being made to feel like I'm not, nor will ever be, good enough, it tends to break down the soul a little.

It started out with this person telling me that they could do my job, and that they were perfectly happy doing it, even though they had been given a different job.

Then it turned into, once it became clear that I intended to do my job, that the job I was doing wasn't good enough, even though I wasn't having any trouble with it, and, in fact, was doing a great job. And when they made a mistake, they automatically assumed it was my fault, and pointed it out before a large group of people. Once it was made clear that they were the one who was wrong, no acknowledgement was made that I wasn't to blame.

I was feeling pretty crumby about things at this point, wracking my brain trying to figure out what I had done to provoke this person. I had called them up to offer suggestions (since I had been functioning in this capacity for three years, and they had just been assigned), and was rebuffed. I thought maybe I had overstepped my bounds, (and I'll be honest, I was probably being a little know-it-all-ish), but Jeremy assured me I hadn't, and that I was only trying to help.

I then thought that maybe they were treating me this way because I had said something self-depreciating about my skills, and I had somehow given them the wrong idea. But I had since proven I was capable, so that didn't make sense...

I decided to just put my best foot forward, since I was probably just imagining it, and tried to be the best I could be to support this person, and even went so far as to ask if there was anything more I could do, more things I could work on for them.

They looked at me long and hard, and very carefully chose their words.

"No-o," they said. "I don't have anything."

I felt like something was off, but shrugged it off as my wounded pride.

I resolved myself to sticking it out working with this person. I didn't want to throw in the towel. I mean, we were all there because the Lord has asked us to serve, and by golly, I wasn't going to disappoint Him. I would just suck it up, and move forward. I decided to pray about it, and ask for His help.

I didn't feel like I was being directed in a specific way, but I knew I just needed to trust in Him, and that eventually it would all work out.

My anxiety seemed to abate until I started having nightmares about this person. I woke up, terrified, my body all covered in pin-pricks Sunday morning. I was shaken, and my immediate reaction was too get as far away from this person as was possible. I felt awful, but I asked Jeremy to talk to the Bishop about releasing me. I couldn't bear to do it myself. I couldn't look the Bishop in the eye and tell him I was quitting. Jeremy said he would after church.

I sat in the chapel before the service started, and the weight of everything just came crashing down on me.

I had failed. I had given up. It was at that precise moment that my children decided to act like savages. Yay.

The Lord, meanwhile, was trying to talk to me. The opening hymn said,

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your Heav'nly Father's throne
And sweet refreshment find.

I  was grateful for those words, and felt a measure of comfort but didn't know what He wanted me to do.

Jeremy looked over at me again and again during the meeting, mouthing, "It's going to be okay." I would only smile sadly and blink back tears.

After the meeting closed, I went to the primary room to play the piano for the littles of the ward. I sat at the piano, and the primary president came over and asked how Emma was doing (what with the news of her hip dysplasia), and as we talked I started to cry. I assured her it wasn't about Emma, since I had felt so much peace from the Lord about it, what with all the prayers being offered for her, but that I was having a hard day.

She looked at me and said, "It's okay. It's safe with me. You can always come and cry with me."

Shockingly, that didn't help me not cry.

Later, another member of the primary presidency, a friend of mine, came and asked about Emma, and again I burst into tears, and had to explain all over again.

She sat and talked to me and offered her support and love, and I was so grateful for her.

In that little room, in the corner of the church I felt loved and safe, but was dreading the coming meeting with the person after church.

During a break, I walked into the hallway, and a member of the bishopric (one of my favorite people) stopped me. He put his arm around me and said, "You're one of my people! I want to talk to you!"

He then told me that there was a calling they wanted to give me and Jeremy, and that as they had been thinking about who to give it to, they kept coming back to me and Jeremy over and over again. I knew in that moment that the Lord had been orchestrating this whole thing. That he had been watching what was going on, heard my prayers and knew just what to do.

So, I would be released from my other calling, and I would be working fully in the primary.

I still had to go back to my other job for the time being.

After church was over, I decided that I needed to go home, and I would ask my partner to fill in for me. I was exhausted, and I couldn't bear the thought of sitting through another hour of awkwardness.

My partner hadn't been attending due to some family business, and since I had been filling in for her, I thought she wouldn't mind filling in for me. As I walked up to her and the one who haunted my dreams, I noticed right away that they had given my partner what I had asked for the week before.

The stuff that apparently didn't exist.

I knew at that moment that I wasn't imagining it. They really did dislike me.

And I was so glad that I could go home and that it would be my last time being there. If I had to stay I don't think I could have done it without weeping the whole time.

I went home, and was waiting for the relief to come.

It didn't.

I was angry.

Why wasn't I good enough for this person?

I went to bed that night, fully intent on sleeping soundly.

But I woke up at 1:45 AM boiling with anger.

I started having imaginary confrontations with the person.

I wanted them to suffer.

I wanted them to FAIL.

I wanted them to go down in flames, and I wanted to stand there and watch it happen, and point my finger and say, "YOU DESERVED THIS." 

I was semi-bothered at my unbridled animosity, but it wouldn't stop.

I was so angry that I was driven away from something I've loved for so many years.

I felt like I was being isolated, and cut off from the people I had grown to love and had become close to.

All because of ONE person.

As I was seething in my bed, a thought came to me. I'd like to think that the Lord managed to squeeze one of His thoughts into the volcanic turmoil of my mind.

The voice said, "You are not being isolated. You are being protected."

"You have been plucked from that tree, and hidden in another part of the vineyard, where you can grow and be fruitful."

I thought of those who had come to my aid in primary, and I struggled to swallow my wounded and angry pride. Yes. I would be safe there. I would be able to serve quietly and peacefully.

Peace eventually settled on me, and I was able to go back to sleep.

I'm happy to say that I don't feel like taking this individual down anymore.

And I am so grateful that the Lord has His eye on me. I'd hate to think all the trouble I'd get into if He didn't. 
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