May 29, 2009

An Interesting Fact

Did you know that I've never attended a single one of my academic graduations? That's right - three missed opportunities! For some reason it was too inconvenient to attend my high school and bachelor's degree graduations, plus I was a bit disappointed about having to move on in life and I didn't want to think about it, so I skipped. By the time I earned my master's I didn't want to break tradition, so even though I was elated it was over, it seemed too boring and embarrassing to attend, so I didn't bother.

Why am I telling you this? It occurred to me that the only graduation I've ever cared enough about to attend was from seminary. I was so happy it was over that I wanted everyone to know and celebrate with me! I picked out a special outfit, did my hair the best I knew how, and sat there beaming through it all.

Funny side note story: midway through my talk for graduation I realized I forgot the last page back at my seat. So I had to leave the pulpit, crawl over 4 fellow students, and search for my lost paper. I then returned, apologized, and finished my talk. God probably thought I was too prideful that night and needed to humble me. He did a good job.

Anyways, for some strange reason, I set the goal in high school to never miss a single day of seminary. So, "come hell or high-water", I was there for every single day. Even during colds, exams, wisdom teeth surgery - I was there. I wasn't always there on time, but it was close enough. And I felt so elated that I had successfully survived, that I wanted to 'shout it from the rooftops', as people say.

Well, guess what? I feel that same way again. Today was my last 'teaching' day of seminary. We are having one seminary breakfast day next week and then it's over!!! When I accepted this calling I had no idea it would be such a major stress and huge challenge for me. If I had to sum up the year in five words I would pick: insulted, ignored, tired, endure, and supported. Sad list, I know, but it's accurate. The beauty in all of this though, was that I survived, again. I truly feel like I did the best possible job that I had the means with which to do - that's a good feeling.

Allow me to talk about the 'supported' on the above list. If it had not been for Ben I would have given up long ago. He has done every weekday night time feeding for the entire year (except for rare occasions when Sadie was sick (which she was a lot) or having a hard night). Ben has also taught for me several times when things were just getting too difficult or frustrating. Sometimes I would ask him to prepare a lesson for me and he would read all the material and then we would talk about it and come up with a plan together. That was helpful. He's cut, copied, glued, and stapled things for me all year long. He has been a perfect support to me through it all, and I think when the question is asked of me, "Will you support your spouse in this calling?", I have a much better understanding of what that means. I'm trying really hard to support him in his, but I don't come close to being as good as him.

Anyways, we both have made it to the end and I would like to say it's a bittersweet feeling for it to be over but mostly I just feel sweetness about it all. Seminary has taken three of my daily twenty-four hours for the last 10 months and I feel like a kid in a candy store to get that time back for myself again. Yes, I've learned a lot. Yes, I've grown from the experience more than I probably realize. Yes, I'm thankful that I could serve in the church. But I'm still thrilled that it's over! And, in the end, as always, I feel like the blessings we were given to compensate for the sacrifice far outweighed any inconvenience we endured. You can't put a price tag on the peace and confidence that comes from doing what's right. That's for sure!

So, for any of you that may be attending seminary graduation this Sunday night, although it's in honor of the graduating seniors, I will secretly be sitting there feeling that same sense of accomplishment and joy due to having completed my 5th year of seminary. I'm thinking by the time Sadie gets to high school we will move to Utah where they have something wonderful: in school seminary.

5 comments:

Julie said...

We'll be thinking of you at Mark's seminary graduation on Sunday. Congrats on making it through. This is Joe on Julie's account.

Julie said...

This really is Julie. Isn't it amazing how the Lord gives you strength to get through hard times and then looking back you think, "I'd NEVER want to relive that." I am so impressed by your dedication. Way to go!

chante said...

Agreed. It truly is an accomplishment, and you should feel proud :) Even though it's rough (for students, and even more so for the teacher)... I think early morning seminary is such a blessing. And I think it's truly amazing that you helped make that blessing a reality (even if not all of your students recognize it at the moment ;) ). Way to be, Alicia. Way to be :)

(And way to be, Ben and Sadie... for your sacrifices too!)

Alicia said...

You guys are nice! I shouldn't complain so much, but I am so glad that I made it through. How many years did your mom teach, Chante? Like 7?? That's amazing!

Joe said...

How about some videos of Sadie so I know what to expect when we see her in a few weeks?