Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Relief Society!

This is the movie I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing (as opposed to eating real food, getting actual sleep, and breathing any real breaths of non-stressed air) for the past. . . I don't know how many days.  

I don't think I've stayed up for 23 consecutive hours since high school, but this week I proved that I've still got it! ("It" meaning the obsessive need to perfect a project despite all rational arguments and normal-person logic.) Everything that could go wrong with the technology did, and Monday night I sat at my computer weeping as the hours passed and I still couldn't get the audio to work, white knuckled from squeezing my hands together, laughing through my tears as the program I installed to fix the problem erased the only program that was working. 

I finished at 5:30 AM, producing what was a very flawed finished product, but was at least a finished product.  

At Enrichment, the movie bucked and stalled and I smiled serenely, knowing that I had to either "let go" or lose my mind.  I let go. . . I CHOSE to let go.  Let go and move forward.  

We didn't watch the whole movie.  We never did.  

My audience waited as I hemmed and hawed and tried to get the DVD player to be obedient. They laughed as the unfortunate sister projected on the mammoth-sized screen was frozen mid-sentence, her eyes drooping and her mouth stretched awkwardly around an unfinished vowel.  In the end, we watched some parts 3 times and others not at all.  

I didn't cry.  I didn't whine.  I just bore my testimony about finding RELIEF in Relief Society because "relief" was the very contradictory, almost laughably ironic word that describes how I felt.  I wanted to jump up and down (reverently, of course) and say, "THIS, sisters, is what it feels like to have GRACE under pressure!" Grace.  That's what it feels like.  Ironic.  Unmerited.  Absolute peace despite surrounding turmoil.  Control in the uncontrolled chaos.  

 Afterwards, one sister took me aside and through her tears said, "Sarah, thank you for showing us we don't have to be perfect to be loved.  We don't have to be perfect to feel the Spirit.  That was the lesson we all needed to see."  

I learned an unforgettable lesson about meekness and letting go and not needing to be perfect in order to share the Spirit.  I had literally prayed all night long for my computer to work (what would the pioneers have thought about that?), but in the end, my computer not working and my reaction to it was part of the lesson I needed to share.  

Here's the movie, minus the personal interviews that are personal enough that I didn't want to include them on my personal blog (What a terrible sentence that seems like a contradiction, but it's not. . .okay?  Just trust this sleepless brain!) I just mean that they were interviews of some of the sisters in my ward.

I LOVE the clips from our Relief Society leaders. . . they just make me want to serve more, be more aware of the needs of those around me, and belt out "As Sisters in Zion" from my rooftop!



nicole said...

After watching your labor of love I miss you more than ever. . .the strength, humor, comfort, and love you brought to all of our lives--I have yet to find someone so amazing. Yours are the shoes that can't be filled. Thank you for sharing with me and also spreading your "AWESOMENESS" wherever you go! Those lucky ladies!! I love you! Nicole

Anonymous said...

Wow... I am so glad that you did not sleep. :) Thanks for sharing.. that was a fabulous video. I could definitely feel their love for relief society as well as yours. You are awesome!

Dacia said...

You simply are amazing!!!

JT42 said...

as you said it makes me want to shout from the rooftops and increase my service to those around me...a great message, thank you for sharing.

Caryn said...

Oh Sarah: You are such a great writer and again, I love the video you did for our RS. Thanks for sharing your talent. And I also wanted to tell you how awesome your talk was at the Stake RS event. I have always loved your mother and remember her great devo talks back in the day when I attended Ricks, but it is a treat to be in the same ward with her talented and amazing daughter. I always love to hear what you have to say. Your childrens' photos are so darling. Great blog :)

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