It has been about a month now since I was released from serving the Young Women in our ward. The past three years have had their ups and downs, but there have been so many more ups. My life has been changed for the better as I have come to know these wonderful girls and the other leaders I was blessed to work with. I love the Young Women program in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love the Personal Progress program. I love the Young Women Theme. I love the Young Women Values. I love knowing that Heavenly Father loves young women so much that he created these programs for them and for all of us women. Heavenly Father values women, He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, He knows our capacity to change the world, not in the way the world thinks women can shape the changes, He knows we are capable of so much more than that; and my hope comes from knowing that the young women who I have worked with, know this. They know their worth. They know the power that is within them. They know their abilities to make the world a better place. They are truly beautiful, remarkable, choice women. There is reason to have hope in this world that is so lost and mixed up, because I see these girls leading, loving and serving others. They are the change they wish to see in this world, and I am humbled and honored to have been with them. Last month as the leadership for the young was changed I cheered for the new leaders, who I know and love, who will do wonderful things for and with these girls, I cheered for the girls for all the wonderful learning they will continue to do and the feet of these remarkable women. But I mourned for myself. I will so greatly miss my weekly association with these girls. I wept as we recited the young women theme, my last time for a season; there is such power in those words and I will greatly miss saying them with the girls. As I look back over the past three years I see the growth that I experienced and I know that my life was blessed because of these girls SO much more than I was ever able to bless their lives. They showed me that I can do hard things; I can run a 5K, if my girls are running beside me cheering me on. I can read the Book of Mormon in one month, if the girls are reading with me. I can say farewell to a dear Bishop and his wife, if the girls are there to comfort me. I can hike in sandy heat for hours at a time, if the girls are hiking with me. I can complete my personal progress, if the girls are doing it as well. I can face hardship, temptations, doubts, if the girls are there sharing their testimonies with me. They also showed me how much fun life is and can be. Ultimate Uno into the wee hours of the night at girls camp, messy skits, :) dances, talking about boys, :) singing great music together; from crazy camp songs, to incredibly spiritual hymns, and So very many fun weekly activities. As I served the girls, I see now how much more they served me, and in their service I was blessed to see the love of my Savior; with Him all things are possible, life is joyful. Last week a few of the girls stopped by my house to give me President Uchtdorfs book titled Forget Me Not, both of the inside covers were filled with signatures, thanks, and love from all the girls. It is a treasure! I will NEVER forget these girls, I love them dearly! They are cherished friends! While I may not see them every week at church or on Wednesday night activities, I am grateful I still get to see them in passing at church, on Facebook, and in the occasional visits.
I jump for joy at the women these girls are becoming. I thrill at knowing they will be the driving force for good in the world. I do not fear the future if they are in it! I have reason for hope!!!
2 days ago