Almost five years ago I was put into the bishopric of the ward we live in. I was 28. I am a month away from 33 and am being released. I expected it. Our good Bishops wife has cancer and they have done a marvelous job taking care of that situation while the Bishop continues his responsibilities at church. Based on Tiffanys cancer I expected, that if nothing else, that I would be released, but since the Bishop has been serving for almost 5 years, it would make sense that we would all be released.
It is a bitter sweet moment in this journey. On one hand, it will be nice not to worry about some of the administration of different areas of the church - whether its the scouts charter, Friends of scouting, and don't even get me started about the flags, or the worrying about how to help the Primary fill its holes so the children are taken care of. I won't miss the meetings, especially the early morning meetings, nor will I miss being away from the family - indeed that is the sweetest thought of this whole change.
But, I will miss the people, especially the youth. Its not like I am leaving or moving or anything, but there is an intimate relationship you gain with a whole ward (congregation) as you meet and discuss different needs and talk to individuals about different situations going on in their life. I will miss meeting with the youth and having fun times with them while working side by side with them. I will miss watching them grow and gain testimonies. And, believe it or not, I will even miss the deacons (12-13 year old boys).
I found that there was a lot of respect for the position, even though the guy that filled the position was flawed. I am amazed at how many people overlooked my flaws and instead trusted direction. I will miss sitting with our good bishop and watching inspired direction being handed down. On more than one occasion I have witnessed Bishops remarkable ability to listen to the spirit. I will miss the growth and opportunity this have given me, but even more also for my dear wife. Being gone away from the family has been hard, but even harder on Tiffany. This experience has caused Tiffany to grow as well. In my observations she has learned many ways to handle the household in my absence. I fear that with me back in the picture a little more that I will mess up her Sunday routine. Though she says I will be gratefully reinstated into the routines, I wonder if I will destroy the organization she has created.
When all is said and done, we are called for a time to serve where we asked to serve. We do it until it is time for a change. I don't know what comes next, but I will ever be grateful for the experiences I have had for the last five years.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me these past years, whether teaching me, or forgiving me; I have been grateful to both. And many of you did both.