The church I belong to (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons) has a lot of ways to help people connect. It’s one of my favorite aspects of being a member. We are taught to look outside of ourselves and help our neighbors and be aware of each other’s needs so that everyone (of any faith or no faith at all), is cared for.
One of the programs set up to facilitate this is called Visiting Teaching. I am assigned a partner and a couple of people to visit each month to share a gospel message. I also have some ladies who come visit me. It’s quite nice.
Recently, I received the following text message from one of the ladies assigned to visit me:
“Hi, Cindy and I are wondering if we can come and see you on Sunday?”
I truthfully didn’t want them coming on Sunday because I was tired and I wanted the day to myself and my family. I felt that having them come would disrupt my plans and require me to be a hostess, and I wasn’t in the mood. I would prefer to have them come another time or not at all during the month of December. Since I didn’t want them to come on Sunday, and I also didn’t want to tell them no, I postponed responding to the text.
Two days later, I received this text:
“So can Cindy and I come and see you this Sunday?”
Oh, right. I had pushed the question aside and let myself forget about it. This time, I felt like I really should reply. It’s the polite thing to do. But I was still conflicted. Hmghrhf.
My reply: “Oh, I didn’t get back to you! Let me check on timing–one sec (did you have a time in mind?)”
[My thoughts: nooooooo. What am I doing?]
Her reply: “Anytime after 1:30 will be good 🙂 ”
NOW what?! Here were my choices:
1.) Either I confirm a time and then have feelings of frustration or resentment because I really didn’t want them to come, OR
2.) I change my thoughts about having them come and actually feel loving and happy about it (…which I realized wasn’t working for me –I tried), OR
3.) I get “my own back” and tell her I love her and no (thanks to what I have learned from the fantastic Jody Moore)
….but that sounds hard to do
I decided to try out number 3. Here’s my response:
“Thank you so much for thinking of me and for being willing to come visit me! I like to spend my Sundays with my family or resting so it would be better to pick a different day. I am doing well and I know I can reach out to either of you if needed! Lets consider me visited for December. You reached out to me and I feel cared for!”
A flood of happy energy filled me after I sent this! I was not expecting that, and it was such an affirmation to me that I had done something good. I was able to keep good feelings toward my visiting teachers and also keep my desire to have my Sunday plans intact. What a rush!
Here’s her reply: “Totally understandable. . ok hope you see you January then 🙂 or at church”
Boom. First conscious effort to get my own back — huge success.