When your changes change

This morning we went to church as an almost family with our new congregation (ward). We attended the Cross Roads Ward as that is the geographic congregation or ward that our new house will be assigned to when it is completed. While it is a bit of a drive over to the building from the apartment, it just makes sense to go to our new ward there instead of where the apartment is because it is a temporary location.

The Cross Roads Ward seems nice enough. It was your typical young family ward with lots of little kids. A little on the noisy side. I will hold my comments on that.

The catch?

Of course there is a catch. There should not be a catch when the church is concerned, but today there is. Ben scrambled to get our records transferred up to the ward right after church let out. It takes approximately two hours to process records in a transfer. Why the rush? Tonight they were doing a ward split. They were realigning ward boundary lines.

For Ben and I, growing up in a rapidly changing Stake in the Tomball/Spring/Houston area this is not a big deal to us. We will go with the flow and come what may, we will accept it and move on with it. We lived in our Tomball house almost 15 years and we lived in two different Stakes and 3 different Wards – Champions, Parkway, and Memorial Springs. In that time period, they had probably done 5 ward splits. They had done one just a couple of months before we moved where they created another new ward. We were not impacted by the changes, but our friends were.

That being said, however, we wanted our records up here and in place so they were moved with all the other member records in all the changes as those changes take longer to settle the dust from.

So we had not been official members of the Cross Roads Ward and the Frisco Texas Shawnee Trail Stake more than 5.5 hours and we have already experienced our first ward split. Things change fast up here.

Prior to tonight’s ward division meeting, our back fence line at the house was the boundary line between the Cross Roads Ward and the Little Elm 2nd Ward. I had to zoom in close on the map to make sure we found the right ward to attend. To make sure. Sure enough the back fence was the division line. I knew that sometime in the future we would experience some boundary changes at some point. I just did not realize that it would be before we even moved into the house.

Ben and I sat and looked through every single name in our new Stake directory as we waited for the meeting to start tonight. We confessed to each other that we did not recognize a single name on the list. Often you will find in the church that it is not as big as it seems in numbers. You will go somewhere and you will run into people that you know. We, however, have managed to move into a Stake that we by the names on the directory alone do not know a single person. Not a soul.

Suddenly, I felt alone in that big room. I was already feeling pretty alone because earlier this morning only 2-3 people spoke to me at church. I mean REALLY SPOKE to me at church. I do not know if they did not speak to me because they were busy or simply because they did not think it mattered after tonight’s meeting as everything would change. Sadly, the one person that really spoke to me felt that she would end up in another ward this morning. She was truly a delightful individual. She had the cutest little 16 month old boy. I am truly grateful for Danielle Ethington this morning. I did not see her again at the meeting. It is gratitude she may never understand.

There I sat tonight not knowing a soul and I listened, ready to know where we would be assigned to worship our Heavenly Father every week until the next time the need arises to do this again. It was not that long ago that I sat through one of these meetings. It did not matter to me then because I was moving, I would be finding a new ward when we moved. Here I sat after attending a single meeting with our new ward and I was having it ripped away. The message for the night, spoken by our new bishop’s wife that resonated, “not quite right” and “still getting it right.”

Maybe the Cross Roads Ward was not quite right for me. That sudden feeling of “totally alone” in a room full of people lifted and I could feel my Heavenly Father’s love tonight. I knew I would begin to recognize people in that room even if it would take some time. I longed for my beloved Klein Texas Stake with all its familiar faces and warm hugs, but I knew that room held something precious for me too even if it was not quite right this morning when I got there. It may not be quite right for some time to come, but Heavenly Father has my back.

So next week we will not meet with our new ward. They still have to shuffle things around to make room for the new ward. The following week, we will meet with the new ward. I will once again have to introduce myself as a newbie in a room full of strangers. At least then I won’t have to say “I am Stacey Sansom, I just moved into the ward. From the sounds of it, I hope that I will still be in the ward after tonight.” It will be a true introduction.

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