The final commandment found in Exodus says, “Thou shalt not covet.” The scriptures teach us to not covet our neighbor’s home, spouse, servants, animals, or anything “that is thy neighbour’s” (see Exodus 20:17). Modern-day church leaders have counseled us against coveting our neighbor’s car, profession, status, etc. This commandment has never been too hard for me to keep until… my son’s friends started giving their missionary farewell talks at church. That’s when I found myself sitting in sacrament meetings, coveting the “missionary mom” experience I was missing out on.
I wished my son had gathered all of those who know and love him to reveal where in the world he was headed to serve the Lord on a full-time mission. I wished my son had spent extra time in the scriptures and in the temple, preparing himself spiritually to go preach the gospel. I wished I could be listening to my son teach from the pulpit with wisdom beyond his years. Don’t get me wrong; I was happy for my friends whose sons were serving missions, grateful even. But those sacrament meetings usually led me to spend a lot of time over the next few days (and sometimes longer) wishing I could have that experience with my son, too, and believing that I had somehow messed up and that’s why it wasn’t happening.
Fast forward a couple years, and not too long ago we had three missionary farewells in one day ~ all friends of my two sons not serving missions (yep ~ I now have two sons not serving missions). There was a time when I would’ve found an excuse to not attend because it would’ve hurt too much. Instead, I eagerly anticipated the day and even talked my youngest son (not serving) into going with me ~ not with hopes that it would change his mind, but rather so he could celebrate this time with his friends and see them one more time before they left.
What changed in me so that I no longer coveted the missionary experiences I always planned to have? How did I get to the place in my heart where I can truly rejoice with my friends who do get this missionary experience? I have learned that while there are certainly things out of my control, only I get to choose whether or not I’m going to stay sad or bitter or covetous. If you’re ready to let go of the disappointment and despair ~ I mean really let go of it ~ I can show you how (and I promise it’s not about white-knuckling your way to it or pretending on the outside). Schedule a FREE mini-session now and we can see if my coaching program is a good fit for you!