It was the fall of 2015. My husband had been unemployed for about 5 months, and had a job interview with a company that we thought would just be “it” – it would be an amazing opportunity for our family. I was thrilled that God had created such an opportunity for us. We were just so lucky….
And then he didn’t get the job.
Where was God, where was my faith? Both slowly started to shrink in my heart. Things got really dark. I started to turn into a person that I didn’t recognize.
It started that every Sunday I questioned going to church, I questioned sending my kids to mutual. I didn’t know which was up or down, and I certainly didn’t have a clue which way was forward.
It was tough.
And I felt like I was the only one.
I was quickly spiraling into a depression that filled my whole life. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse I had a huge issue with the PTO where I was president. The things that I felt were going OK suddenly weren’t.
Life was just a mess. With no checklist to clean It up.
I finally reached out to some friends who really gave me good advice.
The most important one was to find some hope.
The thing that changed me was finding some hope. I searched and searched (fairly fruitlessly) and finally I decided to hope for hope. And that is what turned it for me.
I really pictured my life as the rainforest with one tiny beam of light making it through all the leaves and moss.
I also don’t want you to think that coming out of the darkness was quick. It was a long, slow process that I really wished was quicker.
In that time I still really had a hard time going to church. My doubts were still a little too large to fit into a gospel doctrine class. Ok, especially a gospel doctrine class.
I really worked to go to church. I never felt comfortable there. I always ached to just lay in bed instead of putting my happy face on and pretending that God knew my problems and had a plan.
There were a few other words of advice that really helped me. Maybe they’ll help you
My dad is a big believer in finding the fruits. What’s the outcome of what you’re doing?
Was there anything bad coming out of me going to church, other than the possibility of wasting a few hours of my life (which I still did on Facebook, so I really couldn’t be too mad about that). The fruit was that I had a few tight-knit friends that really loved me and wanted me to be OK. They’d check in and I’d say I was fine – but I knew that they cared, even if I wasn’t fine.
In talking to another one of my friends she reminded me that I was choosing the absolute worst time to go inactive. I had two teenage sons who really needed the church at this point.
And she was right. That was part of what kept me going. I needed to show those boys that while I didn’t know (and I was honest with one of my sons that I was having a really hard time, but I was still going to church in hopes that it would work out) I could still goWhile I didn't KNOW I could still go.Click To Tweet
They have great youth leaders that really make a difference for them. It’s one of the absolute perks of being LDS. My son had amazing leaders who pushed him to get his Eagle, I was super thankful for that.
Had I stopped believing in God?
God is the foundation.
I had problems with polygamy, and I wasn’t to fond of the new statement about LGBT from the church, but I could probably get over that.
Those aren’t the foundation. Those are small bits to a big house. The foundation is God. And that God loved me, and had a plan for me.
And while I did doubt that every now and then I still felt a glimmer of hope that might be true.
Also, I swear there was one Sunday we sang that song twice. How firm IS your foundation? What IS the foundation? I think those two questions can get you through quite a lot.
It’s SO easy to get sucked into the websites, the mental complaining and the hopelessness.
But am I allowing myself to get just as sucked into the positive. Reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, really studying FAITH (instead of studying the doubts)?
Was I giving each of those a fair chance? I wasn’t, those books really did help though.
I would love to take a poll to find out how many people in the relief society room feel like they don’t fit in. I certainly don’t feel like I do. I have always worked, I only have 3 children, I am vocal about how things, most especially marriage, can be tough and I struggle.
I feel so alone sometimes at church.
And I bet you do too. So, come sit by me. 🙂
The Relief Society is not just for women with fake boobs, eyelash extensions, a love of crafts and a will to work out. It’s filled with strong, amiable women who are making a conscious effort to choose the right for themselves and their family every day. We are all SO different, but it is the foundation (like I talked about above) that really brings us together.
There is no “normal” Relief Society member. We are all just trying. We’re very different, but united.
In reality, I think you REALLY need to toss out the idea of what a “regular’ member of the Relief Society is – and just try to be a friend to everyone.
I think there are issues that you might need to put on your own personal shelf ever now and then. For me, one of them is polygamy. I can’t really think too hard about it. I get wound up and upset. I have to remember I’m not getting the whole story and I hope that at some point it will be explained.
I also have LGBT issues, although not as much as many people. It’s on a tinier box on a shelf. But still on the shelf.
I just move on. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is about being a disciple and none of those are all that important in that process.
I am a follower of Christ.
That doesn’t meant that I won’t have hard times, or be lost a great deal of the time.
But I does mean that I follow Him. I find some way to pull myself up and help others.
It doesn’t involve me always having a perfect life.
And sometimes you just have to hang on. I know that recently one of the brethren said that “hanging in there” is not a principle of the gospel. Which, I agree.
But sometimes it’s all you can do.
Just keep going. Just try to stay in the boat. You will find you way sometime soon. Until then, enjoy the boat. Make a friend in the boat, decorate your corner. Sometime soon you’ll be ready to paddle.
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