Things I need to get off my chest (with pregnant brain, so maybe I've already written about these things, but I don't really care) :
*For my own sanity, I no longer engage in conversations/debates with people who claim to believe in their covenants while their actions/words refute it through public discussion. I'm not talking about disagreeing with people of different religions --I'm talking about people in my own religion. And I'm not talking about discussing whether or not Activity Day Girls should get just as much instruction time as the Cub Scouts do; I'm talking about core doctrines of my religion that are being argued as "opinion." Apostasy. I've even gone so far as to unfriend several friends/family members on FB over it the last few months, allowing myself to be seen as a judgy-judge-Mcjudgerson --but I don't have any regrets.
Let me tell you why:
I have just spent the last several months helping the missionaries teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I have just helped a man come back to church although he is suffering from severe substance addictions. I've watched people fight for years to get to the Temple to make sacred covenants. I have seen, just yesterday, the light of Christ enter a young woman's heart as she prayed to God for the very first time in her life! When I see the time and effort people put into fighting FOR THEIR VERY SOULS to get into this church, I have no patience for those who no longer respect it. It's not about love or lack of love, it's about keeping myself sane. Selfish? Perhaps. But I'm going to focus on me, my husband, and my kids. I'm going to support my ward members/friends/family who keep coming even when it's hard. I'm going to pray for them and everyone else --including those I won't discuss things with, anymore. But my days of tolerating apostasy? Over.
*With that said, I have to admit that I am a hypocrite. I paint my life as spectacular and share photos of my cute kids and bear my testimony --but you don't see the whole truth. Full disclosure: I yell and scream at my kids. My kids fight a lot. My house is a mess all the time. My husband and I argue. I judge people I believe should know better (usually out of a deep fear that they will lose their eternal salvation --because I've seen it happen). I am lazy. I am usually very annoyed with my kids and impatient with them. I don't volunteer in my kids' schools because I don't want to. I'm not as healthy as I should be and rarely exercise. I have a list five miles long with goals/dreams I keep being told through stupid Internet memes I'm supposed to do right now or I will be an old lady tomorrow and regret my entire existence --and haven't done any of them. I swear more than I should. I don't read my scriptures every day. I cry in the shower (well, not every time...).
*But let me tell you what is awesome about me: I try every day to be a little better, and I try every day to do something good. Even if I have to course correct, apologize, or start over, I try. I am not afraid to listen to God. I am not afraid of apologizing. I am not afraid to love. I am not afraid of my mistakes, anymore. For years they owned me because I felt I had to be perfect to receive love. Now I realize how incredibly stupid that thinking is/was/will be. Satan sucks, and I'm punching him in the face more often in order to hold onto my happiness --mental illness or not! My mistakes bring me to Christ, and Christ is where I want to be. I saw this the other day and it was exactly what I needed to read. Because it's true. It's not supposed to be easy and it's not supposed to be impossible. It's simply supposed to be effort:
*I support Israel. I don't think war and killing is ever easy or right. But I know that Israel has the God-given and UN sanctioned right to their land and their freedom, and as a covenant-understanding Mormon woman, I know the history of God's chosen people --and they are part of it. I see it with such clarity that it's laughable. And to see the anti-Semitism in our country?! It makes me just sick! What is going on?!
*I am so overwhelmed by the love and support everyone has given us about this new baby! I was terrified --just terrified --about announcing it, even though I wanted to do it weeks ago. I told my therapist that I was afraid of all of the backlash and rude comments, but I was even more afraid of the silence --of the stone-cold nothing. Because let me tell you something: going to God and asking Him what He wants you to do can be a really scary thing. Especially when your extended circle of family/friends think you might be a tad insane. My friend talked about it in our gospel doctrine class this morning at church. Basically, she said this: "People don't want to ask God for the answers, because then they will have to do it. And usually, it's not easy!" I can't even begin to describe to you, dear reader, how this is with choosing to expand one's family. To include Heavenly Father is the decision means you choose to follow His will. Sometimes, that means the answer is "No." Sometimes, it's "Not now." And sometimes, it's "Yes!"
Our answer was: "Yes!" But in hindsight, it was actually: "Yes! You need to have another baby. But it's going to take a long time, this time. It's going to be hard. Because you're going to question whether or not you received the right answer as you keep trying and waiting and wondering. You're going to face some other really tough decisions, and you are going to be struggling with different things as you strive to obey this 'yes.' But keep trusting Me and have some faith. I'm with you, and I love you, and you will be blessed for your faithfulness and sacrifice."
I'm still waiting for some of those blessings. My heart tells me that this child is one of them --if not all of them.
So thank you, thank you, thank you, dear reader, for supporting us and our answered prayer. It isn't easy to do illogical anti-worldly things in our society, anymore. It's harder if there's no support! I'm grateful we have loads of it.