This blog is going to be uncomfortably honest - for me and possibly for you as well. However, I'm learning through the Word, that I must be honest with myself and others. When I began blogging about leaving the LDS church, I promised myself I would be honest and not hold anything back. I haven't done this very well because I was ashamed of my own shortcomings.
The past few days, I've been receiving various messages - possibly of assurance - about mercy. God's mercy for us. With this comes acknowledging that I need mercy and so does everyone else. What comes with mercy? Repentance and forgiveness. There are areas in my life that while I've gone through the motions of forgiveness, I have never completely forgiven these people - from my abusive biological mother to the family I babysit for. As God's child, this hinders me from the "abundant spirit filled life God has planned" for me. Acknowledging my areas of bondage is not easy or comfortable.
I'm going to give a quick background of what has been really plagueing me the past week, something I've been truly consumed and almost drowing in but haven't really told anyone - not even my husband about fully. I have been considering returning to the LDS church. Yikes, I know. I didn't have some sort of revelation, but rather, unknowingly was having spiritual pangs for God's truth. Beth Moore parrallels this to our physical body, when we are hungry how do we know? My stomache growls and aches. The same with our spirits. When they are hungry and thirsty for the Living Water and Bread of Life - they begin to manifest themselves in physical ways. I sort of knew this already, but as I pondered how my spirit manifests itself, the Lord began to free me with truth.
Even though I accepted Him as Lord and Savior years ago, I have not experienced true satisfaction with Him. How horrible I felt when I realized this. I've felt momentary joy, overwhelming at times, but never lasting satisfaction. I've lusted after the things of this world which has led me step by step into deeper more devastating sins in my life. Even as a Christian I have done this. Thought to myself all the things wrong with me (per Earthly standards and spiritual ones) and nag myself about it, obsesses about it, and finally after torment take action - just not godly ones.
This past January I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II disorder as well as Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (this is slightly different than OCD because I don't feel the need to do things a certain number of times - what I experience is once I have something in my mind, I am without peace until I fulfill those thoughts). This is something only very close family and friends know. In fact, my parents simply think my migraines are acting up again and this is why I was on medicine and acting differently. I was quite relieved and ashamed at the same time when I found out that I had BPII and OCPD. Part of me felt that I finally knew what was wrong with me these past few years and another part was deeply ashamed. Steve's company recently switched Healthcare providers and with it, they no longer cover the medications that I was taking for these conditions.
As a Latter Day Saint, I was always under such rules and regulations, my life was pretty much in control. Granted, I did have some downward spirals that I personally am convicted came because I did not have any real satisfaction in Christ, not because of my disorder. However, since these little slips came in I felt so ashamed before my God because I did not measure up to those around me, those in the scriptures, and so forth. I was painfully aware of my shortcoming, yet enslaved to them and unable to withdraw.
The month of July has been a draining, crazy, exciting, emotional, and unstable ride. We've been constantly busy and collapsing in exhaustion by 5 pm Sunday evening. I've found myself unable to get excited by the Word, yet whenever I sit down and study it I am so renewed. This past week, I found myself hitting rock bottom lows. I realized all my shortcomings as a mother and even began comparing myself to my own mother asking myself how low she had to hit before she became what she is now or it was always that way. I'm not happy as a mother - and I know that's wrong. Yet, I am happy as a mother and cannot find peace in that. While I deeply love my children, enjoy playing with them, spending time with them, and just watching them take in the world - I just don't feel like I am enough. And so, at times, regret being a mother to such wonderful children who deserve so much more. I look around at other people and wish I could give my children more - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I have no satisfaction in being a wife - I love my husband deeply and passionately, but again just don't feel that I measure up. He doesn't arrive home to a hot meal, clean house and children, and beautiful wife in the full getup of makeup and clean clothes. C'mon now - I've got two toddlers who change clothes three times a day, wreck the house, and barely give me enough time to shower ALONE in peace every couple of days, let alone do my hair, makeup, and make everyone and thing look amazing for his return home. I read the Proverbs 31 woman and instead of inspired, am depressed. I then realize that the example my children are seeing now is what will be in their little minds into adulthood as what a marriage, mother, and wife should look like and the depression amazingly gets deeper. I obesse about every little thing I am doing wrong, but cannot will myself to overcome.
So this past week while dwelling upon my long list of shortcomings, I began thinking about the LDS church. In the church, in social circles and talks by leadership one always hears - atleast once in their adult lives - about how a family left the church and their lives fell apart, went totally to hell. During my lows this week I began to wonder, "Oh my gosh is my life on the freeway to hell?" Which of course brought in doubt that I understood the Lord's answer to my prayers months ago, which then began to find the tiniest parrallel with LDS doctrine in the Bible and this little voice in my head would shout, "See!!!" Needless to say, the migrianes have increased a notch this past week as well. Misery - so this is what it feels like.
Last Friday I resumed my garments before bed - something I haven't done in awhile and began to ponder my covenants (don't worry part two of that blog is coming) and felt so overwhelmed by my depression to hit my knees and renew them. It was as if I could not breathe. All I could think about was returning to the temple, calling out to God, and begging His mercy. I even considered donning my Temple costume right there in my little prayer room and going through the "correct order of prayer" (no worry my LDS friends - read back in the JoD I believe it is, you'll see members have been encouraged to do this in the privacy of their own homes since the temples were erected). Yet, something stopped me. Even the next morning I felt a intense powerful urge to attend the temple.
Sunday's message was about the mercy we all need, and in turn the Savior provides. In Beth Moore's study today, she explained the lack of satisfaction we have in the Lord. As I read the scriptures and her commentary it suddenly hit me. I wasn't longing for the LDS church for truth, I was longing for comfort, security, and to return to an easier time in my life. I've been way outside my comfort zone. And do not allow myself to find nourishment in the Word every time I read from it. I can read through my 15 minutes of daily reading and at times walk away the same as before I read it. Yet, when I sit down and study it, giving God my full attention, I walk away more informed, at peace, and understanding what is going on in my life.
Right now, I need to find my nourishment in that which satisfies - which is not the world. Only Jesus. No wonder I feel like I've been constantly falling down, I am not meditating on that which is important - Jesus, the Word, God. All of it. Instead I am making it about me and how I don't measure up. Well that's a given, but it's not an eternal hole I'm stuck in if I do not want to be. I CAN get out of this hole. Not by myself, but by Jesus. Last night I learned that Jesus is in each believer and through this God's glory is accomplished. It's not an overnight transformation, but rather a daily journey.
I can day by day, glorify God. I only need to open myself to Him and trust Him. It's easy to trust Him on some things, but others I don't want to let go of and it's hard. Or I'm scared that He won't come through. Silly I know - but these are real hurdles for me. The Lord took days to assure and comfort me that I did not need to return to a false church for hope and security but rather allow Him to hold me. There is no better place to be than my Savior's warm embrace. I just need to open the door and let Him hold me.