I wanted to share a bit of a back-story to my life that is kind of obvious but not and is the whole reason I have been freaking over my parents and this upcoming talk about having left the LDS church.
I love Mamau and Papau dearly. My parents are amazing people and I cherish the relationship I have with them. But I'm 25 and it wasn't always this way. Since I've shared my past in previous blogs here it is in a nutshell again - I started off in as a good girl, was pregnant by 14, and became wild by college. So we'll skip details this time around - I was an angry uncontrolled person.
These things are obvious. What's not obvious are the effects it's had on my family. I was the black sheep. The outsider. I went two years without seeing my "cousins" because I was a bad influence - and I frankly can't say I disagree. I was horrible. The person I am now and the person I was then are like night and day. Even when I got married, I didn't calm down that much - I wasn't as angry, but I still drank a lot, I still dressed inmodestly, I still was in a lot of ways - the black sheep of the family. And I didn't care. Here's the kicker - when did I change? When I became a Mormon. It was the LDS church that tamed the shrew so to speak, it was then that my life started finally calming down and I started caring about the relationship I had with my parents. It started mattering to me - I began apologizing and repenting of the mistakes and all the horrible things I had done and said to and against my family. The began to matter.
I knew my family loved me, but they kept their distance because I had done some damage over the years - and my mother Sheryl had done damage and to this day continues to do damage without caring. Over the past four years I've slowly repaired the relationship with my parents. When I went through the temple, it was my parents who escorted me, it was my parents who were my wittinesses at my temple sealing, it was my parents who stood by me for in our LDS beliefs, every sacred moment. In the past year, our relationship had grown an amazing amount and I care so much. Papau had a stroke about a year ago and has become more devout because he had that touch with death and now wants everyone to know about the Restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and the doctrine of Eternal Families. When he was laying there in a hospital bed, his blood pressure through the roof, waiting for surgery - he wanted me to start temple work to make sure all of his family was sealed together in the temple so we would all be together in the celestial kingdom. I would go and sit with him each night and we would the halls of the hospital together and we would just talk about the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and sharing the Restoration with people and how important it was that people believe. I had almost thought that Papau had forgotten about that until recently when Grace was baptized and then I realized he was still just as passionate about it now as he was then.
I keep thinking of how devout they have become this past year and wonder how they will react. Will they see me as an apostate? Will they simply think I couldn't hack it? Will they cut me out of the family, will I revert to the black sheep in their eyes? Will our relationship take a nose dive?
In a lot of ways, I've equated telling them about this, to when I told them about I was pregnant nine years ago. Will I in a sense, ruin Jesus for them? Will they simply see me reverting to old habits - like a "reformed" drug addict picking up a needle for another hit? Am I simply ruining everything for them and for me? My parents are converts to the LDS church - from Protestant beliefs to LDS ones, they both have brothers and sisters who oppose the LDS church. To have been LDS and leave is one thing, to have gone through the temple and leave is another - "God is not mocked" - is what is said. When I stand there and tell them of what God has done in my life, will they simply see me as 14 years old, "knocked up", and naive all over again?
And as I've pondered over all this, Rosa, who I thought I was supposed to be helping, pulled out a Chick track last night. The very first one I've ever seen and reads to me something. This angel says, "You valued your friends opinion over Jesus. And where are they now? And here you are, alone."
Returning to David's words in the psalms - my life is just a blink here, my relationship with my parents - while it's finally become important to me - is not more valuable than my relationship with Jesus. I've set the date of General Conference, and even though I struggle with belief, I have to try to believe that God will have His hand over all this and that in the end, His Will will be done in the end.