Today I had an open house. It was a joint venture with an associate in lending. I had met her last summer and we discovered that we were both LDS. We've kept in touch and our faith really seemed to help us be better associates and co-working professionals.
However, once I left the LDS church, I didn't know quite how to tell her and if she would even understand. So I began to purposly loose touch with her (the coward's way I know). She even offered me a client and because I hadn't been totally honest with her, couldn't in good conscience take the referral. It just didn't seem right - especially since both her and the client were LDS and looking for a LDS Realtor.
While I was holding my very first open house, she called as usual to check on me and how business was going. We decided to have a joint open house - she would attend in hopes of finding clients in need of lending and we would work jointly on the marketing for the Open House.
The day of the open house came (yesterday) and I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. When she arrived I was just barely changing into my business outfit and finish setting up. At last, everything was in place and all we had to do for four hours was talk. Eventually, somehow it came up that her husband had left the LDS church and it didn't appear that he would ever return. The former Mormon in me really hurt for her - especially since she had earlier shared that they had had a temple marriage. Regardless if members have temple marriages, if they do not "endure to the end" it doesn't matter and they cannot be eternal families. I wanted to offer kind and comforting words - as if I were still LDS - but darn it, God just wouldn't let me. "My husband and I left the LDS church some time ago," I confided in her.
She looked up shocked.
In a previous blog I vented how I have come to hate talking about religion or God or that Steve and I are ex-Mormons because they all react the same way. Of course God would then place me in this situation to show me that they don't.
About an hour into the conversation she finally asked why we had left. So I began at the beginning - the small group invitation, the Spirit that was always there but lacking at our ward, returning to our favorite ward to feel the Spirit, wondering if perhaps we were doing something wrong to not feel the Spirit at the LDS church - but perplexed that we felt it so strongly at small group and Christian churches. She opened up more about her husband and that he "discovered" things about the LDS church that he couldn't accept and now she is considering going inactive.
I encouraged her to join me in some outings if she felt comfortable or had time, but we'll see where it leads. The interaction was encouraging for me and hopefully planted seeds for her.
What I found most interesting wasn't the interaction itself - but God's timing. I was beyond frustrated and felt so overwhelmed - then He placed me in this situation with her. It was incrediable and refreshing and such a reminder of God's sovereignty.