That photo to the right was me in July of 2006. I had gone through a rough year. I had a failed relationship that moved me 600 miles away from home, then back home. I lost my grandfather and I felt like I overall had lost my way in life.
I was searching for answers and looking in all the wrong places and I wasn’t really getting anywhere in life. It was about two months after my grandpa passed and I sat at home alone. Something called me to go look out the front window of my parents house. Something I would do often at home, because of course I was that nosy neighbor.
But what I saw was a clear message, at least to me. At my best friends house there were missionaries walking in the door to sit down for dinner. A little back story about my best friend – she is Mormon, born and raised in the church so Mormon missionaries heading into her home was nothing out of the ordinary.
I waited till they left and I sat down and said a little prayer. I had gone to church off and on with them over the years and kind of missed it. I asked for clarity and a sign. A message from someone, anyone that would let me know if church was the right path for me at that moment. And boy did I get that sign. To this day I still think it was my grandfather talking to me.
A couple days later I called up my neighbor, my best friends mother since K my childhood BFF was at college and asked her if I could meet with the missionaries at her house. I knew if I brought it up to my parents, even though I was a grown adult I would get a big NO from them. My father was raised Catholic and my mother raised Protestant. Me? I had only really been in a Mormon church with my friend and a hand full of Catholic churches for funerals. That was the extent of religion in my life.
In the next couple weeks I started talking with the missionaries once or twice a week. We went through a process known to most as the talks, which are typically in preparation for Baptism. I didn’t know if that was what I wanted to do… but I knew I liked the process. I felt comfortable. I felt like I found the place I needed to be at that point in my life.
I had my best friends family as an incredible support system. I had my big sister who was a very spiritual person supporting me and I knew this was right. It was the true choice for me.
I went through all of the talks, went to church every Sunday morning, went to a Tuesday evening class called institute for singles around my age in the area and I just had this feeling that I was doing the right thing. I finally felt like I fit somewhere. It was great.
That summer once my best friend came home from college I was baptized. Her brother-in-law baptized me one Sunday after church services were over, and the following Sunday I was confirmed by her father.
The experience as a whole was surreal. When I would hear people talking about the warm and calm feeling they would get when they were being touched by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost I would wonder if I was doing something wrong because I had not got that feeling. But in the days before my baptism I had the Spirit with me so often I knew it was a confirmation of baptism being the right choice.
My baptism was beautiful. My best friend and her mother spoke, my parents attended and everything was just the way I had wanted it to be in my head. I knew that becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was the right choice for me. I knew the church was true and I knew my testimony of the church would only strengthen over time. Of course it had not worked out the way I had dreamt it would in my head, but that is what life is.
I have gone through a lot since I was baptized. I have walked away from the church and I have drank. Lets be honest here, I love me some wine. I have given birth outside of marriage and challenged so much of what the church as a whole stands for.
But I am standing here now at a cross roads. A very public and raw cross roads.
I lost my sister, I lost my faith, I lost so much.
And the only thing I feel like I can get comfort from once again is returning to church.
My husband – a catholic, I am sure will be my biggest obstacle. But what is life without challenges?
This is me walking back into what I believed in for so long and saying I do believe in God – even though he has let me down and pissed me off over the past couple years. This is me saying I need it in my life. This is me saying I need this spiritual transformation in my life to be a better person, a better mom and a better wife.
And though I am scared and worried, this is me sharing it with you!
I may lose readers, I may gain readers, but if there is anything I have been over the years – it is real.
More from living