Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

The last week has been quite an interesting one in my home. My husband, who was so supportive during my investigation of the church, has become unsupportive. Every chance he gets, he makes a little dig at me about the church. This is a man who was raised LDS and fell away from it when he was a teenager. I understand that these feelings are based on his experience, but I didn’t realize how deep his anger towards the church went.

He makes cracks if I go to the church to help. He makes cracks when he sees me reading scripture. He makes cracks if I only go to sacrament and not the full three hours. I understand that because I am the one he is with every day that it is easy for him to direct that anger towards me. But how do two people with different beliefs get past the differences and find common ground?

Part of the problem is we are broke. In our entire relationship, we have never been as poor as we are now. I won’t lie, money and I do not get along. Growing up, I was never taught to budget or to save my money. When I am upset, hurt, or depressed, a little retail therapy always helps. That being said, budgeting is something neither of us has done. While he was on the road the money came flowing in and we didn’t have to budget, we were always okay and we always had a cushion. Now, that cushion is completely deflated with a big gaping hole in its side. I have cut back everything that we can. I have removed all the unnecessary expenditures. I found a less expensive internet service so that my children can still do their school work. I have dumped everything from our phone plan that I possibly could. I have a Toyota Prius, so as far as petrol, I only have to fill the tank once every two to three weeks depending on how much I have been driving. I’m in the “process” of quitting smoking not only for my health, but to save money as well. I say “process” because it is freaking hard.

I see all these sacrifices I have made but the husband hasn’t made one. He said last night regarding the two things he spends money on daily, “If I don’t get these things it should be because I have chosen not to. Not because we are so broke I can’t afford them.” He’s right, he shouldn’t have to because we are financially strapped. We have a mountain of debt from medical bills when we weren’t insured. Recently, a garnishment was levied due to one of those bills. In his eyes, this is all my fault and he is paying for my mistake. In a way, he’s right. But he doesn’t see any money, from either one of us as ours. It’s his and mine. I pay the bills and he, well, he has his money. It’s funny, as I sit here and write this down, I realize that I am always putting myself in his place to try and understand where he is coming from. Not once however, has he done the same.

I don’t know what is going to happen. We only have a roof over our heads due to the Grace of God. Food in our bellies thanks to the Bishop and the Ward. I don’t know what the future holds or how all of this will turn out. But I know Heavenly Father is with me and as long as I keep my heart open I will receive the guidance I need. In the past, if these things had happened, because of my faltering faith, I would be cursing the universe. Now, all I feel is peace and know that what is supposed to happen, will happen.

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The Gift

  
Yesterday, I had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I was baptized into the LDS church. I honestly cannot put into words the love and peace that I felt. I know the church has a bad name among many. Those that don’t know it and those that have left it. Being a woman who is about to celebrate her 20th anniversary of turning 20, I was able to learn about the church with an open mind. 

Many people get baptized within a month of beginning their investigation into the church. I took over a year to learn and to study. To deconstruct and to understand. No one was more surprised then I when I received Heavenly Fathers answer to my prayers. It was not an easy decision. It take a strength and courage to choose to follow a religion that none in my family believe in. And don’t get me wrong, there are facets of the church I do not support. But, I do believe in the Gospel and I have felt nothing but peace about this decision. In the photograph above I am with the two missionaries that started my investigative journey and the two missionaries that ended it. I am so supremely blessed to know them and love them. I know that God out them in my path when I was open and ready to receive his word. 

At my baptism I expected maybe 15 people to be there. There were over 50! The little room was absolutely packed and it was with people that love and care about me. People that I, in my mortality didn’t think cared that much. I am still overflowing with the abundance of love that was shown to me. 

While I am now a member, my investigation is not over. Each day I will be studying and learning and questioning more. Because that is how God made me.

Changes

  
Tomorrow is a big day. I have to finish cleaning my home, the sisters are coming over to spend some time just hanging out. Then family will start to arrive. I have to braid my hair and pack a small bag with my outfit and make up. After that I wait, I wait until it is time to leave for the church. I will be baptized. I will accept God as the creator and Jesus Christ as his son, redeemer and savior of the earth. I make this promises in the same church where we had my brother-in-laws funeral two years ago. A building that at one time you couldn’t pay me to walk into because of that memory, now brings me comfort and peace. Oh, I know it isn’t the building, just the memory. 

So here I lay awake, watching a movie that the church would not seem appropriate (Expendables 3) and knowing not that God never left my side. He gave us his only begotten son who took all of our sins upon him. I will strive every day to live by Gods commandments and do my best to help bring peace to others. So, tonight I say goodbye to the old me and tomorrow, I will say hello to the “enhanced” me. We are all one people, we are all one family, and we are all one love.

It’s Almost Here

Baptism John 3 VS 3-7

 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Before I started this journey a little over a year ago, I didn’t really  understand the bible. I hadn’t read it since I was a little  girl, well not really read but was taught verses in religious school and my Catholic High School. Reading the Bible and the Scriptures has brought me a sense of peace that I have never felt before. I realized it was something I have been searching for all my life. I have always had faith, but I never really understood what it was.

On Saturday I will take my place in the baptismal font and commit myself to Christ. Commit myself to God and his Covenants and do my best to live his word every day. I am excited for this next chapter of my life, the final piece being fit into the puzzle of my life.

I’m Getting Baptized???

When I called my friend Becky and told her that I was being baptized, she laughed out loud. I asked her why she thought it was funny since she was the one who started me on this journey. She said she wasn’t laughing at me because of the baptism, but because she never thought it would happen.

Yes, I am getting baptized in a little under two weeks. I grew up in a Jewish and Catholic home, Fridays were spent in Synagogue and Sundays at Mass. When it came to God, I was a confused child. I remember being kicked out of Religious school at Synagogue because I asked my teacher why Jews didn’t believe in Jesus. You can understand my questioning this since I was going to be in Sunday school in just over a day. She didn’t know the answer, so Grandma, Grandpa and I were called into Rabbi Sam’s office and it was suggested that maybe I shouldn’t attend Religious school for awhile…I never went back.

I went to a Catholic High School. I loved it, because A: I had awesome friends who loved me for me and B: I got to argue with my Religious studies teacher, Mr. Yonko, every day. I spent a lot of time in the Principles office during that class. I miss Mr. Yonko, he was my favorite teacher.

So, back to the baptism. I live in Utah, I have lived here on and off since I was 6 years old. I lived in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley. There were no Jews where I lived, they all lived up along the east bench and in the avenues. There were no Catholics where I lived, they all lived Downtown and in Rose Park. But, as you may have already guessed, there were a lot of Mormons. I remember watching my Mom get irritated when the Missionaries came to our door. I once inadvertently caused a Missionary to pop a boner when I walked outside in my Daisy Dukes. Hey, it is a biological reaction. I didn’t bend over, or act suggestively, I just walked out the front door and across the street to my girlfriend’s house. My Grandmother would slam the door in the faces of the missionaries. And while I didn’t understand the church and its teachings, I always hated how people treated them. Fast forward 10+ years and I always welcomed the Missionaries into my home. Not to teach, but to hang out and to feed them. I would want someone to love and care for my children the same way if they were far away from home. My husband on the other hand who is LDS but inactive, HATES having the missionaries knock on the door. Basically, he’s a dick to them.

Now we come to a year ago. My friend Becky saw that I was having a difficult time and felt that I needed this in my life. She invited me over for movie night which actually turned out to be “Meet the Missionaries”. I was open to learning and to asking questions, I met with them twice before they were transferred to a different area. That is when Elder White and Elder Horn entered my life. They became like sons to me. They allowed me to speak freely and without filter. They answered my questions and didn’t make me feel silly for asking. After they were transferred, along came Sister Stewart and Sister Burrows. Sister Stewart is great, but I basically adopted Sister Burrows. She’s from England and being the anglophile that I am, we hit it off immediately. Again I was able to speak openly and honestly and ask the questions I needed to ask. Once they were transferred, Sister Cluff and Sister Kush showed up. Again, I have adopted them as well. Sister Kush is from the Ukraine and she is the sweetest soul you will ever meet. She also is the only Mormon in her family. Unfortunately, Sister Kush was transferred but now Sister Loveless is here. I know that God put each and every one of these amazing young men and women into my path for a reason. Usually, during the teaching process, Missionaries will ask over and over again if you are ready to be baptized in order to truly be a part of God’s plan. Believe me, they all asked me..every…single…week. But, as I mentioned before, they allowed me to be me.

And now, we have come full circle, a year after starting my investigation into the church, I felt the light and love of God and knew that this journey was the right one for me. I called Sister Cluff and Sister Loveless and told them I was ready to be baptized. It has happened when it was supposed to happen. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that God loves me and is with me every day. Do I need to go to Church every Sunday? No. Because whether I am in the house of the Lord or not, God is with me. But, I like going to church. It fills me with a spirit that I can’t quite describe. Sacrament isn’t much fun but Relief Society is a blast.

My children are not LDS and I have already been asked if they are going to be baptized. I politely tell people that as this was my journey, they have their own journey to follow. Whether it be the path of Judaism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Wicka, it doesn’t matter. Are there things in the church that I don’t agree with? Yes. There always will be. But, I believe in the Gospel and I believe in God and that is good enough for me.