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.

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.

He Was Missing and I Didn’t Know

Today, I was cleaning my living room when the phone rang. It was my son’s seventh grade counselor. I have been speaking with her about the things that are going on with him, so I assumed that is why she was calling. I answered the phone to have her ask me why my son was not in school today. They had called him to the counseling center and that is how they discovered he wasn’t there.

First Emotion: Shock, Second Emotion: Disbelief, Third Emotion: Fear. I stopped her in mid-sentence and exclaimed that he had left for school at 6:30 this morning and what did she mean he wasn’t there. All sorts of thoughts started running through my mind. There was an accident, he had been kidnapped, he had been jumped. All of these the rational part of me said were bull, the irrational part of me however had complete control in that moment. She told me that she would send someone to his class to see if there had just been a mixup and then call me back.

While I waited for that phone call, I texted everyone that I could think of to try and track down my son. He wasn’t answering my call or my texts. I texted his friends even though I knew that they were actually in school. Finally, I called my niece. Within minutes he texted me. “I’m fine”, “No, I am not telling you where I am”, “I went to a friend’s house”, “No, I’m not telling you who it is”. Who is this entity that has taken over my child? I’m trying to understand, but he won’t talk to me. I remember being 12 and feeling the same way, but, I at least talked. Then again, I didn’t talk to my parents, I talked to my friends. How do I, as his Mother, get his friends to open up to me about what is going on in his life without them feeling like they are ratting him out?

Eventually, I was able to get him to tell me where he was and I went and picked him up. Now, for most parents, their first reaction would be to scream and freak out. I didn’t do that. I spoke quietly, I didn’t raise my voice, I focused the conversation on him. It didn’t matter what I was feeling, I needed to find out how he was feeling. When we got home, we sat down and talked. Our conversation isn’t over, but we have taken a small break to regroup.

I am in unchartered waters and even with all the advice from friends and books and online forums, this is my child. Each child is different, there experiences, while the same, are different from their perspective. I don’t know where this journey is going to take us or how it is going to turn out.

And the Hits Keep Coming

I woke up this morning excited to go to work as I do every day. I work for a Talent Agent. It is an exciting field to be in. You get to learn all about the casting process and the differences between auditioning for commercial, film, and television. My job is the development of the child talent. Helping with resumes, head shots, and of course, training. If you want to be an actor, you have to have training. Yes, some actors have lucked out and been plucked from obscurity to become famous over night. BUT, they all have training. If you train for theater, that’s great. But film and television are different from theater and the same techniques do not apply. I love my job, I love my office, I love the people I work with….and today, I was let go.

It had nothing to do with me, it’s business. My sales for the acting classes weren’t where they needed to be. I got it. It hurt, it hurt like hell, but I got it. I packed up my office and went to say goodbye to the owner. How fortuitous that decision would be. In a matter of an hour, I went from being unemployed, to being rehired by the same agency but in a different position. One that allows me to put my training and skills to good use.

It’s funny, when it first happened, I didn’t question it. I didn’t say poor me or why me. I didn’t curse God and ask him why I was being punished. I just cried, I cried because I was a part of a family. I cried because I love these people so much and the thought of not seeing them every day positively broke my heart. Then, in an instant, the tears of sadness turned into tears of joy. Never question the universe and what it has in store for you. Everything does indeed happen for a reason.