Almost a year ago now, my life changed.
With the odd up and down and of course road bump along the way, the first 30 years of my life were pretty boring.
I was born and raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My membership is something I’ve grown to love and appreciate for many reasons, not the least of which is the knowledge and understanding I have of the incredible Gospel of Christ; I am so incredibly blessed to know of his service and sacrifice, and so many dogmatic issues that go along with it.
But I’ve led a pretty sheltered life. Somewhere along the line I put myself in a bubble, and I just stayed there. A cliche phrase we use at church is “in the world but not of the world.” Honestly, I think that pretty much perfectly sums up my experience as a teen. I don’t know; I was weird.
I am so thankful for my weirdness, though. It kept me from experiencing some serious pain and problems growing through those vulnerable years of my youth. I have never done any of a large number of ‘normal’ teenage stupid activities. I somehow escaped ever having the desire to really participate, or being in situations where I felt pressured to abandon my faith.
I never really felt connected to the church group, though, either. I guess I was a bit of a crazy loner.
We joke, too, at church, about girls marrying young and popping out babies. I was never, EVER going to do that. The first “date” my now husband and I had we sat across a table from each other sipping hot chocolate expressing our disgust at the moronic option some of our Church-member peers were selecting, marrying before graduating some form of post-secondary educational institution.
We were married less than a year later.
I laugh; I sort of accidentally have the perfect little Mormon life! Or, at least, I did.
I married a returned-missionary (he served two years for the Church preaching the Gospel in Korea) in the Temple of the Lord, sealed together in an eternal family unit by the restored power of the Lord’s priesthood. Childbearing was accidental and easy a few years later. We’re both educated with university degrees and lucrative career options ahead of us.
Then one night, last year, he dropped the bomb. It came out of nowhere. At least, to me.
“I need to talk to you,” he said. HE needed to TALK. When was the last time in a decade this geeky introvert I somehow fell head-over heels in love with as a teen attending church dances, needed to talk?
My mind was a whirr…. Ohmigosh, he’s having an affair. I KNEW we weren’t having enough sex. Or maybe that’s not it. Maybe he’s addicted to porn…. I couldn’t think of anything of gravity he may need to tell me that didn’t involve his admitting having broken a vow of chastity between us.
I was not ready for what he said. NEVER in my life had I ever contemplated the need to be ready for what came next. The affair, the internet leading to disgusting, damaging images of sexual misconduct… I don’t even remember now what all flashed through my head, but ANY of those options I felt at least somewhat prepared for.
“I don’t believe the Church is true anymore.”
That… that I didn’t see coming.
In some ways, WHAT a relief. My husband was still, IS still, MY husband, and only my husband. No dalliance or horrid behaviour was creeping into my perfect little bubble world by him.
But in others… I can’t imagine, really, he could have said much more damaging to me at the time. My perfect world, my bubble, instantaneously shattered. My perfect Peter Priesthood to my not-quite-Molly-Mormon, changed his mind.
How do you even DO that?
That night, I heard the voice of the Spirit whisper in my ear the calming words I needed to hear; my reaction otherwise was fury, but with what I know was the influence of the Lord I was able to sit quietly and let this dear, wonderful man, explain to me the struggle he’d been having in secret for MONTHS which led him to his ultimate decision to separate his religious affiliation from the LDS Church. At least, mentally.
He poured his heart out to me. Promised he was still a good man. Expressed his incapacitating fear of losing me and our children; I was pregnant with our second daughter at the time. Feeling repulsed and horrified I listened intently, quietly. I eventually let him hug me, and asked a few questions. We cried together.
And thus began the beginning of a completely different life from what I ever anticipated living. Life is a journey, and currently, mine has led me here.
It’s a year later. In less than a week we celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We are closer as a couple now than we have been in years. I am an active member of the Church, and while he comes out with us regularly, he is not. We have a long way to go, and a long journey ahead of us, but I know we are an eternal unit, and we are worth fighting for.
Ask me anything.