I woke up this morning compelled to write this. I haven't even put my make-up on yet (horrors!) and here I am.
I grew up, as my sweet friend kindly puts it, in the poster family for disfunction. They of course believe they put the "fun" in disfunction. As a small child I always felt there was something better. My Mom was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon, but was inactive. She took us to primary a couple of times when we were young and I remember every visit, because it felt good to be there. By the time I was 10 I was going to primary regularly, it was on a weekday after school at that time. My parents were divorced and I had a lot of responsibility at home and generally felt fragmented but always felt at peace in church. I began finding rides for myself to get to church on Sunday as well. I would like to say I was welcomed with open arms but the people there didn't know what to do with me. I knew nothing about the Gospel except that I knew it was good and I wanted to be a part of it. I was from a crazy family and church members were pretty nervous about them. I was never invited to girls camp or other things, I think they were worried that I wouldn't feel comfortable there, or that I couldn't afford it, which was true. Not growing up in the church I didn't know I really didn't need to be invited. Even though I felt like an outsider, I knew it was the right place to be and kept going. (Whew, I need to condense this story a little).
I went to BYU because it was the cheapest way to leave home and go to school. I was always very self concious about asking my stepdad for money or anything. He had a way of keeping you in his debt that was very "not good". I loved it there and at the same time felt like a fish out of water. I was so naive about the gospel and the culture of active mormons. I was called as a family home evening leader, having never experienced Family Home Evening. Basically, I blundered through my early years learning how to speak and act, the hard way. I decided somewhere on this journey that the way to be happy and have a great family, was to marry a man who was truly committed to the Gospel, not just a follower, not someone who was wishy-washy about the church, someone who really truly believed it. It is a credit to my strong youthful innocent faith that I believed someone like that would look twice at me. Heavenly Father loved me and helped me find Jim.
We were married in the Oakland Temple less than 6 weeks after he returned from his mission. I waited for him of course, I was still guided by that feeling of knowing what was right and in what direction happiness lies. None of my family was with me in the temple which made the experience bittersweet, but extremely right nonetheless. We had 7 children and I taught them the Gospel while I learned about it myself. Jim was the Priesthood leader I wanted him to be, always leading us in righteousness. I know I have been an anchor in his life, slowing him down, keeping him from reaching his highest potential. I don't do it on purpose. I am still that little girl from the misfit family who knows where she should be, but doesn't know what to do when she is there. I find myself in uncomfortable situations all the time. How do I know how to be a Bishops wife? I am very uncomfortable accompanying Jim to work dinners or activities related to his callings. I never regret going, because I get that sweet feeling that I am in the right place every time. I sometime feel like I don't want to go to church, or read my scriptures etc. But, knowing life from both sides, I cannot deny that Heavenly Father sent the Spirit to me when I was a little child to lead me on this path of righteousness. I cannot deny the truthfullness of the Gospel and its goodness. I can never, ever do anything that would lead my children to think that I am not completely sure that this is the right place to be.
There are a lot of truth's in this very condensed story. Here are just a couple.
#2 Heavenly Father loves even obscure little girls from mixed up families.
#3 The Spirit will always let you know when you are in the right place, even if you are sure you will not be comfortable there.
3 days ago