So I'm starting a different chapter of my life. One that will involve God more fully in everything I do. I am so used to doing things alone that this will probably be a difficult journey. I need to write the experiences I have down because it will goad me to continue and to analyze the things that I read in the scriptures. I feel that this will help me and my perspective.
My reasons for this new direction are a little personal but I have a lot of good examples in my life. There was one in particular who was the catalyst for this decision. I didn't want to lose out on anything good because I wasn't fully living the way I knew that I probably should be. I didn't turn to God out of despair or desperation. I've always felt that was a little hypocritical and I would be afraid that after everything was fixed, I would be done and that I wouldn't be devoted to Him anymore. I don't want to be the type of person that only cares about my own pain and suffering and never about what anyone else is going through or experiencing. I'm not saying that it's a bad way to go. I feel that anything that turns a person to a path of goodness, is worthwhile.
I'm starting in 2 Nephi in the book of Mormon. Honestly, it's been 11 years since I've been to church regularly. I never took the time to actually read the scriptures except because I had to. I still remember that every time I would try and read them, I would quit in the middle of Alma. 1st Nephi is so familiar to me that I wanted to skip that one and move to things that I didn't learn about a million times when I was younger. I will go back and read it but I felt that I shouldn't start there. I really do want to know if this stuff is for real. I'm going to be giving it a honest chance and I'm willing to work for it.
This weekend has been rough on me. I had committed in my heart to go back to church on Sunday. I told a few people about my plans. Once I've said them out loud, there is more accountability to follow through on them. Anyway, I have experienced a lot of emotions in the last little while. I'm scared and pessimistic that I can do this. I told someone that it was just Satan and that's why I had issues. It's true though. I have so many excuses but when I started listing them, they seemed so shallow. I did make it all the way through Sacrament meeting this week but my emotions were in turmoil for a few different reasons. I couldn't stay longer than that because I couldn't talk to anyone. I didn't want to converse with any strangers. I didn't want to do any type of superficial interaction. I will do the best I can but sometimes it can all be a little too much and a little too invasive.
I was crying this evening and decided that I needed to read some scriptures. I wanted to be more immersed in the things of the church. It didn't hurt to try it and see if it helped me feel better. There was a young woman who had recently returned from her mission in Canada. She was just so full of life and energy and idealistic plans. Her trust in God seemed so young and naive. I was jealous to see that she had her hope and faith. She talked about how awesome she thought that the scriptures were. I always thought they were confusing and boring. She mentioned that just reading some of the scriptures every day seem to bring her happiness and she's able to deal with things easier. I thought I would give it a try since I wasn't happy.
Anyway, I mentioned how I felt to my best friend. He was being silly and said something about a broken heart and contrite spirit. When I opened my scriptures to my book mark, I saw this verse: 2 Nephi 2:07
Behold he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit; and unto none else contrite to answer
I thought it was cool that my friend had used some of that verse earlier that day. He was trying to be funny.
I barely read a chapter but it was the one that had the verse, Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. Lehi was telling one of his sons this and he explained that if Adam and Eve hadn't partaken of the forbidden fruit they would have never known good and evil. They would have stayed in the garden and never known the joys and pains of life. They would never have been happy because they didn't know what it that was. Everything would have stayed that way forever and they wouldn't have had children. We would have never come along.
I've always believed that the pain and heartbreak of life is worth it because then you appreciate the joy better. That chapter just reinforced that belief in me during a point where I wasn't happy. It made things a lot easier to deal with and it helped me go to sleep. I think I needed the reminder.
When I went to church today, one of the talks mentioned another person's talk. I don't know his name or anything but they called him the gardener I think. There was a part that they were talking about a currant bush. It was a nice story that stressed the point that God has plans for us. Sometimes he will cut us down and cause pain so that we can reach the potential he has in store for us. I am a very stubborn person and I don't like to think that my fate has been decided or anything like that. I'm resistant and want to make my own choices. Sadly, my choices haven't always been the ones that would have been the best for me. I never made my choices with evil intent or anything but they were wrong. I've known some good times but my life and marriage didn't end up how I wanted them too. Regardless of the choices I make, I can't control everything and I can't make people choose the path I would have them choose. It's frustrating to have to give up on something. I think that if I had listened to my heart better and allowed the spirit in to guide me then maybe things would have turned out differently. Maybe not though because in a relationship, there are 2 sides and ultimately I am only responsible for my own actions and choices. I tried to make the best of things but I can honestly say that other than getting into that situation in the first place, the results weren't all my fault. I tried. This next time around, I'm trying harder but I can't be totally responsible if things don't work out.
Everything happens for a reason, just believe. I feel a little more peace when I think of that. I have a hard time trusting things like that but I try to remember to just believe that things will turn around. Some days it is hard especially if I'm feeling pessimistic and of low worth. Hopefully I will someday be able to appreciate the joy better because of the things I'm dealing with right now.