Monday, 16 January 2012

12 years and counting

12 years ago today my older boys and I were baptised. I don’t believe I’ve ever made a better choice aside from having my children.

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Let me take you back…

A little over 13 years ago my lifelong friend died suddenly in a motorbike accident. Mark was 33, father to two and husband to 1. Mark and I had a bond that was more than partners, more than best friends, more than brother and sister, yet was never confused or complicated with crossing ‘the line’ {you know what I mean there, right?} Mark was a man of presence, one of humour and strength. His life had been full of good, bad and all in between. When he died he wasn’t talking to me! I was ok with that though, he was sulking because someone else had fixed my computer and I hadn’t called on him…I’ve always laughed at that because I knew how our friendship was. I know how much I meant to him and I know we are eternal friends.

I won’t go into how I learned of his death, it was rather traumatic but I will say it took me 5 years to actually accept he wasn’t here. It was a former boss who made me sit in work one day and write a letter to Mark and let out all I was feeling…he covered my shift and was a great part in helping me to move on. 10 A4 pages {double sided} later I was wrote out, cried out, angry released and felt pretty much broken all over again but this time it was a peaceful feeling too.

Not long after losing Mark I hopped over to Gt Yarmouth where I found the missionaries tapping on my door the very next day. Four guys spent the day helping  me make sense of the furniture {that’s another story for another time} and I made it clear I didn’t want them to talk to me about religion or God…I’d investigated so many religions through my life that I just didn’t feel it. I was also going through a divorce, albeit he and I were still very good friends and it was a very easy divorce, it was still a sign of the times for me.

A few months later I gave up. The guys would call in almost daily, come for dinner once or twice a week and they’d bring various members round one by one to meet with me and my children. Then one day I simply told them: Ok, spill it, tell me what you need me to hear.

Three cancelled baptism dates later I finally met the missionary who was more able to speak to me spirit to spirit. I had a thousand questions and he answered each one thoroughly till my own thoughts and feelings made sense. I also recognised that everything I had always believed was actually a religion! How cool?!!

Then I knew. Somehow Mark had lead the missionaries to me. He knew.

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During the month between my decision to be baptised and the actual date I had two satanic experiences, one that caused me to be hospitalised and put on a heart monitor. I was freaked out, nothing like this had ever happened to me. I lost friends because of my choice and I just couldn’t stop talking about the gospel. I was so full of the spirit, sweet innocent enthusiasm. My ward had nicknames for me, one was ‘the girl in the bubble’ and the other was more of a description ‘Debbie Lucas, yes! The girl with the speech impediment…she takes a breath once in a while’. Both were said lovingly and I was amused by both but it did really sum up my acceptance of the gospel.

Since then {I’ll share my baptism one day, it was so funny!} I haven’t always been in that bubble because life just pulls you out of it sometimes, you have to work the humanness to get to the spiritual and it’s hard work at times.

However, aside from one moment last year I have never, in my entire 12 years regretted my decision. I have never doubted if  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is true, I just knew it was. Life has taken some pretty dire turns for me over the years, abuse, rape, divorce, infidelity {the ex, not me}, homelessness, lost business/income and even near death experience of my son. I am glad I hung in there, there were times I felt I just couldn’t hold it together anymore, like I was never going to be good enough for mature enough or strong enough or whatever other enough I felt a failure at.

But the Lord doesn’t work that way, and He hasn’t allowed me to either. In all simpleness, the alternative to not trying is what? Giving up? Then what? No thanks, I do not want to be a woman of the world or a woman of weakness, I want to be who my Father in Heaven has intended me to be. I want to stand before Him one day and say ‘I tried my best’ and if all is well I may just be honest in saying it.

Life with a religion is not a life of do’s and don’ts, far from it. Religion, or at least my religion has given me an understanding of why I’m here, who I am, what I’m here for and why things happen. There was a time I was into deep doctrine and I questioned everything, but it was so overcoming that I almost became an unbeliever. After much thought, prayers and blessings I finally pulled myself back and vowed to keep to the simple facts of the gospel. If that means I don’t partake in heavy doctrine conversations then so be it, I don’t have the personality to be able to do that without it going over the line, I am too questioning at time.

So for me, being Lds is who I am not what I am.

With all my heart and soul I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and while I allow myself to be human I know that through them I will find all the spiritual answers I need to progress in this life.

What’s in your heart? Do you believe in God?


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