"Don't be afraid to be unique or speak your mind, because that's what makes you different from everyone else," ---Dave Thomas 1932-2002, Founder of Wendy's
My friend and neighbor Kae posted this quote on her facebook page recently and I thought it was SO perfect for this post.
I will not be ashamed or be afraid to share what's on my heart. That includes sharing about my faith and the decisions i've made that have led me to this point in my life. I haven't publicly declared my religious affiliation ever. Like, not even when I was a practicing Catholic, or when I considered myself non-denominational Christian. It's so crazy scary to become so vulnerable and share something so private, personal and sacred but as you know, I've always been open and honest about my life and well, faith is my life motivator and core of who I am. That is something I don't see changing. In this little space of the internet, I bear part of my story.
I've had this post sitting in my drafts for weeks now. I got distracted with being sick and other social activities that I haven't forced myself to quiet time and sit here in silence with my thoughts to pour out my heart and leave it for all to see/read.
About a month ago I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was a beautiful, spiritual day for me and those who attended. Alot of different emotions ran through but they were all good. Such a memorable, blessed day!!
I won't go into too much detail of how I got there (maybe later), but I can tell you that I've seen many blessings many months before I officially became a member of the Church. Some of these blessings would have brought me to my knees if I could kneel!
Every Good and perfect gift comes from above. ---James 1:17
Last summer, when I first told some family members, including my mom and dad, that I wanted to convert to this church, I was very nervous about their thoughts and reactions. They took it quite well. I was so relieved. The bottom line is that they love me and they support whatever makes me happy. Some teachings of the "mormon" church are the same as in the Catholic church, and I think that's what made it not so "weird" plus they knew that I was interested in the Church years ago. I felt incredibly blessed to have them back me up as I faced challenges with close friends opposing the LDS church and my decision (they are completely entitled to their opinions and beliefs as am i). I cannot even express how much I love my family and how them being there for me means to me.
There were times I felt so overwhelmed and stressed, that I cried and I cried to God that He would strengthen me through those times. I know that on this journey, there will always be people who oppose, but that doesn't and will not stop me from growing in the gospel and keeping the faith. All I want is for others to let me be and allow me the same freedoms they hold as they practice their faith (first amendment) or their choice to not even be Christian, you know what I mean. While I've had adversity there have been more moments of happiness and I know they were a gift from God. Such happiness that my heart seemed as though it would burst. I was overcome with gratefulness yet just appreciation for this beautiful life, that I get to experience such happy, simple moments.
Just like the old saying, treat others how you'd like to be treated. I guess it's hard for me to understand others disagreeing with me when I'm only accepting of their choices who make them who they are, which is wonderful. I believe we are all children of God and we are all in this together.
I am not here to preach or condemn, that is not my intention at all. Preaching and telling someone what they should do or what they should believe is totally not my style, AT ALL. I do, however, feel comfortable enough to share my beliefs and the things that bring me joy. If my story gives you hope or courage to take that leap of faith, in whatever aspect of your life, church related or not, then I am so glad! If you have questions for me(within reason) whether it's about my personal journey or about the church, email me or leave me a comment and I will happily answer them as best as I can.
I don't know everything. I am just like you, still learning forever, but the things I do know, I cling to and have hope in. That is faith to me. I know God loves me. He is real. Our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us so deeply, I cannot even wrap my brain around it sometimes. I know I am so blessed to know that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that through Him, I am saved and redeemed. I think most of us are always seeking truth (maybe the first part of your life) and what that truth means to us. Like Dori says in Finding Nemo, "just keep swimming." In life, we just keep moving forward and that's the direction my life has been going and the way I'd like to keep it. I have my truth and my testimony grows as I grow.
This bird has been set free.
what is your truth? are you still searching?
what do you believe in?
could simply be kindness and love :)