All wasn't as it seemed.....at all!!
...And for eight years I kind of dropped under the radar....my church attendance was sporadic (to the point near the end when I just stopped going altogether) and I made some absolutely garbage life choices, where the price I ended up paying was very high (drugs are bad, m'kay? - I'm just sayin). In my world, it was all too hard....my then husband (who had had a similar upbringing) gradually became so hostile towards the church that I couldn't even attend without coming home to a tirade on how wrong/brainwashing the mormon church was and most of the members in it. By this, and other intense living circumstances, I got to thinking my God most certainly wasn't looking out for me anymore, and didn't care about us and what we were dealing with at home. Though now that I think about it, there were times when God so completely 'had my back' that His care and presence in my life was undeniable.
It took a couple of months after we (the children and I) returned to Queensland, before I started thinking about church again....and believe me it wasn't on my own!! I was quite blissfully content just cruising....I didn't care about anything deeper than finally being 'free' and able to make my own decision without fear. I thought I was happy, and in comparison, I was. But once the seed was sown (thanks...you know who you are), I couldn't ignore it and that made me a little bit angry! My lifestyle and some personal values were no longer conducive to living the gospel - a lot of things needed to change and I really didn't want to - but how could I deny it, when deep down I had always known it was true? Its one thing wanting to do something but feeling like its impossible and quite another knowing you can and having to make the choice (and stick with it) to do it.
So its been about a year and a half since I made the decision to go back to church - and honestly, its been extremely hard, and I am not quite there yet. I am finding I am a rather harsh judge of myself - and I'm often making spiritual comparisons to my 18 year old self, which is frustrating and very depressing - I hate that its taking me so long to get to a place that I took for granted 12 years ago.....As long as the journey seems, I know how far I have come. I am so thankful to my current Bishop for his awesomeness - and for being in tune to know the process that I need....for supportive friends who don't let me forget what I want or let me settle for anything less! (you guys rock!!)....and I am super grateful to finally have a calling, (my first ever! Yay!!), even though its a challenge and I feel I suck at it a lot - But just like the burn I love from pushing myself running up a hill, I wouldn't change it for anything because I know its taking me where I need to be.