Its not Perfect But its the Best We Have

I haven’t written for a while, Partly due to life being busy, partly due to laziness, Mostly due to a minor crisis of faith. But today I write.

Let me start by telling you all about my crisis. To do this we might need to rewind to January. I am feeling strong in the gospel, and with it looking like I am not getting married anytime soon, I decided that I was not going to wait for a proposal to do my endowment at the temple.

I spoke with the bishop and took the lessons, I completed the lessons I was good, I was ready. Let’s do this!

And then I got STUCK.

I spiritually and physically could no longer move to that goal. I don’t think I have ever been in such a spiritually dark place. When I went to church all of the talks seemed to be on topics that I found annoying. Some of the members would just rub me up the wrong way. The number of people I wanted to slap was growing at an alarming rate. So I stopped going.

Then people would tell me “You really should come to church” or “You’re not going less active are you?” The second I could laugh off but the first one was like a red rag to a bull. I would explode inside with rage. HOW DARE THEY TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT BE DOING!!!! I think it was the one thing that annoyed me the most. It made me want to say “ Look Loves you focus on Your own Salvation and stay out of mine. It does not concern you.”

I hadn’t lost faith. I hadn’t stopped believing, I had not stopped praying or reading my scriptures, or listening to talks. But I was stuck. Things like Alcohol and Tea, And Coffee had never been so tempting, never smelt so good. One night, I almost, but by some miracle did not hit the wine.

I prayed so hard for Jesus and Heavenly Father to carry me through this, to keep me from drowning in whatever this was. And they did, I started hanging out with the Missionaries more teaching with them. Sharing a testimony which I was forgetting I had. I went to the pageant. But this has still not been enough to get me back through the doors until tonight, something happened tonight and I want to share it with you.

We watched a video of the first vision, and on my way home on the 45-minute drive, I prayed. I did not pray to know if this was the true church. My question to Heavenly Father was Is this the right church for me to best serve you? Is this the path I am meant to take? And more importantly, does My Grandfather Approve?

Context moment – My Grandfather was a staunch Catholic, the sort that went to church every day. He died when I was younger. He was and still is my Favourite person. I loved him so dearly and yes desperately still need his approval.

And driving down the road with tears in my eyes this was the answer I got. I kid you not. The Catholic Church is not all good and it is not all bad, cling to the parts you know to be true and keep them in your life. But this church, Is my church. It is not perfect, But it is the best you have got. You are on the right path now start walking. But the best part was that I felt an overwhelming sense of love and that I had my Grandfather’s approval, and I felt, a kiss on each side of my forehead from both my grandparents. Writing this now makes me sound like a crazy person, but I swear it’s true. And I am writing this because I never ever ever want to forget the sense of love and confirmation that I had tonight.

I have my answer. It’s not perfect, the people are not perfect, there are many questions unanswered, there are niggly bits that I don’t always agree with or understand, but I am ready to start walking again. The promise I made tonight was that I might not be ready to stop being carried but I am going to hold on to the Iron Rod and NEVER Let go. This is my path and I am going to tread it in the best way I know how. Sometimes I will stumble, sometimes I will fall but I am just going to keep getting back up and walking.

Lets Split the Bill

The thing is I don’t drink Alcohol at all, My friends and work colleagues know and respect that, and even though they are not members of the church are supportive of this, and protective of me on nights out.

However, the wild work night out still presents a Dilemma. The question remains do you join in and fight hard not to lower or compromise your standards or do you politely decline and risk valuable friendships and relationships because you never join in.

This weekend I went for the first option, and after spending, days and hours deliberating over a trendy outfit suitable to hit the town with that still met church standards and getting all glammed up and ready to go. I drive to the chosen destination, locate the meeting venue and walk in.

So first thing is first is the colleagues telling me how beautiful I look and how they would never choose something like that but I pull it off really well and still make it look cool and edgy. Whilst they are sat there with chests and thighs, and in some cases butt cheeks on show. Not sure whether to be flattered or offended but at least I am not being leered at by some of the less satisfactory clientele.

The next issue is at dinner as we are eating the wine is flowing, except for me I am sticking with the soft drinks. And the conversation gets louder and louder and more and more inappropriate. There comes a point where you feel the need to remind people that unlike everyone else what has been said at this table I will remember in the morning and has now been permanently etched on my brain for eternity (if only you could bleach your brain).

The bill arrives and thanks to the copious amount of alcohol that has been consumed is now more than double what it would have been with just the food. And then comes the comment “Lets Just Split the Bill”. Excuse me but there is no way on this earth that I want to pay double my bill to compensate for your alcohol consumption, heck no!! But do you fight it and risk looking like a total priss or just cough up for their devil juice.  I went for the facial expression of disgust to which someone piped up let’s take the bottles of wine off and we can pay for those separately. That made it better but I still ending up contributing towards several drinks that I did not consume.

Off to the next bar, where I have now apparently become some sort of prop and walking aid for the more inebriated of the group. Now they are getting really drunk and the comment comes out “Just one drink, Who’s watching?”.

Well I tell you who God!!!

“Yeah but he won’t care its not like its murder or anything”

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR besides the point.

“I wish I had your self-control”

Gee thanks it never sounds very convincing coming from the drunk.

And this is around the point where I decide to cut my losses make my excuses and leave.

They say that the Holy Spirit can not go with you into a bar, and I know deep down its right. I does not stop me from going into them but it does make me usually very choosy about the ones I go into. We have our Agency and can choose to remain strong in such circumstances but we do need to rember that we can be exposed to situations that threaten our standards despite our best efforts.

How would you deal with this situation?? Help so as I can best avoid a next time.