I had a plan last year for November. I was going to write a series of posts about people who had affected my life and for whom I was grateful. It was going swimmingly. Then the leak about the church policy about couples in a same sex relationship and their children hit, and I was . . . what's the word . . . hysterical, maybe, with a dash of devastated. I couldn't focus on my thankfulness for people in my past or present. I could only mourn.
One of the first things I did was call my two oldest children who had left the church to ask them how they were. I asked them if they were going to send in their official resignations (kind of a self-excommunication from the church). I don't remember what J said, but I remember what E said. That it was hard to be attached even in name to an organization that does such hurtful things, but that whenever something like this happens I am so upset that she doesn't want to do anything to make my pain worse. Then she sent me a care package with tissue and treats to comfort me. She sent ME a care package.
I kept going to church (because I love God and I truly believe this is his church) but I've felt fragile there. I like primary and the family history center best. I sub in with the children whenever I can, and go to the family history center then Relief Society whenever I can't. I've been trying to mend my relationship with God, because as it turns out, I am kind of mad at him. There have been several other personal hits to my happy church going, and I'm just mad/sad. I need to get over it.
I'd thought discipleship would be more predictable than it turns out to be. You do A, then B, then C, and as a result D happens. But here's how it really works. You do A with someone else and you bring someone else and their free choice into it. They are totally with you on doing B together. Then you go from being two people with free choice to being eight people with free choice. At first the extra people are little and malleable, so you and your partner take them to do C with the two of you. D is going to follow, right? Not so much.
I got married in the temple to a guy who wanted to raise a family in the gospel. We got busy and made six other humans. We taught them the gospel. Then their free agency kicked in. It turns out that you can't make all the "right" decisions and thereby force all of your family to make the same decisions. Who knew? They get to chose all on their own, just like I did. Just like their father did.
But here's the other thing. My kids are still wonderful. J is just as clever and funny as ever. E is just as kind and observant. N is still a delightful flibbertigibbet who may actually be the smartest person in the room. V still loves with all her heart. L still has his quiet mischievous ways. C is still a cuddle bug. I adore them. I've invested a lot of time and life energy into them, and I honestly think there is nothing they could do that would cause me to no longer love them. If they did something heinous, the annihilation of the human race, for instance, I'd be heart-broken, but broken hearts keep on loving.
I've spent the year in grief of varying degrees. and each time I began to emerge something new hit. I'm beginning to emerge again. I need to focus on the bright and beautiful in my life, and so I am once again going to work on my thankful posts. There is plenty to be thankful for, and I am going to strive to focus on those things.
Today's thankful: I am thankful for the resiliency of my spirit, for God's patience with me and for his gentle healing.