29 March 2009

Remade Frustration - Questions

My stomach hurts; what else is new?

OTR and I had a number of discussions after Prayers for Bobby on faith, and the Church, and everything else. Doubt is rampant. My testimony muddled. My confusion...unending.

I sit in Church every week and feel little, wishing to be elsehwere. Watching, listening, taking note. There are very few true Christians there. People going on and on and on about Nature of God this, I know Joseph saw that, but like Tommy says, how is that adding to their growth and movement in the Kingdom?

As I half-listened to the testimonies today, I thought about going up there. About talking about being a true Christian. About pleading with the people to return to "a hospital rather than Pebble Beach". But I didn't. Honestly, who would listen? 

Every day that Scot and Rob, and others, are prejudiced against, every day that Prop 8 creeps up in conversation, everyday people get in trouble for trying to make a difference, then what's the point? In Sunday School we were talking about "The True and Living Church" which my teacher hated, so she changed the title to "Church Organization ala Restoration" which I felt was much more fitting. We were reading in D&C 20 which is basically the Church's "Constitution" and outlines the formation of the Church, then goes into the Plan of Salvation. 

31 "And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength."

32 " But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God"

33 "Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation"

34 "Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also."

I found the part about the church falling into temptation very interesting. Zion's Camp failed because of the dissidence and unbelief in the church, well, when I look around now, all I see is pride and self-righteousness. Sure, there's love and support, but honestly, deep down, I only remember one testimony today given where I said to myself, "That man is a Christian, and believes it."

This past weekend riled up a lot of thoughts in my mind. I went on the Father/Son campout, held on an island in the ocean, which was pretty cool. But I didn't relate to many of the men there; no, talking to the kids was far, far easier. None of the men made any effort to include me, or carry on conversation either. One man did invite me to sit down, and then about 6 minutes passed in silence, the two of us just sitting there. I've been having alot of doubts recently wondering about my future children and if I really want to bring them up in the gospel and the church. I mean, it's a great place, right? It protects them, and teaches them how to stay afloat in a drowning world, right? But I just don't know. One of the little 7 yr olds I befriended had on a bracelet that said "Future Missionary" and I just wondered. Is this right? Is this okay? Is this the way it should be? What does this boy whose head is already filled with dreams of being a great missionary bringing people to the gospel know of equality? Or true charity? Of undying, unbiased love? Anything?

I find myself growing more and more dissatisfied with the solitary stance that our Church takes. One of the testimonies that really bothered me this morning was a man who was going on and on about the misfortune in his neighborhood, and the economic problems, and the relationship difficulties, etc, etc, etc and then he went on to profess how blessed he was, how BETTER he was, just because he's a member of our Church. I was extremely bothered by that. And then as a ward today everyone was fasting for those who were struggling or having trouble, and I just felt like they were once again trying to assert their superiority because they have blessings and the others don't. Where's the Jesus Christ in that?

I've been fighting with my mom alot recently too, which hasn't helped me. Once OTR left I decided that the "remake" of myself lay in me and only me. I mean we wholly determine our attitude, circumstance, etc; that's why agency is so amazing and powerful. So that first day I woke up early, made my bed, cleaned my room, went for a bike ride, went swimming, took a shower, and felt really excited for the day. Then came the brushes with my mom, who for some reason has taking to picking at me. For the way I talk, the way I dress, she even yelled at me one evening for the way I was sitting on the couch. That really offed me. She goes on and on about respecting her, about this is her space, this is her house, and clearly, I have NO place in it. She cannot have respect for me and accommodate me within her threatened respect. So I felt shattered, and closed myself off in my room, since it's the only space I have here that's mine. Were moving possible, I would have already done it. Were going elsewhere possible, I would have done that too. But I have no one here; nothing. So I'm stuck. The next three days were spent in my room, behind a closed door, feeling completely unwanted and unwelcome. Then since I wouldn't speak to her, my mom took the fight to email. It was incredibly draining.

And just yesterday I went to the grocery store, and I believe this is partly due to watching all the little ones scurrying around at the campsite, but I'm becoming resigned, and it scares me. Utterly frightens me. I've been thinking about the future, and if we go into the Peace Corps, I'll get back and be almost 28. And then I started to despair. Be honest. I'm not going to have kids, am I? I'm already 25 and I'm not going to be one of those happy people married young with beautiful, hyper kids disrupting church meetings. I am beginning to accept the entirely disheartening reality that I will never have children of my own. People say that if you can dream it, you can do it... so where' my confirmation? Where's my solution? Why can't I have what I want most? Why am I denied such happiness? WHY DAMMIT?

Conference is looming on the horizon, and I'm scared out of my mind. This will be the first year in 7 that I'm not attending in person at the Conference Center. I have a friend in Michigan who keeps calling me, wondering why I haven't made "right" with the Church. When I was at BYU I made some mistakes, and if I'm honest, has compromised my Church worthiness, which is why I don't participate in anything, or use my priesthood ever. She's been waiting for a year now for me to get "back on the path" but I'm fairly certain that will lead to excommunication before I get my temple recommend back and can have fixed everything that I've broken.

I'm not even sure I WANT to. I don't know where I stand with the Church anymore, as alot of bloggers have been wrestling with as well. Are we wrong? Is this really the path to hell? Can I really turn my back on what I've believed for so long, so deeply? How many times have I wanted to before and failed? Will this be my breaking point? Why do I have to have such a conviction and surety? Why can't this just be easy, and I cut the ties and free myself from pain and guilt and suffering and prejudice? Damn this church for the beliefs it has given me. Damn this church for instilling them in me from my youth. Damn me for believing in them soul, heart, might, and mind.

So General Conference is coming, and I'm wondering what will be said. Will I feel sick like previous years? Will I cry? Will they address what I need them to? Will God finally talk to me through his chosen prophets? We sang "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet" around the campfire on the trip, and I was hesitant. Then it was the closing song in Sacrament today, and I didn't sing. I DIDN'T. Because I don't know. Do I thank God for a prophet? Do I even believe in Thomas Monson as a prophet?

So I'm drowning, I'm breaking, my remake is shattered in pieces around me, and I'm beginning to give up on dreams that I don't see happening - even though I want them more than anything else on Earth.

And then I got to Priesthood. It was combined, unexpectedly, I guess the Elder's Quorum Teacher didn't show, and it was on hope. Which we had in Elder's Quorum about 4 or 5 weeks ago. But I guess I still need it. Hope. I hate hope. Just like I hate faith. Because they are part of the chains that bind me to truth, and peace, and love, and this damn church.

Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."

How? How can I continue to hold on to that which drains the life from me and is filled with two-faced lying, hurtful people?

Albert Camus said, "In the depth of winter, [we find] within [us] an invincible summer." But I don't. I don't have that. I just have a flickering flame that's dying, that I sometimes wonder if I myself have blown out.

President Uchtdorf counseled in the last General Conference that "there may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope. Like Father Abraham, we will “against hope [believe] in hope."

That's all I have left.

I pray fervently that Conference will not destroy me further. But it may be the final decider where my feet next take me. And that, is soooo scary.


Sarah said...

Sorry if I added to your frustration this week. :(

Hang in there. We are all trying to hang in there. We are not alone. Change will come, slowly. Join me in praying for a good general conference experience.

Love ya.

Hidden said...

Au contraire, you did not add to the frustration, you helped. I just worry about you. Kinda like you worry about me :)

El Genio said...

I share your concern about recent events. While I can't speak to what will happen with the church, today I have felt that God is watching out for us. Granted this feeling comes and goes, but at this point I'll take anything I can get.

About the age/kids things-25 is not that old! Being 27 I get the panic attacks about not being married every so often, but I simply cannot allow myself to lose my positive outlook. I have learned and grown over the past several years in ways that will (hopefully) benefit my future marriage. Of course, where we are at right now is still hard, but when I figure out the magic solution for that I'll be sure to let you know ;)

Hidden said...

El Genio: Yes, thank you. God IS watching out for us, I haven't given up or lost that.

I still feel old! LOL But yes, I know there are others older than me without children who long for them too, many of whom are my friends. It's just so easy sometimes to get sucked into despair.

Thank you, I don't want to be left out of the magic solution awareness club!

drakames said...

I know what you mean about feeling old and wondering about your future. I'm 26. Anywhere else in the country and people think you're crazy for getting married at 19, 20, 21...not so much here. Some days it's easier for me to see that my life is not defined by what I don't have. Some days I hate it.

I share in your tentative hope that Conference will be okay. I'm going to be at work, so I've set up my DVR, which actually might be good...I can take a break if I need it. Maybe we can compare notes after the weekend.

Hidden said...

@Drakames: I've been having more of the "I hate it" days than the nots.

I'd love to compare notes once it's over. If I don't out and burn them before it's even over. ;)