Monday, April 19, 2010

Families Are Forever

I wonder sometimes if my divorce needed to happen. Perhaps you think I'm out of my mind. Maybe I am. It's just that I can see so many blessings which have come from it, that I wonder if it was necessary so I could find my potential.

I was born and raised in the LDS church. We are the Mormons. One of the things we believe is that we will be together as a family even after death. Hence the phrase, Families are Forever. My dad died when I was eight years old. I was old enough to realize what happened and what it would mean for my future. I adored my dad and was of course, devastated when he passed. I held onto the Families are Forever idea with all my might.

Through my teens and even my marriage I continued to hold on to that idea. As a result, I never questioned anything I learned at church. I believed everything that was taught. I would not consider anything else. I fought hard to raise my kids the same way. Why wouldn't I? I believed it with my whole heart.

This blind faith of mine caused problems between Daddy-O and I. While he too was born and raised in our faith, he had questions and he dared to ask them. I thought we'd be struck by lightning for it. I fought him hard and as a result nothing was accomplished. I can see now how it drove us apart rather than holding us together as I thought it would. I truly believed if I were faithful enough I could save my entire family.

When my marriage ended I was baffled. "I don't deserve this", I thought to myself many times. I did everything right. How can this be happening?  It has taken seven months and many sleepless nights to realize I did this to myself. I didn't listen to my husband. I didn't appreciate his ideas. I didn't recognize him as the leader of our home. How could I live so many years with that man and not understand what I was doing to him and to our marriage? I think because of my need to hold onto my dad, I forgot to live life. It just kills me I couldn't see it in time to save my family.

(FYI: If you're not a member of our church, I need you to understand blind faith is not taught. We are to question and search for our answers. We are to find our own testimonies. It's a personal journey and it should be. I am not wanting to argue any doctrine that is taught. I am not criticizing my church. I am merely trying to explain what I have learned about myself.)

I have learned much in the past months. I am questioning my beliefs. It doesn't mean I want to leave my church, I just want to know for myself why I believe what I do. I no longer want to just accept what is said.

I've also realized I had no idea what unconditional love was. I have learned more about it living here with my brother and his family than I had in my entire life.  I always thought I was a loving, giving person. The problem was I felt love and compassion in my heart, but I never acted upon it. I thought it was enough to want to give, to want to share, to want to open my heart. But I've learned it's the action and not the feeling that creates peace and love between people. It was a huge lesson for me.

I miss Daddy-O. I miss being his wife and being a complete family. It is a pain that I imagine will never leave. But I am so grateful for what has happened because I finally feel peace in my heart. I feel love and I feel hope. I know I have much more to learn, but I also know I'm well on my way. I am becoming a better person. Who knows?  I may even make somebody a great wife someday.

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