“And It Came to Pass”
(that I got out alive! lol*)
“I, Sonia, having been born of normal parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my TV set: and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days in the church, nevertheless, having been highly unfavoured by other church members all the days of my apostasy: yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings of my exodus out of the church.”
Having said that please let me elaborate. I joined the church when I was 17. I was the only member of my family to join. The sister missionaries tracked me out at the most opportune time. My mum was in the hospital suffering from a nervous breakdown, and I was home all alone, well not entirely, but you know what I mean. Anyway the missionary charm worked and I was baptized in 2 weeks, it was at my baptism that I met the man who would become my hubby who had just come home from his mission. A year later we were married in the Sydney Temple, and we lived out the busy Mormon life.
We later started to have our quiver, 4 daughters, although our eldest is in heaven. We seemed like the perfect little Mormon family, going to the temple regularly, doing our genealogy, and fulfilling our callings. What can I say, we were earning our way to heaven, and boy was it ever hard work. These last few years I had been battling with depression, and I started to question my life and what I was doing with it. About the end of ‘98 I got a putter, and then I saw the light, (lol). But seriously I got a chance to take off my rose colored glasses and take a closer look at my life and the church.
The Lord knew of my searching heart and sent me some encouragers, Dennis and Rauni Higley. They have been such a blessing to me and I am so grateful to the Lord for letting us cross paths. They have been such a support. I tested them out by asking the most ridiculous questions but that didn’t scare them off; they were happy to answer any question I had. They sent me books and tapes. I also was e-mailing some other kind folks who encouraged me as well.
All was well when I was in the land of putterdom, it was when I told my hubby and extended family about my concerns about the “old Joe” and the church he started that my popularity took a serious nose dive. They were not at all impressed with me and they let me know. My hubby was very hurt and angry with me, and he still is, but he doesn’t voice his views much because he knows, I don’t want to hear it anymore, I have heard enough reasons why I am doing what I am doing to last a lifetime. I told him I want to be me, and free (that sounds like some commercial doesn’t’ it).
My search to freedom has been full of heartache; one of my major heartaches has been to watch the affect this has had on my daughters. They are very loyal daddy’s girls and most Sundays they will go with him, mainly I think because they love him so. I pray for my husband and hope that one-day he will be set free.
I think what people need most when they’re coming out of the church is a listening ear, love and support. It is not an easy road out by any means, but the trip is worth it. I am still travelling along my road to freedom, I have taken a few wrong turns, but the Lord has always been there to guide me back on track. The thing I would like to say to anyone who is thinking about leaving or has left is that not to become bitter towards the church. I started to go down that road to bitterness, and it is not the Lords way; he has got something better for you. If you can, just let go and help other members by being an example of God’s grace, and pray hard. I think that is the only way.
In closing I would like to bear you my testimony – I couldn’t help myself; had to get another ‘morm’ term in. I know that I am a sinner, and yet I know that even as a sinner the Lord died for me, and he died for you. I know that the Lord’s grace is upon all men, not because were champion scripture readers, or we have memorized the bible; His grace is so that no one can boast. I have struggled so hard with the concept of grace. At first I just couldn’t accept it. I thought, there had to be a catch. But the more I learn about God the more I realize that there isn’t one. He loves us, and that’s that. “Romans 8:38-39”
Thank you for being so patient and reading this far, I hope you understood what I was trying to get across and that my weird sense of humor didn’t offend or bore anyone.
*lol is shorthand for “Laughing Out Loud.”