One thing the Mormon church is good at is teaching that family is important. Since I was a small child one of the most important things in my world was my family. I would do anything for my parents and my siblings. It didn’t matter if I had gotten in a fight with them or if my siblings were mean to me, they were my family, my world. They were who I would be with for eternity.
As a Christian, one of the hardest things I have struggled with is not being able to share my faith with my family. When Brian and I first started pulling away from the Mormon church, I struggled to explain to my family why. I had no concrete evidence or new belief system that would help me explain to my family why we had taken off our garments, why we weren’t going to church anymore, or why we didn’t believe in the Mormon church. The only thing I knew was Mormonism is wrong, and I didn’t want to be a part of it.
There were many times my family tried to have a conversation with me and ask me why. I would get very defensive and walk away. It wasn’t because they were right, it was because I was uneducated and I didn’t know how to answer their questions. As I’ve grown in my knowledge of the Bible and in my relationship with God, I have longed for those conversations. Not for a debate or a fight, but to share with my family the love and joy that I now have in my life from knowing Christ. I sometimes get really frustrated and think, “Can’t they see, don’t they know how broken I was?” I want them to acknowledge how far I have come and see the change that has taken place in my life.
If I could sit down and have a conversation with my family I would share God’s love and grace with them. The words that changed my life forever were something like, “God loves you no matter what, and there is nothing you can do to change that.” I would love to share that message with them. I know they would say they know that, but it’s such a different message from what the LDS church teaches.
I know I’ve had my struggles in the past. I know I wasn’t the best daughter or sister that I could have been and I still struggle to be there for my family because of the religious barrier that stands between us. I still love my family more than anything, and although I don’t spend a lot of time with them, I would do anything for them. It’s just so hard when I feel like I can’t be myself or share my faith with them. I can’t talk with them or have conversations with them like I can my Christian family and it’s heartbreaking to me. I am not a part of their world and they aren’t a part of mine.
I miss they days when we could celebrate birthdays and holidays without religion being a hurdle in our communication and connection. I miss being around my family and just having a good time without having to be careful with my words or watching what I say so I don’t offend them. And yet, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t give up the grace and salvation that God has given me.
Someday, I pray that God will open that door. Maybe someday we will be able to sit down and have that conversation. Maybe we will be able to talk about God and my family will open their eyes to the true message of grace. I want to be with my family forever. My dream is to be in church worshiping God with my family next to me. I am so grateful that God has given me kids who love God and are willing to worship with me.
Mercy Me sings a song called Even If. The second verse and chorus state:
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
My hope and prayer is that God will move the unmovable and My family will open their eyes to the saving grace of Christ alone. But if He doesn’t, I pray that He will give me the strength to trust in Him alone.
I’m Just a Small Town Girl…Living in a world of unmovable mountains.