It seems honesty these days is less of a virtue and more of a quality that makes you look weak or unsuccessful. The world is full of liars and deceivers.
I try my hardest not to be one of them. My blog has always been honest and real, which is why I always end up offending people when I write my "I'm upset" blogs. But I don't try and pretend that life is wonderful, that we're rich, successful, smart, things are perfect, I'm an amazing athlete, Cory has no flaws, I have no flaws, or that Kennedy is smarter than her age.
Basically, I'm honest because whether we choose to hide it or not, life isn't always prefect. No one likes a downer blog, so I understand not writing about bad things all the time, but I can't stand it when people write fake things about how amazing they are. Be real. Life isn't always easy.
I intend to write about one such difficult experience now.
Last week I wrote a blog about how frustrating church is. Like an idiot, I deleted it. But I was so upset last week with life. We have 1:00 church so we begin with a cranky child, we teach Sunday school and I have to lead the music in relief society. So I am required to be there every week. That is very hard with Kennedy. She is so distracting and busy and literally has a gift for getting into things she shouldn't. Also, when we are there, it's almost completely pointless because either Cory or I spend the entire time out in the hall wandering around to keep our child from going insane or being so loud no one can hear the lesson. I hate that Cory has to work Sunday's and some weeks I go feeling bitter that I'm alone. On top of all that we've been out of town frequently these last few weeks, so I haven't felt the spirit or even heard anything spiritually uplifting in months. You'd think it wouldn't be that bad, and maybe it's not for some, but for me it's taken a big toll.
I was feeling Satan's influence more and more as the spirituality lacked. When I would read my scriptures, I'd have a skeptical mind and wonder questions I've never asked myself. And I even skipped reading a few times. I've always prayed but I could feel myself losing faith and the testimony I have spent a lifetime building. I was becoming negative and feeling pretty down. In my heart I knew this was all wrong and not good for me. Something had to be done.
Desperate for some kind of spiritual fulfillment today, since it is Sunday and we were unable to make it to church, I decided to watch The Testaments. When that movie was playing at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, each time I would go and see it, I would bawl and leave with the most amazing testament that the Church is true. I even remember when we went as a young women's group (or maybe it was Legacy that we saw? Either way, a church movie) and afterward we all sat outside by the temple and cried and held each other and promised never to gossip or do anything hurtful to each other ever again. That didn't happen, but we were so moved we wanted to try. We wanted to fix everything bad about us. So surely watching this movie would help me, right?
These days I don't watch much of anything without my phone distracting me through texts, Facebook, or whatever. So I told myself to put my phone down and really pay attention.
What I needed was a refresher on my testimony. I needed to feel moved and confident that the Church is true. I felt that in the usual spots in the movie and was grateful to be having a good experience. But nothing like what was coming...
I started the movie after Kennedy fell asleep and she woke up just as Helam was praying for his son to feel the power of Christ's atoning sacrifice. It immediately shows clips reenacting the crucifixion. I paused the movie before this started and went and got her up. When Kennedy wakes up she is usually pretty happy and hyper. I was worried about her ruining the most spiritual part of the movie but oh we'll. We walked into the living room and I pressed play.
As soon as the movie started, Kennedy walked in, hugging her Elmo, and stood right in front of the TV and watched, unflinching. She didn't budge, fidget, or get bored and move on. She was glued to the TV. As soon as Christ says, "Into Thy hands, I commend my spirit", and dies, she turned to look at me and her eyes were glistening with tears.
I instantly started bawling to see this tiny little girl be affected by what we were watching. I don't know why her eyes were wet. It could be from just waking up for all I know. But I realized at that moment how important it is to me for her to have spiritual experiences and build a testimony for herself. I want more than anything for her to understand who her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are and to know they are what will make her happy. If it is that important to me, then why am I doubting it for myself? If I want something that badly for her, then there's no way it's not true.
I was overcome with emotion and gratitude. I finished the movie which only solidified my experience and helped me remember just how much I love the gospel and am grateful for the Savior and all He has done.
Like in times past, I promised to do better. I'm going to be more diligent with scripture study and prayer. I'm going to look for opportunities to feel the spirit everyday. I'm going to avoid the things that are bringing me down and focus on the important things. My fire has been rekindled, which was exactly what I needed. Even if I have to watch that movie every week until Kennedy goes to nursery, I will. Things will get better. I know they will. I know that even though getting to church is so hard sometimes, the work must move forward and I have an important roll in that. I don't want to set a bad example for Kennedy and I want her to know how important church is. I never want to forget how important church is.
I really needed the experience I had today and I know the Lord knew that. I'm so happy to have a Father in Heaven watching out for me.