Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stop the world so I can get off...

(You will need to read the other post before you read this one, for it to make more sense.)

My sister called today. She chit-chatted a bit, telling me they had accidently taken home one of my utensils in their salad when they came over for dinner on Labor Day. Then she got to the point of her call.... Dad called her yesterday. He is worried. The kids are old enough to make their own decisions about church...

What the F?

Yes, I know. Where did this all come from. Let's go back to Saturday morning...

I was out shopping, pretty early. Picking up produce from a community co-op, getting a hair cut and then doing some needed shopping at Costco at the beginning of a very over-scheduled day.

As I was driving home, I got a text from a number not in my phone book:

"Tried you a couple of times. Have not canceled your recommend. Would like to try one more time to talk. Would like you to not use it though until we meet. Thnx."
 Me: Bishop? You've tried calling? When? Are you kidding me? Not meeting. I will bring it to you tomorrow. You can have it.

"Tried this morning and tried to catch you the other night. Not what I want but following what I feel, Sarah. I love and care about you and your family."

Me: K. Do what you need to do. I've had it with this church and its Christ-like followers.

I pulled in the garage from my shopping and called Scott to cry on his shoulder. Then I went inside where my daughter apologized. The bishop had called twice so she finally, reluctantly gave him my cell number, knowing that the result would not be plesant. I unloaded my purchases, and then had to leave to pick up another child from a slumber party. On my way, I stopped at the bishop's house and gave my recommend to his grown daughter that answered the door. I said simply, "Give this to your dad.", then turned and took off back to my car.

Here's the thing...
I haven't heard anything for like 3 weeks, and suddenly on Stake Temple day, he is desperate to get in touch with me to tell me not to use my recommend? What about all the times I used it in the 3 weeks? Wouldn't he care about that too, or is it all about appearances? I think he was afraid that someone (read: the person who is my facebook friend and "told" on me) will see me at the temple and then disapprove of the fact that he has allowed me to still have my recommend. Because it was a busy day, with a soccer game and the teenagers doing temple baptisms in the afternoon, I could not figure out a way to make it to the temple myself. But at one point I was planning to go.  I'm glad the whole thing ended up not shattering any elaborate plans...

The kids decided not to do baptisms (my daughter discovered her recommend was expired), but they did want to go to church the next day. So even though I was planning on Saturday to take a break on Sunday, I got up and got everyone ready and off we went. I took my son over to the church first so that he would be on time to pass the Sacrament. When we arrived back at the church with the rest of us, the Sacrament was nearly over, so we soon snuck into the back.  Right after sitting down, the program commenced, and the first speaker announced that she had been assigned to talk about "following the prophet."

You've got to be kidding, right?

I turned to my daughter, said I can't do this, then waded back through the people in the overflow area with all my bags and 3 kids in tow, leaving the oldest two as they desired.

We went in the foyer and sat on the couch, but I could still hear the talk, so that wasn't going to work.

So, we went home.

30 minutes later I took two of the kids back to the church so they could practice for the Primary Program (which is in two weeks, with Stake Conference in between). I returned home and spent a lovely 2 hours with my baby, playing and snuggling and napping.

Then, for the 4th time, I returned to the church to pick up the kids, delivering my oldest son and a friend to another area of the neighborhood to do fast offering call-backs prior to returning home.


Sorry for yelling.

You see, the thing is, I called my mom Sunday afternoon, and after I told her about my recommend, I also mentioned that I didn't think I could handle going to church any more, and she started lecturing me about how my kids needed the church to teach them values and such, and so I told her I wasn't in the mood for a lecture and that our conversation needed to be over.

I was even thinking of calling my parents today for the typical chit-chat with them every couple of days. But before I had done so, my sister called, and I was so depressed and furious over the whole thing that there is no way I think I can talk to them for a few days. I don't know if my mom misunderstood me, or if my dad misinterpreted what my mom told him, but of course the kids have a choice. Anyone who knows me would know that I would not keep that agency from my children. Do they all think I've turned into some kind of monster, these people who have known me all my life?

Who knows. Maybe I have. And with each stupid thing like this that happens, I want more and more to be done with this life. I could not kill myself, but I certainly wish I was dead more and more frequently all of the time. Bring on the hell I deserve, sooner than later, because it certainly can't be any worse than the hell I am experiencing daily here on Earth.



A.J. said...

You are a good person. You are not going to hell kind loving people don't go there.I hope your week gets better.-A.J.

Lirpa said...

I guess your family needs to ask themselves if they are affording you the same courtesy they are expecting you to show your children -- free agency.

Please know that I will always support you.


Sarah said...

Thanks, AJ. Me too. Yesterday was much better, and I'm hoping today is as well.

Anne, I was thinking about you right before I read your comment. I meant to email you the night I was struggling so much, but I never got around to it. I did call my mom yesterday and we had a short chat. Anyway, it has been way too long since I've seen you. Maybe we should plan to get together soon. Thank you for your support. I hope you and your family are well. :)

Summer said...

It's funny (well maybe that's not the right word) how ignorance can be so embedded in people. I wonder myself how I would have behaved had I not been through what I have in the past few months. So far, the biggest thing I've learned about the church is that we do not have all the answers, as much as the word "fullness" has us believing we do and that makes for an awful lot of judgment that is deeply rooted in in ignorance. I say good for them for their comments, they have not had to experience the pain you have and live in blissful ignorance. I could be angry at them, but to be truthful with myself, deep down I just envy them.

Sarah said...

Anonymous, where did your parable go? I loved it! I want to re-post it! I hope you don't mind, especially since I (nor my readers) have no idea who wrote it. I was processing and pondering the details of the parable and had some comments to make. But alas, I never got to it. Anyway, here it is again for any of you who missed it:

A Parable. A certain man, traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, became short of breath, began to have chest pain, and sat down. And by chance there came down a Facebook Busybody, who called out to aid him, "Your problem is lack of willpower! Stand up, grit your teeth and get moving!" But when the man did not get up, the Busybody passed by on the other side, saddened by the man's weak character. And likewise a Bishop, when he was at the place, called out "What you need is vigorous exercise!" When the man protested that he had chest pain, the Bishop bore testimony to the immense value of aerobic exercise to cardiac health, and prophesied that unless the man began jogging to Jericho right then, his life would be in peril. But seeing that the man did not get up, the Bishop relieved him of his map of Israel, declaring that as a non-traveler he no longer had need of it, and passed by on the other side. And the man rested, and chewed an aspririn tablet, and when the symptoms passed made his way to Jericho with frequent rest breaks.

In Jericho, outside his cardiologist's office, the man met the doctor by chance in the street, and told him of his experience. "You did well," the doctor said. "Not listening to your well-meaning but ignorant friends may have saved your life. Let's go inside and I'll run a few tests." Now the Bishop happened to have come around a corner just in time to hear these words, and was made uneasy in his mind. But at home that evening he saw a television news report confirming the great value of aerobic exercise for cardiac health. Reproaching himself for his momentary doubt, he shook his head sadly at the man who had refused his counsel, and his cardiologist, made so prideful by worldly learning that he denied the benefits of exercise.

Sarah said...

Now for my thoughts on the parable: I have known the value of "aerobic exercise" and did everything I needed to do to keep my "heart" aka, testimony, healthy and strong. But there have been occasions in the news when I've heard of a young and fit track athlete suddenly dying of a heart attack during a race. Obviously there are exceptions, and there are times when continuing to run is the worst thing someone can do for their soul...I mean "heart."

I think I have arrived at one of those times. I don't know what the future will bring. I have a prayer in my heart daily for the Lord's guidance for me and my children. But I need to let the wounds and anger and "heart" heal before I begin to make any serious decisions about resuming my previous aerobic exercise routine. Some sort of exercise needs to resume, but with modifications that may or may not include the LDS church.

mandi said...

Sarah- you have got to get other peoples ideas and actions and emotions away from having so much control over your life. I know how insanely hard that is, but you don't even know which way is up for all of the outside opinions that are raining down on you. You will never find lasting peace until you find YOU. NEVER MIND what ANYONE else says or thinks. I'm just hurting for you! Carl Jung, Anthony DeMello and Eckhart Tolle are amazing philosophers that discuss "reality" and "things as they really are"- getting rid of perceptions and hang ups imposed upon us. M. Catherine Thomas wrote an amazing book "light in the Wilderness" that is an LDS approach to this same subject. These things may not resonate with you right now, but I beg of you to find some way to get free. (now who is being dramatic? :))

Andy said...

Read "You Can Be Happy No Matter What" by Richard Carlson. It has some great insights. One thing I got away from it was that we all perceive reality differently, and it does no good on anyone's part to try and get someone to understand our own point of view. Mormons do this to a fault, because they believe they have all truth, and hence their perception of reality must be, and should be, everyone elses. At the same time, I think the "gay agenda" can get a little wrapped up in itself, and not have understanding going in the other direction.

This begs the question, why can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

The LDS church isn't the only one that teaches values and morals. There are other churches, accepting churches, that do the same thing. Ones where you don't need a recommend. The ones that you can go to and no one will judge you because of what you've been through or the way you are.

It's churches where instead of saying you are wrong, they tell you God loves you just the way you are and help you get through any situation you might have. There is so much I wish I could say, but I don't think that a church should put you down because of what you believe in and not let you participate in certain activities because you "support gay people."

God loves everyone and he gave his only son so that we could be saved. I have never once seen Jesus judge someone in The Bible. Instead, I see when He says in Matthew 7:1 the complete opposite.

All the answers to our problems are found in that wonderful letter he left for us called "The Holy Bible." There is no need to ask for public opinion on the matter. It is all in there.

I'm sorry. It just makes me mad when certain people think that the LDS church is the only one that teaches any type of morality. Just remember, sometimes the most moral people, are the ones who don't go to church at all.