Monday, February 13, 2012

In Which I Worry People...Again...

I seem to have a knack for worrying people. This isn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last. But I thought I'd take a few moments to explain a couple of things.

Without question, I am in a transition, a spiritual journey, perhaps even a faith crisis. I know that family and friends are worried over me, and praying for me. I appreciate the prayers. I am sure I need them. Please trust that I am studying, pondering, praying, meditating, and wrestling with these matters. I write about these things here because I would rather be honest about my journey, about my struggles, and about the light where I find it fitting together.
But I am definitely struggling, in no small part because simple obedience and following the commandment checklist has left me out in the cold so very much, and I need something more. I have been unsustained. I finally stopped relying on the church for my spirituality--perhaps I had been too passive in that way. When I opened up to that option though, I realized that holiness was everywhere, and that I could tap into it. I probably should have learned to demand spiritual experiences years ago, but I never did. But I'm finding them now (both in and out of 'church' contexts), and the complication is that now I don't feel so dependent on the church structure. I like it, but it's very simple, and between scriptures and words of prophets like Joseph Smith and David O McKay I'm seeing that the current organization focuses on a very narrow part of the gospel (which is no shock for a church that is half new converts), but that doesn't make the rest of the gospel any less valid. And so I struggle to reconcile the gospel that I am understanding with the organization that I am part of.

I'm not trying to be 'beyond' commandments, I think it would be more accurate to say that I'm in a place where I can't do a thing simply for obedience's sake. I need to understand it. I need to be able to see where it fits into the bigger picture. I was raised me to do that--to ask questions, to seek to understand, to question the mainstream way of doing things.
The iron rod/liahona dichotomy is a flawed metaphor, certainly (although if you look at the comments on that post, I did have a chance to broaden/improve it a bit). But it was a step in the process for me, and something that is useful for me in this moment. Liahona trumps rod for me, because neither the scriptures nor the modern leadership have answers for everything unless we filter them with the spirit. I spent 5 years and 7 miscarriages learning that.
And you know what I learned?
To be still. To meditate. To ponder. To think.
So I am trying to follow the voice that told me almost 7 years ago to "be still and know that I am God." And in the stillness, I have moments of stunning clarity.
In one of them I was taught of Mother, and my connection to Her. In one of them I was impressed that my children are the most important thing that I have, and that teaching them to find the spirit is the most important thing I can give them. I've learned that holiness and miracles are everywhere if I will only acknowledge them.
I know I don't have it all figured out. Perhaps part of the reason I need to find this on my own right now is that church is never a quiet or still children are small and I'm in primary. The way they are and the way they need to learn is not compatible with the conditions that I need for spiritual growth or enlightenment right now.

It's a like being on a hike perhaps. And I know the standard advice is to "lengthen my stride," to just hike a little faster; but my legs are short, and there's fog everywhere so I can't see the view right now anyway. I know the fog will clear with time though, and right now I just need to sit down and rest a little, and appreciate the trees and flowers and rocks and holiness and miracles and magic right here for a while before I'll have the energy to keep hiking. And I know some hikers like to just keep moving, and that's fine. But I always did hike with the slower group, with the little kiddos and the flower-lookers. I don't hike fast. I can't. But I still get there.


BohemianMama said...

Hey Jenny,

I'm not too worried about you! I think you are experiencing something that we all do, in different ways, when we realize that rites and ordinances and commandments are necessary, and serve a purpose, but aren't the 'whole' picture, are they? At least for me, I've been through times where it feels like those things weren't working - and usually then some personal trial in my life causes me to grow and stretches me into something bigger than I thought possible before. This mortal experience isn't easy, and everyone has it hard, in some different way, and sacrifice is required in some part by all of us. I am an Autism expert, and I'm becomming pretty knowledgeable about ADHD. Does that really interest me, NOT at all. I am being stretched and changed into the woman God wants me to be, and it's different sometimes than what I would choose for myself (I've heard that wealth is a challenge, you know?) and it can be really hard to relax, and let go, and TRUST that HF loves me and will take care of me.

Don't know if that helps, but Jenny, you are a marvelously analytical person, a great thinker, but sometimes the answers aren't as intellectual as we'd like them to be, and just don't make any sense. I LOVE your idea about learning to 'be still' I think it gives HF a chance to let you know how much he loves you, unconditionally, and there certainly ISNT much of that kind of love in the world today.

Michele said...

"holiness is everywhere". totally. truly.

some of my best years were the ones I spent away from the Church. My path led me back, but those years of exploration... they were great ones.

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