Monday, February 6, 2012

Faith | A Very Long Post

I feel impressed to share the following story with you. I am not exactly sure why, other than I couldn't sleep last night because I felt I should. Some may call it a testimony. I prefer to call it a story so that you will read it. I write it more as a reminder and witness to myself more than anything. My hope is that it touches you for good in some small way.

I am one who loves my religion, but would never ever think of 'shoving' it down someone's throat. I believe deeply, and yet I keep it to myself because I believe everyone has the right to their own beliefs. Life is too short to live anything but happily. For some it is in religion, for others it is not. I guess I feel like if someone is interested in knowing what I believe they will ask me. I am an open book.

I am the only active member of my religion in my immediate family. Some members of my family are no longer members of my religion. A lot of people don't know that and it surprises them. For me, it is no big deal. I find solace and peace in my religion...most of the time.



**Get geeky: Self Portrait shot on a Nikon N80 with a 50mm 1.4 lens at f9 Kodak BW400CN Film using studio light. **

Recently, especially the last few months I have been struggling deeply with my religion. I think this is normal and that everyone needs to take time in their lives to really seek out what they believe, if anything at all. This is healthy even. Flavio and I went on a hike for our date this week. We had a really long discussion about how I was feeling in regards to my testimony of our church. I was afraid of verbalizing my struggle too much. It was nice to talk it out with him, to get his perspective, to hold his hand and feel like my best friend was there with me once again, helping me through life's struggles instead of being part of the cause of them. I loved that.

I have been praying. A lot. Yesterday we were placed into a new ward. Our third ward in the same Stake in the last three months. Crazy right? I was excited for the change, and as I walked into this new building with my two oldest children, and we sat down, I felt it. It felt right. It felt like home. Then, a friend from our old ward who came to our new ward with us got up and bore her testimony in testimony meeting about praying with her children to find her keys. She said that while her husband was out of town she had misplaced her keys. She has three young children and was feeling very alone and frustrated after looking for 45 minutes for these lost keys. She looked everywhere and could not find them. It wasn't until after she knelt down in prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help her find them, that she indeed found her keys. In the pocket of her coat. The same pocket she had checked five times in the last 45 minutes.

I felt a stab to my heart at that moment. All of my searching prayers were answered in that moment. The months and months of anguish and pain. The months of trial and sadness and despair were gone in that moment as my mind reflected back to one of the worst days of my life, and the witness I received that day that there is indeed a God. There is a Heavenly Father and that He knows each of us deeply and intensely. He is there. There is no other explanation in my heart or my mind other than He is real. I will share this very sacred story with you now.

March 11, 2011 is one of those days that will forever be burned into my memory. I can sit back and feel that day with every fiber of my being. It was a Friday. Date night. Our ward was having Ward Temple Night (a night that you get together and attend the temple to do Temple work with your spouse and ward members). I made plans that night to attend the Temple. In the early afternoon I mentioned this to Flavio. He was laying on the bed as I was getting ready. He mentioned to me that he would not be able to go into the Temple with me that night, but that he would still like to go with me and wait for me in the lobby, and that afterward he wanted to talk to me, to discuss something with me. I knew immediately what it was he wanted to talk to me about. Not specifically really, but that it had something to do with why our marriage was in the dumps and why I was a huge wreck for the last weeks upon weeks. I had felt the tearing apart of us, and here it was, he was going to tell me what exactly it was that had happened to create this void between us.

I was angry. There was no way in Hell that I was going to go to the Temple that day and do work while knowing that he would be waiting outside for me. I was pissed. I was angry. I was crying, not sure what to do. My heart was pounding inside of my chest and I was feeling very confused and upset. I remember locking myself up in my bedroom closet. I was a heap of a mess on the floor. I was hyperventilating and hot tears stung at my eyes. Somehow in the next hour I was able to get up, get myself ready, even though the Temple was the last place I wanted to be, I knew he would not tell me what he needed to tell me unless I went. I had been trying for weeks to get him to open up, but he wouldn't...so I guess more for myself than for him I decided I would go. I got my Temple clothes ready, but could not find my Recommend (a card that lets you enter the Temple to do work or witness sealings (weddings) etc). It was no where to be found. I looked in my usual places. My camera bag, my Temple bag, Flav's suit coats. I remember leaving it in the junk drawer the last time I had used it. I looked through that drawer three times. I was so, so, so angry and the anger only grew as I could not find my Recommend. I. Was. Pissed.

I returned to my bedroom closet, in hot, messy, snotty tears, I knelt in an angry prayer to God. I yelled and pleaded with Him. I told Him that I knew that my family was in trouble. I told Him that I was very much aware that my life was about to change in the next few hours. I very much felt like I gave Him an ultimatum. I told Him that if His church was true and that He wanted me to go into the Temple that night that He would have to seriously intervene because I could not find my Recommend. I let Him know in so many words that I was about to lose my mind and that whatever I had left in me would not be put into finding my damn Recommend. (Yes, I used the word damn.) He had five minutes. It was all I was going to give Him to help me find it. I got up from that prayer. I walked to our junk drawer. I opened it up.

Sitting right on top of the pile of papers was my Temple Recommend.

No one else was home. Not my children. Not Flavio. I had just searched through that drawer, three times. It was not in there before, let alone not on top of that pile of paperwork.

I won't go into how awful that night was or how terrible it was to be in the Temple sobbing my eyes out or bawling in the fetal position on the floor of the dressing room.

However, I will tell you this, that there is a higher power. I know this with all of my heart and I cannot deny it. I have been lifted up by love from a Supreme Being in my life. I was reminded of this yesterday, and after being so sad and lonely and confused for the past few weeks, clarity came once again as I was reminded of March 11, 2011.
Hebrews 11:1 1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Sometimes faith is also the evidence of things seen. I am proof of that. I was able to hear myself say yesterday, (The one person I needed to hear say it more than anyone else.) "I believe." I believe that He even helps people find silly things like lost keys and Temple Recommends.

(Come back tomorrow to see who won the Story@Home ticket giveaway!)

18 comments:

Angela said...

Amen.

Aileen said...

beautiful.

Ramblings of a Redhead said...

You are such a fierce writer. And your strength is just amazing. Thanks for sharing!

Melody said...

I too am grateful we have a Heavenly Father who willing to teach us more than once. And loves us still the same. You're beautiful.

Emily said...

You are watched over, you are loved and you are amazing.

Barb said...

Wow. What a powerful account, thank you for sharing it.

BUHLER LIFE said...

Kim I love you! I am glad my testimony once every 5 years helped you. I hate going up there. Maybe I should so it more often. I am glad my story helped you. I haven't read any blogs in forever, so what is the chance that I saw this one. Not an accident, it was suppose to happen. God works in amazing ways. I have been learning that I can deeply affect others. God has been screaming that at me over and over. Read next comment

BUHLER LIFE said...

You are a great example. You have such a great gifts, public speaking and writing. I am glad god lead me to you. Thank you ;)

Hillary said...

Beautiful. I too find myself struggling at times, and blessed with tiny experiences that keep me going. I love your writing and story-telling. It's so engrossing. I hope you continue with the story.

mandee said...

I love you my friend for all that you are and all that you will become!
xoxox

Amy said...

Heavenly Father is amazing! I have had my own witness of this not too long ago that He still remembers little me, and speaks to my mind if I am listening.
Thanks for sharing Kim. You are Beautiful!

Lindsey said...

Love this, love you!

Emily said...

Beautiful post, Kim. Thanks for sharing your testimony-- You have always been a beacon! I love you.

Becky Rose said...

You had faith and you asked. You put it to the test and he came through for you. He didn't want to loose you! You are keeping your family together you have right now and possibly you're first family! Soon there will be another March 11 and it will be so different from this last one! Bless you!

Lechelle said...

beautiful.

Christina said...

Beautiful post, Kim.

DisabilityDiva said...

Second time reading this! Love love you and your faith!

scooping it up said...

I've been in the fetal position. I've been there for an ugly horrible talk with someone I love. I know this post and this feeling. Thank you for sharing. So beautiful.