This year has been a whirlwind already.
I spent the night before New Years in the hospital with some ovarian cyst problems. The next day, I worked a full day and spent the night at Brian Reagan with my family. On January 1st, I started cleaning and purging things we don't use and organizing the things we have.
These past four days I have organized room after room after room in my house.
Two of our bunnies have passed away. One on Dec. 29th and one on Jan. 1st. Princess Seal is still going strong and spends her nights in the kitchen so she doesn't freeze.
The kids were gone for 5 whole days. I spent most of that time working and cleaning but I was able to squeeze some friend time in there too.
I spent eight hours of my Saturday at traffic school due to a red light ticket. Am I the only one who didn't know that if you get a red light ticket and you pay the ticket, you STILL have to pay for and attend traffic school? So $400 later, here we are. Here. We. Freaking. Are.
I just got my kids back last night and today, our ward made an announcement that the boundaries would be reassigned.
I get it. I'm dramatic. I recognize that. I was immediately worried because I don't live on the same side of the neighborhood as my best friend and geologically, it seemed like we might be split right down the middle.
Instead, our ward was made even bigger and we now have a whole new subdivision of people to love.
That news was very welcome because I just wasn't sure how I was going to reign in my emotions if I was thrown into a new ward right now.
I get that I'm not always going to be here. I'm even ok with that. But right now, as I struggle to belong and find who I am within my Mormon roots, I am grateful for the friends at my side who are patient with me, who call me if I'm not at church and ask about me, who sit by me and have helped me through this year of messy transitions.
Because that's exactly what this is.
It isn't that I don't have a testimony. I do. It isn't that I don't like my ward. I do. It isn't even that other people make me feel secluded. They certainly don't. This is just a part of the grief and trauma I'm working through right now. I haven't decided what I want. I get confused a lot. I worry about what my future should look like and whether I'm doing everything the right way. I struggle without the Priesthood in my home. I find myself avoiding prayer. My safety net is the other 2 people I share my home with, my children. I often feel like we should just never leave our house to go into the world because it feels so uncertain.
But I don't want fear to run my life. I want to find peace. I want to understand the lessons in church. I want to be able to apply them. I want Sundays to be an exciting day for our family.
Right now, they aren't, and I'm trying to be gentle and patient with myself, instead of shaming myself.
Right now, it's ok that Sundays aren't my favorite. Sundays have been hard for over 2 years. Sundays have been a day I used to dread, as I toted my young toddlers to church by myself. At that time, I felt all alone. I remember how scary it was to be by myself and look out at the congregation and not feel like anybody understood.
It's different now. My ward is my second home. It is a place filled with people I love. Sundays aren't easy but they are easier.
I think the reason it's been such a messy transition lately has a lot to do with life calming down. I know---confusing. When life was crazy and I was hyper-focused on just making it through each day, I didn't have time to worry about church. We just went. But now that I'm getting used to being a single mom, life started to shift and in plain view were my fears about church. My fears of being single at church.
It feels like it's been a lifetime since I've had a partner to help wrangle the kids at church. I look around and see the majority of the families around me, a mom and a dad, both working together to keep their kids quiet. I can't remember what that feels like. I don't want to say that it's easy for them because I know it isn't. Kids and church are a hard combination. But it often hurts my heart to feel a loneliness that nobody at church can fill.
I'm tired of being alone.
Loneliness is an exhausting feeling.
It's hard to find my place during this messy transition that I'm in. I know I'll eventually find it. I know I'll eventually push my way to the top of this mountain and see the valley on the other side.
As I knelt down to pray last night, for the first time in a while, I had a long conversation with God about how shaky everything feels right now. It has been such a beautifully messy year and I want to understand it all.
People say there must be something better out there for me. Some days, I believe them and other days, I don't.
I have faith in my Heavenly Father's ability to help me. He has done it many times. Although these busy days have left me confused and sometimes anxious, I have given myself one goal to build my relationship with my Heavenly Father. One simple goal to pray once a day.
I don't care if it seems small or if people don't quite understand my struggle. That's ok. I don't even quite understand my struggle. But I am trying. I am pushing forward through this mess because I am worth fighting for.
I am precious to my God.