Ten years ago today, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This came about after a whole ton of stuff sort of merged together to create conditions that made it an inevitability, including my very own mini-miracles.
In the church, I found Jesus. I found home. I found my wonderful husband. I was able to grow as a person through my work with kids, cub scouts, and the women’s organization of the Church. I was able to develop faith in Jesus Christ, faith that is dependent on nothing but my relationship with Him–not what my family thinks, not what authority figures tell me, not what I see on TV.
I love the me from ten years ago. I was innocent–perhaps naive. There was joy around every corner, not the least of which was felt because of all the corners I had turned before that weren’t so joyful. It was all simple and beautiful and the colors of the rainbow, slightly faded from all the light. It was like getting baptized washed all the muddy browns away and everything was right.
Things have changed since then. I’ve seen ugly, both in and out of the Church. I’ve left the LDS Church, but not my faith in Christ. I’ve taken the harder road, again as a direct result of prayerful consideration. It really is so much easier to be a believing, faithful Mormon than it is to leave the Church (although I do enjoy my cup(s) of coffee in the morning).
My rainbow is still there, but it is sharply colored now; it is full of all the things I want in the world, all the things I want for my children, all the things that the world could and should be. It’s almost hard to look at because of all the possibility and hope that it contains, along with all of the disappointment in how of it doesn’t exist.
But thinking about that–shouldn’t our relationship with God be difficult to look at? Shouldn’t it challenge us to become better people, to become better spouses, better parents, better children, better neighbors? I have grown up in the last ten years. The world can’t be cotton candy forever, although that period of my life was nice and beautiful and I treasure it. Everything isn’t ice cream and candy now, but it turns out that the rest of the meal is delicious too, or at least interesting to taste and experience.
If I could go back to the me of ten years ago, I think the only thing that I would tell myself would be to live as fully in the moment as possible, and to write it all down. And that’s what I hope I remember to do in the next ten years–to fully live my life in the present, in the moment, and to enjoy all of the colors and meals that life hands to me. Because ten years from now, I will be different, but I will love the me that I am now.