When I started writing about my journey to Christ (which included putting into words the lies and experiences of the past which colored that journey) I was so grateful to be blessed with amazing friends with whom I could share my story. They have been an important part of my healing and learning over the past several months. I went from hiding my life and my words to sharing them with anyone interested in hearing or reading them! (Definitely a God-thing!) Sharing my transformation through Christ is definitely His story! I knew doing the interviews and writing a blog would blow the lid off the secrets I’ve kept for a lifetime. I put it all in God’s hands and took the plunge, trusting it all to Him. I didn’t care who read or heard my story…as long as it wasn’t anyone in my family!
Recently, I was informed that some of the people who have caused tremendous harm in my life had found my blog and interviews, and were sharing the links with other family members. To say they are angry is an understatement. No one likes the skeletons in the family closet to be made public, even when names are kept anonymous. I knew by sending my words into cyberspace, it was not only possible but probable that my family would eventually find it. And I figured that when it happened (a few years from now) I’d be fine with it. What I didn’t expect was for it to become known within a few months’ time! As of yet, I haven’t received any verbal or written backlash from them. No nasty comments or harassing phone calls. Just the continued shunning I’ve lived with for the last several years. Being ignored by “faithful LDS” family members and treated as if I’m invisible is not a new experience since coming out of the church. But knowing they are reading the words of my heart put my writing on hold for a time. Writing for a few friends and even unknown Christians/Ex-Mormons who found their way to my blog was fine. However, knowing that the people who’ve caused so much pain in my life and used my words and life experience to inflict even MORE pain, had me hesitant to write or post anything for a time. And yet I don’t want this to give them control over me again, either!
I know. God is in charge. He makes beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He has a plan for me…a plan for good. (Jeremiah 12:11) I’m learning all those wonderful, wonderful promises in the Bible. And even if I’m subjected to more verbal abuse from those who have inflicted abuse for a lifetime, if it brings glory to God it’s all worth it. Right? I’ve survived worse. Then why am I not writing and testifying of Him and His truth? Why does fear have more influence on my actions than faith? I thought I left fear, judgment, shame, and guilt behind with the distortions of Mormonism! I write for Jesus (and for me, too.) I know. It matters not what man can do. (Psalms 56:11) I’m learning so much from the beautiful words of scriptures. And yet, I haven’t been able to bring myself to write lately. And by NOT doing so, I feel as if I’m withering on the vine. The dark, dreary, and wet winter weather isn’t helping any either. I was so hoping I wouldn’t sink into the darkness of depression this winter since I have a new source of light and truth in my relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m clinging onto Him. I’m praying for greater trust and clarity on how to move forward. And He is answering those prayers. The chains that have held me bondage in the past, no longer exist. He has showered me with truth, compassion, strength, and new-found hope as He walks with me. The words of one of my new favorite Christian hymns ring through my head almost daily, “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior, has ransomed me.”
But I’ve had enough of my family using my words as weapons against me. I didn’t want to open that door again.
And then with all the horrific events happening around the world, sometimes I can hardly stand to face each day. What difference does it make if I write or not when children are being sold into prostitution, Christians are being slaughtered, women are being stoned, and terrorists are wiping out innocent people? What does any of this matter?! As I shared these thoughts with my trusted fellow Christian writers, one responded with, “That’s a good question. Why do you write?” I’ve been pondering her question for quite some time now, and I believe I have the answer.
I write to express gratitude for my relationship with the bigger-than-life Jesus that exists outside the confines of Mormonism. I write to praise Him for the miracles He performs every day, even if I don’t see or recognize them as such in the moment. I write to add my testimony to those of other Bible-believing Christians that He is who He says He is…the Creator of the universe who loves us beyond our comprehension. I write to bring honor to His name for healing our wounds from the inside out. I write to express my gratitude for a God who left His throne above to dwell among us so that He could be seen and heard in the flesh. I write in thanksgiving for the many blessings He showers on us, even when we aren’t aware that what we are experiencing is part of His plan for us. I write because I love my Father, Abba, and His son, Jesus Christ. I write because I love my fellow sojourners in this earthly realm and want them to know of the goodness of our God in the midst of all our suffering. I write because He has called me to do so, and I follow Him.
On the flip-side of family learning about my writing, I’ve recently reconnected with one of my sisters. She has read all my blog posts and watched the interviews, and is very supportive of what I’ve done. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to build a relationship with the baby sister I’ve hardly seen since I moved away to college. That alone is worth the price of anything else that comes from writing and sharing. To lose relationships that are harmful, especially if they are beloved family and friends, is cause for momentary mourning. But to gain a healthy loving relationship with a beloved sister is cause to rejoice!
So I’ll keep praying, trusting, rejoicing…and writing!