I converted in late 2009, but had two periods of inactivity during my first separation and then divorce. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you added up all the months since I was baptized, I’ve been inactive longer than I’ve been active.
About a year ago, I guess my files were finally transferred and I met some sisters who came to visit me and then my VT companion. Over time, their kindness and concern softened my heart. The desire to live the gospel stirred in me once more.
I knew I still believed the church was true. I could still feel the truth of everything I’d learned in my heart. I knew I had a Heavenly Father and that Jesus gave his life for me. I just felt that in my hurt and confusion, I had strayed too far from the path. I had behaved like a child, self-centered and emotionally immature. How could I ever overcome the damage I, myself had inflicted upon my life?
I had a desire to return to church, but I was afraid. What would people think of my divorce? What if no one liked me? Would it feel the same as I did in my old Ward? I realize now that these were silly worries, but at the time it was just enough to keep me from making that step. I finally got the courage to ask for help. I told the sisters that I really wanted to go to church, but that I knew I’d never go alone. That was in January, and I guess the rest is history!
I met with the Bishop not long after General Conference to discuss repentance. Best decision I’ve ever made. That process has changed my life in a way that I didn’t even imagine possible. I know now that I’ve been forgiven of my sins, that my Heavenly Father loves me, and it’s given me greater hope than I’ve ever known.
I was called about a month ago as Ward Missionary. I love it. The happiness I feel when I get to talk about the Gospel is overwhelming. I feel useful. It forces me to focus on others and I don’t have time to be lonely or wish for things I don’t have. I pray that I will be able to help others like the sisters helped me.
I love my Ward family. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and welcoming to me. I don’t know why I was ever worried about it. I’m so grateful for the divinely inspired organization of the church. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament every week to renew my covenants.
Mostly I’m grateful for my trials. I know they are teaching me everything that I need to know. They are making me stronger and wiser. I pray that I will keep that in mind when hardship comes back around. I’m not promised a perfect life, I will be tried, but with faith I will make it though the storm.