"When you fell from the peak,
And the stars had broke their code,
I'm tryna forget,
How I landed on this road,
I'm caught in between,
What I wish and what I know,
When they say that you just know."
The first few days after my excommunication were the hardest. Trying to wrap my head around what I have lost and given up. It's a hard thing to come to the realization that YOU are the cause of where you are now. Regardless of circumstances, situations and negative opportunities we are each given the ability to make a choice. "We are free to choose liberty and eternal life... or [to] choose captivity and death." (2 Nephi 2:27) At the end of the day what matters is what choices you decided to make. This is my life now. I am no longer a member of the church and it hurts. This is a loss that will take quite some time to heal from. I feel like I am now someone on the outside looking in, torn between "what I wish and what I know." I wish I was there. I wish I was participating. I wish I was serving. I wish I was sharing in what I once had. What I know is I can't be there now how I want to be. What I know is this is my season to reflect, recommit and reconcile with God. What I know is one day I'll be back.
I entered the gym the first weekend hoping to clear my head. Instead of my regular playlist I had selected tracks that reflected how I felt inside. With a string of sad songs and minimal motivation, I struggled to push through what I came to do. When your heart feels heavier than the weight you're pushing and your spirit needs a rest day (or month) it's hard to focus. On the bench I sat staring in the mirror and the thought came, "Even though you're not a member anymore, you're still a child of God." A peace came over me and I was blessed with a moment of relief. I've always heard the term 'tender mercies' used but now I had complete understanding of what they meant and felt like. Heavenly Father still loved me and He didn't expect me to remain sad, miserable and hurting for the time I had left to make my way back.
I had fallen further than I imagined. I was in a place I didn't want to be. The road that got me to where I am, was not worth what I had to give up. To anyone who may be struggling with finding the courage to take that step forward or are currently lacking in faith. Hold on. It is not easy but it is worth every blessing you are entitled to. Know there is a God who knows you. He knows every thought that crosses your mind and every feeling that enters your heart. When you hurt, He hurts. Know that He loves you and is well aware of where you are. You are not forgotten. You are still a Child of God.
Knowing this doesn't mean the hard days won't come, that the adversary won't continue to use every weakness we have against us or that we will be immune to doubts, heartache and confusion. What it does mean is that we have the strength we need to endure what we have been called to pass through and give us the hope that in the end we can return back to our heavenly home. We know how to get there. We know what it requires. We just need the courage to do it.