At the core of my being, I know God lives, knows me, and loves me.
Thus, when I have a religious crisis, it tends to consume my thoughts, crowding out mental time I need to have focused elsewhere. So, I write here, today.
I am a Mormon. I am a woman. I don’t feel like I can speak freely. Apparently, I do care about what other members of my ward think of me. I do want my daughter to be seen on her own merits and not interpreted by my words and actions and decisions.
But, I so desperately yearn for others with whom I can hold an honest and open discussion. The blogernacle has been helpful in realizing that, in the virtual world, there are others like me. But, I would really like to bounce ideas, thoughts, concerns, and hopes off of other people in real time, face to face, to have an exchange of ideas–a discussion. I feel so alone. Surely, other people do, too?
I would like to have a scripture study or a cottage meeting. But, I feel guilty because I don’t attend Relief Society during the week, and I know women are busy.
In such hypothetical, wished-for meetings or discussions:
I want people to feel able to speak freely, but I don’t want us to be judged. One calls for an open membership and public awareness; the other for a closed membership and invitation or “sponsorship” only. One would allow us to discuss problematic in-church discussions, but I don’t want to talk behind others’ backs or gossip or judge or have others feel judged.
I have two standards for my daughter. I let her bare her “sexy” shoulders everywhere but church meetings and functions. I do let her wear her “short” skirt to church, though. Judge away.
I don’t force my daughter to go to seminary. She is 17. At some point, I have to let her make these decisions. I am so impressed with her deep thoughts on spiritual matters.
I recognize that God is omnipotent and that I do not understand everything from my limited perspective. But, I don’t think this is all God’s word. If it is, I am tempted to “return my ticket.” I also realize the hubris of assuming that I can decipher which is which.
I admire the women who have a quiet unbending strength. I don’t feel like I am so refined. I don’t want to be an “angry woman.” But, I don’t want to budge either.
I am not advocating much at all–because I don’t even know what I think. But, discussion helps me think.
I want to speak. I want to hear.