Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Decemberish Thoughts

I have a lot of thoughts going through my head tonight.  It's so dang cold; according to Shane's phone, it's 12 degrees.  I'm glad I have a cozy house on nights like these.

I just got home from the relief society Christmas dinner.  It was pretty fun; I went with my friend Shelly, and we had a good time talking with the friends and acquaintances at our table.  I looked around the room and saw so many people that I know and love.  We have been in our neighborhood for almost 10 years.  Lots of people have come and gone, but there are still a few people who we have known the entire time.  It's interesting to me to know these people and be a part of their lives.  To have watched them have children and buy cars and put in lawns. I like the feeling that longevity gives me.  It is comforting.

A few ladies got up after dinner and talked about special Christmases in their lives.  The last speaker really caught my attention.  She isn't someone I know at all; I've seen her at church, I can identify her children, but I don't think we've ever spoken.  She got up and talked about her first Christmas here in the United States after relocating here from Laos.  She related her story, and at the end bore her testimony and talked about how she was coming back to church.  I thought about the courage it took to get up and talk in front of all the women of the ward (or at least the ones that came).  She doesn't know very many people.  She's still sort of the new girl on the block.  I related to her in so many ways, but I also thought about how she might see me.  I'm a teacher in relief society, so she's probably sat through some of my lessons (I can't vouch for the quality of any lesson I've given, still, after 2 years!).  From the outside, it probably looks like I'm firmly established in the fabric of the ward, while inside I still feel like I'm her.  I still feel a little raw around the edges when it comes to church.  I wonder if I will ever not feel like a convert, like (as I once announced in one of my lessons) a jack mormon without a clue.  When she talked about starting to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, I could relate.  When she talked about the difficulty in making choices, I could relate.  When she talked about beginning to read her scriptures again, I could relate. 

But I think in some ways I still want that raw edge.  I want to remember where I came from.  I don't want to be the one who doesn't understand how it feels to be inactive member of my church.  I like my spicy past.  I also like my not-so-spicy present.  I know that I am a lot happier being active.  It was something I wanted for myself, and no one else.  But I also felt so akin to that sister who shared her Christmas experience.  It  got me thinking about how after all this time, I'm still thinking I'm the newby.  Maybe I always will feel that way.  Thinking over that sentence, I don't think I mind.


Apryl said...

Since we're all made up of half DNA and half experience, your past is a part of why you are WHO you are now. And you are wonderful.
I think, maybe, none of us EVER feel like we totally belong. Loved and accepted, sure. But to really truly belong? That is pretty rare. (Or maybe I'm a self-imposed permanent outcast. Oh well...)

Amy Sorensen said...

Kendell and I were talking about just this yesterday morning, when I woke up at 5:30 (yes! me!) because I couldn't sleep and was worried about some stuff. Deep down I DON'T feel like I, well, I don't know if "belong" is the right word. Like I deserve it, maybe.

But you are right: I continue to feel like a convert, and I do relate to women like your ward member. Lovely post.

I hope you are feeling better from your sinus infection? At least, I think that's what you said yesterday. I couldn't hear you very well. But, hope you are on the mend!

Ginger said...

I feel the same way!