Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sabbath Songs: Firm in the Faith

Firm in the faith
Anchored in truth
Solid in all that I do
No turning away
No shadow of doubt
No storm has the power
To drag me down
I'm a witness in these latter days
And I'm standing firm in the faith.

-Jenny Phillips and Tyler Castleton, Firm in the Faith

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you'll know that I am a dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through Mormon. 'Mormon' is a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because of our belief in The Book of Mormon, a companion volume of scripture to The Bible.

{Editor's Note: I have pondered long and hard about how and if I should tell this next little bit about myself because it involves not only my personal beliefs, but the actions and choices of another person, whose story is his own and perhaps I haven't a right to tell. But our two stories are intertwined and it is part of what makes me who I am. I want to tell the part of the story that is mine. I hope I can give a fair representation of my perspecitve while respecting the privacy of my other half.}

Mr. Bug and I were both born and raised as members of the LDS faith. We were married in a religious ceremony and attended church regularly for the first few years of our marriage. About the time that I became pregnant with Grasshopper, Mr. Bug's church attendance began to decline and over the 18 months after Grasshopper was born, it became non-existent. During this time I struggled with myself; with the choice Mr. Bug had made and whether or not I should continue attending church alone. It was tough for me, something I had never expected. I was really uncertain of how I should proceed until one Sunday that the three of us went to McDonald's for dinner {Editor's Note: members of the Church are strongly encouraged to make Sunday a special day, different from the rest by not shopping, eating out, working or participating in activities that cause others to work; in short a day to rest from all labors and remember God, so this infraction was a pretty big revelation for me of how things were and where I was headed.}. I came to the conclusion that no matter how hard it was, I needed to do what I knew in my heart was right.

It's been a hard line to walk, trying to balance respect for Mr. Bug's choice {though sometimes I don't respect it very much} with my desire to continue to attend church {and everything else that goes with it}. When the Little Bugs were really little, it felt like Sacrament Meeting {LDS-speak for a congregational worship service} was a three-ring circus with me as ringmaster and my Little Bugs as the main attraction {it still feels that way sometimes}. And it is hard to explain to the Little Bugs why they have to go to church instead of staying home with dad {they don't get a choice about whether or not they'll take a bath either; when you're a kid sometimes that's just the way it is -- you have to do what your parents tell you}. I very often feel pulled in two different directions. Sometimes I wonder if it really is worth all the effort. But there are moments when I know that no matter how hard it is, I'm doing what is right for me and my Little Bugs.

A couple of weeks ago the Young Women {LDS-speak for girls ages 12 to 18} sang this beautiful song, Firm in the Faith by Jenny Phillips and Tyler Castleton in Sacrament Meeting. It was their theme for Girl's Camp this summer. The words touched my heart and strengthened my resolved to keep on doing what I know I should. It was one of those moments when I just knew.

I hope you'll take just a minute to listen to it. It is beautiful.


Eileen said...

elizabeth...that is a beautiful story you've shared today. thanks so much. i admire your resolve to live what you believe and know your and your children will be blessed for it. for 8 months because my husband was in the army and away from us in germany, i struggled with being the only parent at home and church. my children were teens, so different experience, but it was tough and can't totally know your struggle but can somewhat relate. i will definitely become a follower. have a great day. i'll send your site url to my daughter, too. she'll like it too. i always know everything will be okay--sometimes okay is pretty dang hard to get through, though!

Barb said...

Thanks for sharing that. My heart goes out to you. Sometimes we have no control over what others do but we do over our selves. What others dont realize is that their choices good or bad affects everyone around them. I grew up in a part member family, I know the struggles.....stay strong. You are one amazing woman!! Our Father in Heaven loves you very much and is pleased with what you are doing...hang in there. I did not listen to your you tube...didn't want to cry today. I am sure it is very pretty.

Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

Elizabeth.....I 100% can empathize with you!!!! My husband did the same thing the second we got MARRIED... Since, he has decided he was wrong, and i was right (I only had to tell him a billion times :) ) but it was a long and miserable 5 years! I hope you know that there are so many people praying for you and proud of you for doing the right thing...your kids are going to be SO grateful when they get older!
You're amazing!!!

pinksuedeshoe said...

Wonderful Post. My heart goes out to you and yours. I agree with Eileen, "Sometimes okay sucks."

kay coop said...

My husband quit going to church and I just dug in my heels and went without him for many years. Several years before he passed away he was back in church and closer to the Lord than before. I am so glad I stayed because he would have gone to eternity, lost.

Wanda said...

I know your struggle. I spent all the years of my girls growing up taking them to church alone and teaching the gospel. Even though it has been hard I can tell you that it has blessed our family beyond measure. So keep up the good work and know that there are those of us out here who know and understand and will keep you in the prayers of our hearts!Thanks for sharing too!

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I haven't checked out blogs for a while and felt impressed to go to yours today. I too was inspired by the young woman song and I'm so glad you have this on here. I admire you and I am grateful for your example and friendship too.
My mom and I went to church without my dad for several years and I am so grateful that she had made that decision, even though it was a struggle at times. My dad is now active too and many blessings have come. Love you tons. Your site is so fun, inspirational and enjoyable to look at - thanks for all you do!!!

Jennifer Lovell said...

Beautiful voice, beautiful song, and those pictures were wonderful! I'm so glad you shared that with us. The message in that song is very moving. I can see why it meant a lot to you. Thanks. I plan to play that a few more times : ).

Thanks, too, for sharing your family story with us. I consider myself an open book, and I love to know others in the same way, as well. Thanks for letting us in. Hugs and love...

Mela said...

You are amazing! Your children will thank you someday. And your husband will come around. :) BTW, where did you find that picture with Christ and the young lady?