I found this- written in fall 2014. I read it and thought it was a good insight to where I was then. I think my loved ones would appreciate it.
I love who I am. I don't feel boastful saying that. I should approve of myself. I love how I play with and enjoy my boys, finding silly side paths to getting upset and instead being silly. I like how honest I am. I not only cannot tell a lie, I have to be true to my heart and my belief. I like how diplomatic I am, and empathetic, and I care about people. I sometimes struggle though- to figure out how I feel about a particular situation and whether I am making decisions that reflect my heart. I sadly, don't have many close church friends right now. The people I talk to the most are not religious. I love them for their boldness and their insights. I love their unveiled personalities- there are no masks of perfection. Now, I am not generalizing all of my religious people to be mask wearing... many of them are "real", but I've had such trouble making friends- having meaningful conversations, it is as if there is a wall and if it's my fault, I wish I knew how to break through it. I often have felt that I don't fit in well with the ladies at church. They are so loyal and so bright eyed- it's as if there is no doubt in them- no worry, no question or wavering. They are so shiny and good at being "Mormon". I just think that I am not a production piece- not the piece someone would send down the runway to display the "mormon woman". How the practices of the church grow a person. This is because I do not have the innocent sparkle- the childlike enthusiasm for whatever is asked of me or whatever I ought to believe. I question things rationally, like- The scriptures were written by men- inspired men, but they had cultures and some of them wrote what I would consider personal beliefs that were possibly derived from their culture, but weren't accurate. Like- Dark skin. It is illogical to believe it is a curse. It is logical to believe that different areas of the world with different climates raised people with varying skin tones and genomes that survive best there. I just don't know how much of the bible (The OT specifically) is allegorical. I struggle to understand which stories I am supposed to believe as factual and which are parables. I seem to have an easier time finding the illogical pieces and questioning the veracity. But that is not my purpose when I read the scriptures and I wonder how effective I can be as a missionary when I read critically. The thing is though- I have this concept of God- who he is, isn't it who he always was? unchangeable- whose course is one eternal round. He seems to me to be merciful and loving, with a discerning eye for justice and discipline. He seems lovingly involved and ever handing out wisdom and knowledge to mankind. I know he exists. I know that this is his church. I feel stronger with the first of those two sentences though. When I pray, he answers me. He sends me dreams and people and experiences which powerfully testify of his involvement in my life. I mean, last night I felt so confused and I wrote in my journal, said a prayer, and instantly picked up the book with the answer, felt inspired as to where to look, and found it. It was a few paragraphs I had written about how the gospel affects growth in a person, tips for missionary work. I also have miraculous stories- like how chidi, my hermit crab, got lost-- and I prayed to find chidi every night for months. Six months later, in the middle of winter, downstairs behind a couch, under some blankets, my chidi was alive. And there was the time I got so buried in questions that I felt I had to leave the church and basically, I went insane. The message from God was so clear- "Yes, you can make your choices- you can leave, but if you do, you will hurt, your brain will suffer, your heart will fear. This is who you are and where you belong. I need you." I felt as though leaving tore out my center- the core of my being and I was lost and confused and my brain stopped working and my heart was scared and alone- I felt like I was trying to follow God but I couldn't find him. I think that I cannot exist outside of this church. I think that is for my health. I also think that God, accompanied by many prayers of my ancestors and possibly those who will come after me combined to tell me I was important and if I left, my heart would drown in fear and sorrow, my brain would cause me anguish with depression and mania, my body would never rest, and I would be miserable. It is not so with everyone because not everyone has had the life I have. With greater light comes a greater responsibility and greater blessings come with greater responsibility and also greater sorrow with separation. So here I am- I am mormon, I question things sometimes and I forget to do what I should. I am sparkly, but not as loyal as I wish I was. I felt as though I tried to leave and God pulled me back. I have a friend who is spiritual but not religious. Her presence nurtures my heart. When I see her, I feel a sense of home and love and shelter. I thought about her the other night when I prayed. I thought about God... I love how I feel around my friend. I wish I had such a relationship with God. I wish I had that familiarity with him. It's hard to explain- but I want to feel like 'with God is my comfortable place'. But it's hard because I cannot physically see him or touch him. I just sense his feelings and sometimes his thoughts. I want to be full of His light and love... I am having such trouble clearly expressing what I wanted to say. I wanted to say- that I am trying to be a rock. solid, immovable, sturdy in the gospel. Also, I want to be God's... but I am not able to go about it as everyone does. I cannot just "be believing"... I am rational and spiritual.