I recently bore my testimony to somebody who I thought was my friend, turns out he told everyone at my work, which is fine because it’s the truth (or as much of the truth as I can see from my limited view). I don’t mind that people know, what did hurt me is to know that I have absolutely nobody on my side. One of the only people who talked to me today was drilling me on my drinking habits. I don’t drink. I used to sell wine when I lived in California, but probably because my mother was killed by a drunk driver, regardless of my religious affiliation, I hardly ever drank. It was never comfortable for me. I was talking to Spenser’s dad about this when I got home today, and told him that I can tell everyone hates me, but for the first time in my life I feel like God loves me and that gives me comfort. I was telling him that I could feel it in the small things, like this passage I read in this new book that I picked up called ‘To Shake the Sleeping Self’ about a man who rides a bike from Oregon to Patagonia.
“I said a prayer to myself, “God, keep me safe. Keep Weston safe. Teach me what You want to teach me. Prove my mom wrong. Help me meet the people I am supposed to meet. Don’t let me embarrass myself. Give me strength to do this whole thing. “I hope I’m not making a mistake,” I thought. “Ugh, am I? Is this some pride thing? To prove something to people? What if I can’t even make it to LA?” I had, in normal fashion, trailed off from talking to God to simply thinking. Talking to myself. I always scolded myself for doing this. For doing it wrong. For not actually talking to God. “Amen.”
I pray multiple times a day these days and I find myself doing this often, turning my prayers into just thoughts. I always scold myself for it too. I feel like this was God’s way of telling me that it’s okay if I do it wrong, and that no matter how alone I feel sometimes, that he is here with me. After I said this, Spenser’s dad says “That reminds me of a quote from Exorcist III “Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you’re an a**hole.” I laughed because it was funny in a sad sort of way because it’s true.
I feel very fortunate to have my family around me to support me and also very recently, my church. Yesterday was the very first time I attended Sunday school meeting at my LDS ward. I have lived in that ward for 11 years. I have had the Relief Society president come by multiple times, my brother is friends with my bishop, but I never attended. It was awkward doing a zoom meeting and as it was the first Sunday of the year, they had us all introduce ourselves. They also asked what was the best thing about Christmas this year (gift, experience, etc.). Since I haven’t been active for over 20 years, I don’t really know the culture anymore. Was it okay for me to say that I got a really cool Pink Floyd box set ‘Discovery’, the complete studio recordings collection, digitally remastered that is now discontinued? Instead, I said the most significant thing about Christmas is that I actually put up a tree this year. I have so many questions like this. The other thing I question is whether or not I should share my testimony. Is it arrogant to say that I have felt God’s love? Should I share it in blog form? I feel like I need to share it, but I don’t know what is appropriate yet.
I have very negative and very positive things happening in my life right now, but I have to keep faith that the positive will overcome.
On a side note, since this is a photography blog, I was going to post photos of the book I put together. It turned out great and I am proud of it. I didn’t want to put it out for sale for a couple of reasons: 1) regular price, it is $40 to make (I got it for $30) and I don’t know what people would be willing to pay for it, and 2) because of Godzilla-fest, which I didn’t want to leave out, there are faces of people who didn’t consent to be in my book. I will have to look at the laws on that and see if I just have to leave them out if I do end up selling them. I am not against it, however, I probably would only sell them at cost, plus shipping fees. Contact me if you’re interested. I will post photos of the book in the next few days.
Thank you for reading.