Going back to church has been easier than I had expected. Having lived in this ward for over eleven years, I already knew some of the members. One woman in particular was my old Relief Society president. She used to come by on holidays and my birthday to give me little hand made crafts that she had made for the women of the ward. I don’t know how she ever had time for all of that, but I was always grateful. I remember having a conversation with her once about the fact that it seemed like ward members were always just filling an obligation by coming to talk with me, and I wasn’t interested in anything like that. She assured me that wasn’t the case with her, and she proved it. She sent me a text a few years ago saying that she was leaving the ward because her husband was called to serve elsewhere, but she continued to text me on my birthday.
Over a month ago, on my first day going to church online and Sunday school meeting via Zoom, she was in the meeting and welcomed me. She later told me that her husband was released and that she was now back in her regular ward. I appreciated all of the years and holidays in which she hadn’t given up on me. As a token of my appreciation I gave her one of my photography books. After sacrament meeting was over today, she approached me and asked “how did you know I was into photography? I didn’t know you were a photographer!” I said “I’m not, I just do it for fun.” She asked me if she could purchase some prints for the law office she works for which is being remodelled. She said she had been looking to maintain a Utah theme and was looking around and hadn’t found anything. She said my photos were perfect. I told her I was flattered and that I would donate prints if she wanted them. It always makes me happy when somebody appreciates what I do.
My nephew came over today. The missionaries asked him if he would be willing to read the scriptures with my son. At first I was sort of offended. I was thinking “I can read the scriptures with him,” but because I haven’t been active in the church for over twenty years, there is a lot I have forgotten. Who better to help him with his first time reading the scriptures than a return missionary?
I am feeling grateful for the love God has shown me. I still don’t have everything figured out, but I now have the desire to understand. Today’s theme in sacrament meeting was living life with intent, i.e. praying with intent, studying the scriptures with intent, etc. That is definitely something I was lacking the first time around, because at nineteen, I thought I had it all figured out. I did everything I was supposed to do. I didn’t need God, I didn’t need the Scriptures and I didn’t need to pray. I had everything I needed, why did I need God? Those thoughts and feelings lasted until about six months ago when God showed me his hand in my life, and now it is irrefutable.