A few weeks ago, I walked into my LDS church and I felt at home.
I felt like I belonged.
Much like when I used to walk onto the campus at Redemption and feel such an immense love for everyone that would walk by.
And how my intense love for the special needs students in the classroom I volunteered in at Mission was something I counted down the days to.
But as it was with each of those feelings at those two different Christian churches, I eventually lost my desire to go and connect with people and give Sunday worship my all.
Church used to be so special to me.
And sometimes I catch glimpses of what that used to feel like back before my world turned upside-down.
Back before my then-husband announced he wouldn't be attending church with our family any longer and I became 'single' at church---and a year later became legitimately single.
A month or two before my then-husband had left the LDS church, I was serving in the Relief Society presidency. I think I was 23 or 24 years old at the time. That calling was a highlight in my life and a significant highlight in my faith.
I was asked to open myself up to serving people I had never taken the time to get to know. I was pushed past my comfort zone and grew in so many ways.
And in just a short amount of time after being released from that amazing calling, my world started to change and I felt so broken at church.
I felt like nobody noticed our little family and how we were struggling.
I would scream and cry alone in my car, asking why it seemed nobody was fixing him and forcing him to go back to church.
I spent many nights crying in our bed, begging him to just try a little harder and be there for us.
But nothing worked.
And so instead of living the perfect life I had imagined, I started to break.
I slowly let cracks in as I became hardened toward my husband and God and the people whom I felt were ignoring our situation.
But I never fully lost hope.
I would sit in my car and listen to my Christian radio stations and rely on the hope that he would come back to church with our family someday. And more importantly, that he would know of God's love for him again someday.
I truly believed the day would come where he would go back to church.
And that day did eventually come---after we had been divorced for a few months.
Since then, I can't seem to fit all of my scattered puzzle pieces back into their spaces. In fact, I feel like a lot of them have changed shapes and are waiting for me to make a new masterpiece.
But sometimes it is just so exhausting to try and change how my brain plays those traumatic events in my life and how it equates those events to anger at people and at God.
I will never be the same person I used to be.
And do I want to be her? Probably not. But back when I was her, church was easier.
And now, no matter how hard I try, I feel alone at church.
I feel alone everywhere.
I feel achingly alone.
This struggle has been much more prominent for the past six months.
I know the reasons.
And I know this isn't supposed to be a race to see which one of us has a serious relationship first or gets married first.
I know that.
But that doesn't make it hurt any less.
I spend so much of my time being a mom, putting my kids first, that I am exhausted in a way I can't even describe.
I make sure we don't miss church so that they have consistency from me.
I try so hard to pray with them.
I try to remember Family Home Evening each week.
But this stuff is so hard alone.
And I think that's what matters most to God. I think He understands better than anyone else can because He knows how torn apart my heart feels a lot of the time.
But although life doesn't seem fair, although it seems like I'm getting the short end of the stick because I'm trying to make the right decisions and have the right priorities, I am trying to remind myself that God does not owe me anything.
And that I owe Him everything.
So when I feel frustrated that I'm not being handed an amazing new husband, I'm trying to remember that not getting that is not a punishment from God. And that other people getting those blessings that I so deeply desire is not them being more worthy than I am.
I owe everything that I am to my God.
Because without Him, I am nothing.
And with Him, I can and will be made whole again.