I stare at my blessing and read the lines over and over, wondering where the blessings are that are written so clearly. I believed it was inspiration, I don’t believe it was for the next life, which leaves me confused and sad. Did I mess something up somewhere?
So many are leaving, and I keep getting asked by leadership why, and the simple answer is:
there’s no more room for us here anymore.
Why are we separating people by marital status? College wards sure, but after college? Just mix all wards already – quit separating people by nationality and if they have the right ring on the right finger. Is the magic number 31? What if I’m 32 and don’t have a “family” for the family ward? I don’t have anywhere to go… and it’s an awkward place to be. The In-Between. When you “should” be a family but you still can’t make the Sunday pot roast because there’s only one of you and no one can or should eat a whole pot roast by themselves. Do you set the table for one? I run away from situations that point out the loneliness of being outside of that family unit we thought we would be in by now. Those traditions you love and long for will have to wait.
It’s obvious I don’t belong as I walk the halls and hear the title “mom” thrown everywhere and people question me why I have the wrong three letter title and care more about CEO that MOM. They don’t understand that I didn’t choose that title, I’ve just tried to choose the right, but that’s all that’s come.
“You realize you’ve waited too long, you’ll have to marry someone addicted to porn or divorced now.”
“You’re not fulfilling your purpose in life and shouldn’t care as much about worldly things. Your focus needs to change.”
Church leaders are sometimes really harsh without realizing it. But good intentions as poorly worded interviews push many away as we sit in the In-Between. My blessing says I’ll have children, I’ll teach them as I have been taught, my 33-year-old single woman uterus is nervous tho. I promised God a long time ago that I would do everything I could to take care of His children and I would have faith that He would take care of me. Maybe my faith has dwindled a bit in the In-Between.
Can you also please quit making policies that are hurting our friends? Many of us are leaving because our friends are hurting and we can’t stand to stay while they have to leave in pain. We want to be with them. Diversity helps us in the In-Between and we feel for each other in that unfair limbo many are in. God sure changes His mind quickly these days. Oh, that policy was man made….? But I thought God would never let His prophet lead His people astray? It was just him being racist? Those essays sure threw us for a loop in 2013.
I remember testifying about things as a missionary and feeling the spirit only to find out later through research and essays that some of what I had said wasn’t all true. The hat? Why did I have that picture of Jospeh translating the gold plates casually in view on his table in my scriptures as a missionary if it wasn’t even true? We are the generation that is finding truth online as the church owns its history more, which is good, but still is confusing. And sometimes I feel dumb I believed and testified about something so much to find out later more about the topic that has come out. New truths and explanations can come out… but not our friends. It’s rough here in the In-Between.
My 13 year old, 7th grade self was so concerned about polygamy and my wonderfully kind stake president who confirmed to me that God would never make me do anything that I didn’t want to do helped for some years. I felt peace then, but later felt icky hearing about early church leaders’ polygamous marriages and even now how husbands can remarry in the temple, making their dead first wives polygamous wives outside of their control.
We leave because we don’t fit in. We leave because we don’t have the right titles. We leave because it hurts to stay. We leave because we feel deceived. We leave because we loose hope in blessings promised that haven’t come. We leave because church isn’t the sanctuary of peace and safety we need it to be. We leave because we’re confused and aren’t sure who to talk to without appearing like an apostate. We leave because we don’t think anyone will notice, and then we don’t come back when no one does.
We get lost in the In-Between.