I partook of the sacrament today for the first time in a dozen years and I have to tell you, my day has been an absolute whirlwind of delights and surprises. The last time I went to church with any amount of regularity was when I was 17 years old. At that time I think that any sacrament meetings held at the beginning of church services were a rarity. It has apparently become much more commonplace and I was rather unsure of how I would react to this change, having (in practically a previous life) become so accustomed to a certain schedule and way of doing things. I always liked the idea that families came back together at the end of the day's service to worship as a collective family and congregation. I downright disliked the idea that our ward was among those that had made the switch. Today I was given the opportunity to finally take those steps to experience this and confront many of my predispositions about the course of these last 12 years firsthand.
This opportunity came about through a domino of cues that have fallen over the last week since my 29th birthday. With about 90% jocularity and insincerity, I have been teasing/threatening Dave that if I am not pregnant by August 24th there would be hell to pay. August 24th being the conception date that would keep me in my twenties to bear our first child. I'm not baby crazy by any stretch of the imagination, but am in those beginning stages of finding that life for the two of us has really thus far been just a preamble to much greater things and I believe parenthood to be part of that. Almost simultaneously in this last week, three significant incidents occurred to set our future progress in motion:
1. Dave was given clearance to begin a new job that not only has career potential, but that will certainly open doors to many more opportunities. He should also be able to maintain his school schedule through to graduation next year.
2. Our dear friends and neighbors who also happen to be our bishop and his wife took us to lunch and made a request of us to return to regular church service to help them fulfill a need in the ward. Teaching Primary. What's more. . .I happily accepted.
3. Oh, it keeps getting better. Exactly one week after this seemingly highly significant birthday marking the final year of the dreadful twenties (so overrated), I attended my first full church block in these dozen years, took the sacrament and went one step further and joined the ward choir.
Okay, to those of you who may have stopped breathing through reading all of that, please exhale, inhale and repeat! My hopes of one day returning to church as a wallflower (which I always kept on that back burner of my mind), were dashed away in one fell swoop by not only dropping right back into the swing of things, but with a calling to help keep me there. Yes, I always kept the idea in my mind of going back and have been veeeerrry slowly approaching this turning point for the last few years. I could never see the way to actually make this change in my life though. I can liken the thought process to when I was a smoker. Once I made that change and had become a smoker I never thought there could be any way to change back. I could not see a way. The same has been true of my pew time. The path, for me, did not appear to be simple or clear.
It's not just as simple as merely showing up. That wallflower concept? Not exactly feasible in the LDS church. Active participation is what makes any church, well, church. There have to be people giving to those showing up to receive whatever they came seeking. Having left the church as a youth, such responsibilities were never something I ever contemplated as being part of my religious life even back then thinking of my future. I am kind of self-absorbed though, which explains a lot.
Getting back to the course of this past week having potentially weighty consequences, I do not believe it was any coincidence that Primary was the slot allotted for me. With our means to expand our family growing ever closer to plausibility, I have to accept the downright fact that I am positively akward around children. I speak to 4-year-olds like they're 40. Most things designed and manufactured for the entertainment and attraction of children make me want to keep a gallon of gasoline and a good sturdy match closeby. May Miley Cirus take a long walk off a very short pier (except that it would likely just be her replacement pushing her off). However, I absolutely adored my own childhood and would like to think that I could rediscover those endless joys that the imagination a young mind brings to this life. Not to mention the other downright fact that I practically need missionary discussions at this point to remember the details behind what my heart has always told me to be true and will be able to learn right along with the children having their first experience with this knowledge. So, could this calling be a little bit of a crash course preparation for the future? Don't anybody hold your breath again (remember: inhale, exhale, repeat), but you never can tell exactly how things will unfold.
Now, as for choir practice today. . .that's a whole other post all together. It was. Um. Interesting.