Starting Over: How to Find God Again

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I am so excited to have Lindsey from https://raisinghelmblog.wordpress.com back to guest post!   You can find her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lindshelm_/.

 

Starting Over: How To Find God Again
DECEMBER 5, 2016 / LINDSAY HELM
It has been two years since I left the LDS {Mormon} Church and I wrote a very heartfelt post about my decision not long after. I wrote the post, then wrote something else and posted both at the same time, hoping my first post would get lost in the mumbo jumbo because I was scared. That’s the truth. I was scared. I wanted to put it out there just as much as I wanted to crawl under a blanket and hide from everyone who ever looked up to me.

I was scared, but now I’m not.

As I started to hear stories of broken, confused hearts and angry souls, I couldn’t help but shove my own anxiety under a blanket of empathy and understanding love. I found myself wanting to be there as a friend, confidant and shoulder to cry on, because when I was suffering, when I was hiding, I had no one who could possibly understand my self perceived brokenness. I wanted to be the person I never had to someone else. I had spoken to my family, and all of them graciously loaned a listening ear, but I had no one who had walked in the same distressed, confused and troubled shoes that I had walked in for so long. Of course I talked to God on my journey. But the problem is, when you’re going through something like leaving the LDS Church, your perception of God is very distorted. I felt like I had to relearn God.

This post is for the ones that are hurting. The ones that are heart broken. The ones that silently suffer. This is for the people who feel voiceless. I am writing this because I know they exist. I know because I have listened to their pain while they tell me their stories of leaving or wanting to leave. I watch them silently suffer just so the people they love, will love them.

**As a disclaimer I want to say that this post is meant for those who are struggling after leaving the LDS Church. If you are strong in your LDS beliefs, this is not meant to challenge that. This is written from my personal experience and from the wounded hearts of those who have shared their stories with me. This post is not in any way meant to discredit or belittle those who are happy in their LDS faith.**

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To The Ones Who Are Hurting,

I wish I could hold all of my heartbreak in my hands and show you, like a fortune teller gazing into her crystal ball, everything I have ever felt regarding leaving a Church that I once loved more than anything. It would be easier that way. I could give you a glimpse at my happiness, my confusion, my questions, my anger– the whole gooey, messy enchilada. With each bite you could savor my bitterness that I kept spitting out, unsuccessfully attempting to replace it with positivity and added faith. I could show you my humanity in its flawed perfection. But I can’t do any of those things. All I can do is write to you, hoping my words touch your heart and offer a small amount of healing to your broken spirit.

You are scared. I get it, I really do. You think no one will understand. You think everyone will stand against you. You think all of your friends will dissappear. You are scared of breaking the hearts of those you love. You don’t want to create conflict. All of those feelings are normal; and some of those things might happen, which is why people in this situation seem to shove it in the back of their dark and lonely closet, away from the world, scared that people will not understand. This is what it comes down to–you want the ones you love, to love you despite your evolving relationship with God. You are a human being that wants to be loved and accepted by those you love. You want to be understood and respected, not harshly judged. I want you to know, not everyone will understand at first. And that’s okay.

I want you to know the pain you are feeling is very real. It hurts so bad. And no one will really understand unless they, too, have gone through the same experience. I want you to know that you are not alone. When you are on God’s side, He will fight for you no matter the religion you belong to.

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I want you to know that as you seek truth and clarity, you are allowed to ask questions. You don’t need to have everything figured out. This journey is so confusing. All of us grow in different ways, at different times. I have personally accepted the idea that my spiritual growth will be a life long process. As I grow into the woman God intended, I feel that my questions become deeper, maybe even more meaningful. With every new struggle, I learn about the person I am and about the woman I hope to be one day. I make wrong choices. We all do. But with the genuine desire to understand ourselves and God’s will, we are able to make better choices. Please, do not be ashamed of using your God given right to choose.

I want you to know that you are not alone. Stepping away from something that was a central part of your life for so long is terrifying. When you start to look at your life, you realize that every friendship, every memory, every decision you’ve made has revolved around the Church. But you still have life to live that holds new friendships, evolving friendships, new memories, and growth. Many people are in this exact situation. You will be able to share your pain with someone who understands. The weight on your shoulders will become manageable as you begin to realize that you will always find a place to belong.

I want you to know that your opinions matter. If the bells of uncertainty and uneasiness ring relentlessly inside of you, it is okay to question it. It comes back around to the God given right to choose. You matter. Your opinions matter. You were sent to this Earth to learn, grow, challenge, be challenged and to find happiness. God created you and He created difference. Always remember that.

Whatever path you decide to follow, I hope you find joy.

I believe in you. I love you. I am here for you. And so is He.

Be happy & love endlessly.

XO Lindsay

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12 thoughts on “Starting Over: How to Find God Again

  1. Carlie says:

    I also left that church but my ex husband did not and our son still goes every other weekend and he is not entirely comfortable with it. Fortunately he knows there are many paths to God. We were just talking about this yesterday, how if some people want to leave the church that they have been taught is the only true religion, how they often leave God, too. Sad. Glad you didn’t leave God, too!

    • Lindsay says:

      Carlie, thank you so much for your words. What you said t true about feeling like you’ve left God when you leave the Church. Luckily, God had a plan for me. And everything has worked out perfectly since.

  2. Paige Rodriguez says:

    “When you are on God’s side, He will fight for you no matter the religion you belong to.” 💛 Yes. So much yes. This was absolutely beautiful, Lindsay. I am so proud of you for not allowing fear and stigma to steal your joy a second longer and choosing to dive head first into the life that God intended for you. So many people will find this, this I’m sure of. Your testimony is a gift FROM God to help lead others and in turn bring healing. Which is such a gift for you as well. God bless you, love. Xoxo

  3. Stefani @ Crafty Christian says:

    This is beautiful, Lindsay! You’re so right, God can’t be boxed into one religion or denomination. I hope your letter reaches those that it was intended to reach and provides comfort for those who are struggling with what you went through <3

  4. Roberta Perrone says:

    I was truly blessed to have grown up with a family firmly founded in faith, and your post still spoke to me, reminded me that faith is a journey. It is a journey that is different for everyone and is shaped by life and experiences we have. A beautiful letter!

  5. Tiffany | shortsweetmom says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I love hearing stories of people that find freedom in God and freedom from the weight that religion can put on us. Your story is very encouraging and inspiring. I agree with Paige’s comment above. Your testimony a gift from God and is going to bless MANY.

  6. Georgiana says:

    It can be a big scary leap to change churches. Almost 2 years ago we became Orthodox, knowing that our decision would not be understood by some of our closest family and friends. But what can you do other than follow where God leads? Now…so, so thankful for where we are!

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