When I Was Single, Going to Church Was Hard
I've always loved the gospel of Jesus Christ. Growing up in an active LDS family, I doubt that I ever missed church more than two weeks in a row. I raised my children the same way--we went to church no matter the weather! And it wasn't hard. I loved church--I still do.
But when I was single, things seemed different. But not because of how others treated me. Actually, if I'm honest with myself, a lot of people went out of their way to speak to me, reach out to me, and support me in any way they felt they could. As a matter of fact, I remember thinking that when news of my divorce got around, my ward members literally swept me up in a spirit of loving-kindness. There was no shortage of attention and heartfelt support.
But attending my Sunday meetings was hard. Walking, alone, into any group of people requires an inordinate amount of vim and confidence, I suppose, unless you're a seasoned politician, well-practiced at walking slowly through a crowd... And since I was far from being a seasoned politician, walking alone into church, after my divorce, was very difficult. Maybe I felt like a brown pair of oxfords in a sea of white tenny-runners--I don't know. Something just didn't feel right and--for the first time in my life--it made attending my Sunday meetings something I didn't look forward to.
But I kept going, though I never did feel 100% comfortable.
Looking back I realize that doing the right thing, when it wasn't easy, amounted to one more test in a series of character-shaping exercises called 'mortality'. Just because the curve ball of divorce happened for me didn't exempt me from the ebb and flow of life's learning lessons.
And I passed the test; I stayed active.
Now years later, I take satisfaction in having navigated that narrow passage in my life. It strengthened me and allowed me to know for myself that married or not, comfortable or not, I could still follow my convictions and live the gospel precepts I've always espoused.
After all, it's not about doing the right thing when everything is right in your life, it's about doing the right thing, period.