Guest Post from New Blogger, Tracy M

This is a guest post from Tracy M, a.k.a Dandelion Mama. We like her, so we have invited her over here to blog with us, too. She's posting as a guest until we can get her permanently logged on, and we've asked her, as an introduction, to start with her conversion story. Welcome, Tracy! Notes from the Trenches: My Conversion It wasn’t until Jeffrey slid from my body with that final great push and they set his slippery body on my tummy that I knew God was for real. Years of searching fell away as I looked in awe and wonder at my first child, and I knew, I knew with all my heart and soul, that there was a God. That is the memory I have of my first son’s birth. Not the pain, not the 36 hours of labor and 3 hours of crazy pushing, not the sheer exhaustion of labor and delivery- that too all fell away, and I sobbed and wept, yes for my son, but really it was for God. For years, I had searched for answers. Searched in places I dare not tell anyone about without making myself look like a lunatic, and places that were regular and simple. Never did find anything that rang true, deep inside, as I knew truth must. There is not a church or school of thought I didn’t check out, delve into, or at least consider for a moment, but still I wandered, unsatisfied, and looking for... for something. There was no religious or spiritual training at all in my home growing up- my parents are good people, but faith in anything other than themselves is not a strong suit for either of them. Blame it on California hippies. Since I was stumbling around in the proverbial dark, I made some crummy choices, which I will spare. It took over fifteen years of getting mad at God and yelling and fighting and cursing and crying and trying not to care about a God I wasn’t sure was even real, before that baby finally saved my soul. My husband already had a strong faith, but it was a unique and personal faith wrought from trial and error, somewhat parallel to my path. After Jeffrey’s birth, we agreed that we wanted to give our children more than we had. We also knew that the California, free-thought, try anything once, let-others-fly-away culture we grew up in wasn’t going to fly for us anymore. So we moved. Far away. To Washington, with an eight-month old, a bid on a house we had never seen, and only a sort-of promise of a job. Big gamble or big leap of faith, all depends on your point of view. Looking back, it was faith that brought us here, because here is where we found our answers. One Sunday, out of the blue, I went to the local Mormon Church to hear the musical program for the fourth of July. I took Jeffrey with me, and sat way in the back, didn’t talk to anyone, and left right after it was over. But something stuck with me. It was a fast and testimony meeting, and I was absolutely amazed at the young people who got up and talked. How could these young kids know so much, and talk about it as though they knew it, and be so, so...young? What I left the meeting with was a feeling that “something is happening at this place, and I don’t know what it is, but its right”. What I hoped for for my children was happening in that building and I wanted to know more about it. I went the next Sunday, and the next and I never missed another one. Two months after Independence Day, I walked up to the missionaries after Sacrament, introduced myself and asked what I had to do to be baptized. I still remember the looks on their faces (and I still get letters from both of them). After they told me about the lessons, I asked if we really needed to do that, because I already knew what I wanted. They just laughed. So in October, I was baptized, with the blessing of my husband, but not the rest of my or his family. Oh well. I actually kept my membership a secret from my mother for a long time, simply because I knew what would happen. And when I finally told her, I was right. She gave me a choice between her or the Church- ugh. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but the choice was incredibly easy to make, considering. Anyway, it all worked out, and I have both of them! My husband is now a priesthood holder, and we’re planning to be sealed in about two months, just shy of the birth of our third child. So next time you are grumpy at a Fast & Testimony meeting, think of the searching mother in the back, getting everything she has been hoping for from the mouth of your babe, up there at the podium. That’s how I joined you all in the trenches, and became part of the Mormon Mommy Wars.


Blogger HLH said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. The more stories I hear like this- it reminds me to be more greatful for what I have been given.
Nice to be able to read you in 2 places now!

1/02/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kage said...

Before I got to the end of your post I was thinking: "So that's why I NEED to plan musical numbers"...b/c sometimes it is just annoying to do your calling (ward music leader) and it is time-consuming to do choir practice etc. And I am glad that I have provided a reason for people to come to church if they are just coming for the music, and staying (forever in your case) b/c of the testimonies of others.

1/02/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Mommy said...

No need for you to have nerves about this Tracy, you hit it out of the park!!
Also, my hubby and I were sealed after the birth of our first. The sealing is awesome, but the only thing I really remember is looking at my husbands eyes well with tears as they brought our little baby boy in, all dressed in white, to ensure that he would be with us forever. It's an amazing feeling and I can't wait for you to have it too!!

1/02/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

Thanks for sharing that. You have a wonderful way with words.

1/02/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Great story, Tracy, thanks. It made me look around at church and wonder who was there for what reason. And it's also nice to know that with all of the banging around and general bungling we do of missionary work, The Lord is still preparing souls like yours to hear the gospel. Good thing!

1/02/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Wilfried said...

How wonderful and how inspiring to read such a conversion story. Thank you so much.

1/02/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bek said...

Tracy--thank you!! I have been reading you over at the other place for awhile!!

We were sealed to our son earlier this year. Even though I was born into the church, it really renewed the awe and joy of having my family sealed together forever. Thansk for sharing your story.

1/02/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

You are what every missionary dreams of, and you would be a great addition to any ward, with faith like yours.

Welcome to the trenches.

1/02/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Anonymous pam w. said...

Your story gives me chills. Thank you!

1/02/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger marian said...

My conversion story overlaps yours in one way - I came to church on my own for a couple of weeks before I ever spoke with the missionaries, which I of course found out later was a bit unusual! (I was dating my now husband at the time, who was a member, so I figured I'd check things out) Probably the best thing for me, I'm sure Heavenly Father had a hand in it, because the "hard sell" would have scared me off instantly. But instead, here I am 9 years later...

1/02/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

Welcome! What a great post.

1/03/2006 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Oh, yes, what a wonderful story!

Thank you, thank you!

1/03/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

What a great first post! I second what everyone else has said -- I'm excited to read your posts at two good blogs now.

1/03/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie J said...

What a beautiful conversion story. I was touched. I mean, how can you not feel the spirit and be happy after reading that? It was wonderful.

1/03/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the love...(I'm blushing!)

1/03/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Island Queen said...

Tracy - your story made me tear up. How thankful I am for those young people whose spirits touched yours.

I look forward to your wonderful contributions to MMW.

1/03/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Chad Too said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your story.

FWIW, my wife didn't tell her similarly-California-based mother about joining the Church until the week I proposed: 11-years after her baptism.

That was a great conversation. "I'm Mormon, I've met a guy, we're getting married in the temple, you can't come." I'm paraphrasing, but I didn't get the greatest "welcome to the family" out there.

1/04/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Anonymous jane said...

Wonderful, your story brings back our conversion 27 years ago. we were also searching for the best churh to raise our growing family. I was flying with two of our young children into Sacramento on a puddle jumper from SF, to visit dying father. A group of 3 or 4 missionaries, returning from missions in Texas were across the aisle and we all got talking. We will always be grateful to these young men for introducing us to the Gospel. This was in November, 1977. If any of these guys are listening, let us know. We want to thank you and let you know how our lives were changed forever. we went on to be baptized 4 months later and also adopted 5 more black children, 3 are living in Utah, 2 with families, one at BYU. Was Heavenly Father aware of us back then. I know he was. The day after we returned to Boston area, I bumped into the only Mormon that I knew about living in our entire state. I asked a few questions, missionaries were at our house 2 days later. We have been blessed beyond measure.

1/04/2006 08:37:00 AM  

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