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.