Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Faithful Companion


holding hands

I was privileged to witness a three-month new member baptize his daughter yesterday. It was Beautiful. The man was beaming, even as he struggled to remember the exact wording of the ordinance. I don’t really know the man. He attends a branch that is near our ward. They use our building for baptisms. But, I could tell he was a man that loved his new faith. My heart swelled with joy for him.

Probably, for those who have been members their whole lives, it could be easy to forget just how special your baptismal day is. I still remember mine in vivid detail, even though it was over a year ago now. Wow! How time flies. Because I was teaching a lesson in Relief Society today on Baptism, it has been on my mind for the last few days. We are so privileged to have the gospel.  

I am grateful to have the gospel in my life.  I love all the richness it brings. I love getting to know God in new and unexpected ways.  I love having every blessing the gospel brings. While expressing how wonderful it will be to get to spend an eternity with our God, a woman raised her hand to remind me that I will not get to the highest level of the celestial kingdom without getting married. It took a few seconds for me to know how to respond, but I was able to. Just so you know, the woman was not trying to be unkind, just informative.

  Though the following was not my response, this is something the Lord has been teaching me recently about that very topic. I have no control over when I will get to remarry.  Once you hit your forties, there are very few godly single Mormon men available (at least in this area). I’m not willing to date or marry someone just to not be alone-or to get to the highest level of the celestial kingdom, although I want that very much. They have to be a godly priesthood holder that I can love.  I need someone who loves the gospel, and I can talk to about things on a deep level.  I hate surface conversation, so I want someone intellectual also.

As a result of not having companionship,  I’ve been learning something unexpected about God lately.  I’ve always thought of Him as someone to be honored, obeyed and worshipped. It was not until recently that I’ve learned to look at Him as a companion.  I used to go out with friends a lot, but unexpected circumstances have led to that no longer being possible for me.  Recently, I decided, instead of letting the loneliness overwhelm me, I would talk to God about the things I would normally talk to my friends about.

God makes a wonderful companion. He lets me talk to Him as often as I want.  He never gets tired of my questions, and he lets me dialogue about things we’ve already talked about a thousand times. The best part is, I never have to worry about Him lying to me, using me, or abandoning me. Who could ask for a better companion? 

Of course, I do want to marry. I’m exhausted and could use a partner. It is not easy raising and providing for four children completely alone. I’m also extremely romantic and physical, and would love to have someone to hold me, and to whom I could bring joy. And, to be completely honest, I wanted more children. But, as none of these things are in my control, I think the key is to focus on the companion I do have—God. For now, I can spend my time focused on the kingdom of God. Hopefully, I will grow and become the person He wants me to be.


Lara said...

You handled a difficult situation with much grace. No doubt the Lord has all of his blessings for you. In fact the fallacy is that we must be married. I think the truth is that we must live worthy of a worthy person and a celestial marriage. Just as baptism isn't given to everyone in this life neither is marriage, however if will be provided. Thank you for your enthusiasm and sincerity. I love your lessons.

Dan.Eliot said...
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Lisa said...

I agree with Lara. There is so much more that we don't comprehend. He is a just God and things will work out in the end. Annmarie, you are wonderful!

Erica said...

You handled that well, but I do hope someone pointed out that she wasn't quite correct.Because she is forgetting the Lord knows our hearts and desires, and if you live worthy of it, those blessings shall be yours. It's been stated by the General Authorities enough.

Michelle said...

Your beautiful strength is shown by your loving response to this sister's insensitivite comment. You believe she meant no harm. Good for you, Annmarie!
I am so uplifted by your writing and your amazing faith in God. The other commenters are completely correct. One day all will be well with His covenant people. How I look forward to that day!
P.S. Just read the first half of your article for Meridian--beautifully done. Can't wait to read the rest of your story.

Ann said...

I live in Woods Cross, Utah. Saturday evening my husband and I had the blessing of doing some Sealings in the Bountiful Temple. At the half way point, the Sealer took the time to talk about a few things. is not something I feel I can write about in a blog. It is something I hope to be able to discuss someday with you as I think it will give you great comfort. Btw, I too am a convert of 42 years. I still remember my baptism at age 17. I am the mother of 6 and grandmother of 4. Our youngest son is currently serving in the Ohio Cleveland mission. I think I'll print out your conversion story and send it to him. He is teaching several who may benefit from your experience. I'm on FB if you want to learn more about me.