A gift...

It's my birthday.

I have been given two gifts already - a best and worst.

The best - yesterday on our Sunday walk we met a new family who moved in our street... with kids... and he is a runner... and she reminds me of my SIL Micah (which means she is awesome)... and it all seems too good to be true. 

The worst - it is officially the first day of summer break - someday I will fully embrace such a day but right now summer break means we oscillate between intense boredom and "Nobody die at this pool/lake/park/mountain/roadtrip." almost hourly. Summer would be cake if I didn't have to worry about my children's mortality but since they are little and I have to carry so much of that responsibility - summer is one big crazy train! 

On the subject of gifts - I wanted to share one with you today. This is a gift that is precious to me and one that I don't always share on a platform such as a blog but I have been feeling the need for weeks now and decided today was the day.

Today I want to share with you my testimony. For those of you who don't speak Mormon, a testimony is a statement of beliefs usually in regards to your faith. It is an account of those things that you hold true and dear. It is something personal and unique and something that I have thought a great deal upon lately due to personal and family circumstances.

My testimony has grown and changed as I have grown and changed - currently it is founded on the fact that I KNOW that there is life after this. I know that Talmage, Boston, David, Jess, Grandparents, friends, and every person ever conceived on this world that is no longer here - lives on. This is something that I feel in my bones - something that is a fundamental truth - something that I have come to know in sacred moments at sacred places and could never deny. Something that I remember every time I look long enough and hard enough into the eyes of my loved ones. There is something eternal inside of me and you - a spirit that lived before this temporary mortality and continues on after our fragile bodies fail. Because I know this - I believe in a God - a loving Heavenly Father who knows and sees me. I believe he sent his son, Jesus Christ - the only person capable of fulfilling this fundamental part of an eternal plan - to offer as a sacrifice so that we can be saved from spiritual death (sin) and physical death. 

Beyond these three facts - life after death, God is real, and Christ died for me - I don't know much else. I don't know the age of the earth. I don't know what in The Bible is literal or figurative. I don't know why religious persecution exists or why there has to be so much economical inequality on this earth. I don't know why homosexuality causes such division... or race... or even gender. I REALLY don't know why Joseph Smith had to have so many dang wives. I just don't know... 

But I know what I do know... And I have found answers and peace within the pages of my scriptures, the classrooms of my churches, and most importantly the walls of my temple. So I will hold to what I do know. I will go to church. I will take my children to church. I will keep trying to be good and do good. I will listen to my heart and my head and try to love the people of this world a little more each day. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ... I am trying to live it daily and I fall short daily. The other day I heard this statement from one of the female leaders of our church and it has banged around in my head screaming - "Yes, that is me too!"

"I am fully converted but I have all these unruly parts that I am trying to bring along with me." - Sharon Eubank*

I strive for unwavering faith but the messiness of life can cloud things over so often. Sometimes I feel like all I am doing is trying to pull all those unruly parts back in line over and over again. And in all honesty, this can be discouraging. But then I think on what I do know and for a brief moment things become bigger and better than what I can only see in front of me... And I keep trying once more.

In or out of my faith - I love spiritual-centered conversations... if you have any questions, ideas, complaints, or moments of inspiration... I'd love to talk with you about any of it. I have to believe that homo sapiens are here on this earth for more than cold beer and whatever nonsense is tending on Twitter... and I love to discuss that with just about anyone who does or does not want to hear it.

You can email me at cyndi(dot)lovejoy(at)gmail(dot)com

*You can hear her whole talk here - it was life-changing for me.


Jo said...

Happy Birthday, Cyndi! That is a great gift to share!

Jana Weaver said...

Hope your birthday turned out nice... hope we all survive summer.

Britt said...

Happy birthday! Great testimony! And Sister Eubank is one of my new heroes. I listened to her talk while I was running... you know, back when I was going to do Ragnar... and she won me over the second she started talking about food. After that I read everything I could find from her. She is awesome sauce!

AndersonGR8 said...

Beautifully said. When did thou become so wise and grown up? I love you. Pops

AndersonGR8 said...

Beautifully said. When did thou become so wise and grown up? I love you. Pops

HowellAZ said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We just fed the elders the other night and they challenged us to pray to keep the faith that we have. I appreciated that and I feel it's important. I've seen so much faith lost in recent years that I have to say it's so refreshing to know of yours. Faith isn't knowing everything... I like to remind myself of that from time to time.

HowellAZ said...

Oh, and Happy Birthday! I'm a good friend like that. ;)