Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A perfect brightness of hope

The last few days I have been feeling down. I cant decide if its hormones or me really actually feeling whats going on in my head. Making the choice to become a latter day saint was one of the single most challenging things I have ever done. Not because I didn't feel it was right but because it was something different than what I grew up and different from my family. Making the call to tell my parents that I was joining was also difficult. I wanted them to know they were invited and wanted them to feel apart of it but knew it would hurt them deeply, especially my mom. However I prayed to my father in heaven for them to try and understand, and they really tried, enough that they came to my baptism. Well here it is 4 years later and things have been for a lack of better words, different. I feel different from my family, I feel distant and not part. That is truly a hard thing for me. I know that they don't want me to feel that way but I do. In a sense I am different and I do believe differently than they do, but I love them unconditionally. I feel like the ugly duckling, or the black sheep. My family really has been great at not bringing up religion and not making me uncomfortable but I know that they talk about me. I know that my mom's way of dealing with it is by talking about it to the people in here church and to my siblings. That hurts, I know she doesn't mean for it to but it does. They all really feel that I'm confused and that I dont believe in the church. And I'm soooo not confused, I have more clarity in my life now than I ever have. Anyone that knew me before I joined the church knows how different I am now and how much happiness I have in my life because of it. I just wish my family could see that. This is one of the scriptures that I reflect upon when I'm having trials like this one.
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life" (2 Nephi 31:18–20).
As I sit here with tears in my eyes reflecting upon those words again I know them to be true. I must press forward and put my shoulder to the wheel and know that in the end this will all be worth it. I have a wonderful family that love me very much and struggle to understand me, but I also have a church family that love me also. I have eternal family with my husband,son and unborn child that help me to keep my prospective. I think I just needed to write this out and look back over it to realize the many blessings I DO have in my life and to remember to pray for understanding in my family. For those of you who actually took the time to read this whole post, Thank you. I'm grateful for my life and the way my savior saved me from the path I was headed before my baptism. I know the Church is true, I know that being sealed to my family is one of my biggest blessings. I love them very much. And I'm thankful for the gospel and the real clarity it brings into my life.



Beautiful post, Shawna. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope that you get feeling better and not so "apart" from your family. Things will work out in the end, I know they will. You have such a strong testimony, how could they not work out? Love Ya..........

Dorius Duo

Hang in there Shawna. You are a great example to me and I have told you before that I really love hearing (or reading) your testimony because it strengthens mine. You're great!

Wade The Rascal

Great post Shawnana. You are an amazing writer; Did you know that? Anyway, not trying to sound like I have all of the answers but I think I know how you feel a little bit. You are a great person and I'm glad to be your friend.


I got chocked up reading that. You are NOT the ugly duckling...but rather a shining star. You have an amazing attitude and I look up to you for that. I have been thinking back to Jr. High times as I read that and you are right...(from what I read about ;) you now) compared to then you are a happier, secure, and grown woman. It sounds kind of dumb for me to say, but I am proud of you and look up to your faith now. I know I'm not the "best" friend but I love reading your thoughts.

Kristin Warburton

Wow, that gave me goosebumps. I knew you before and I know you a little now and even though we are far apart I can see the happiness you have in your life. I can't begin to imagine what you are going thru with your family, it must be extremely difficult, but stay strong and be a good example. You never know, your influence may affect your family for the better. Hang in there!


You are so much stronger than me sista, thats FOR SURE! I love to hear you talk about your gratefullness for the gospel, it makes me realize how much I have taken for granted being raised with the gospel. I have a special love for converts (you know that!) I only wish that my testimony could be as steadfast as most converts, ESPECIALLY yours! You rock! Your strong and remember that you always have someone to talk to in me whenever you need it! Love you tons!!


Shawna try to keep your head up and take the advise you gave me pray about it not once but all the time your heavenly father will not leave you a stray he loves you and will guide you I love you and try to be strong I no sometimes you get sick of being the strong person all the time. Always remember you are so loved you help so many people with there problems let us try to help you hang in there and your always in my prayers.

Dave and Annamarie Nielson

I love you and admire you and your strength. He knows you individually and how strong you are. You are never alone. Hang in there, good things will come of it. Bless you and your sweet family.

Chandler, Ashley, and Breagan

I admire you because I don't know if I could do what you did. Hang in there and know that you have a lot of people who love and support you! You are amazing and don't ever forget that! Love ya! :)


You are incredible. I can't even begin to imagine the difficulty of making such a life altering choice and only wishing your family would "feast upon the words of christ" Someday it will happen. My dad was a convert and i think he knows how you feel. I'm glad you are my friend! You remind me life really isn't that hard when you have Heavenly Father and Christ!

Scott, Fia, and Tre

Hey Beautiful! You are such an inspiration to me. You were when we were youngens and you always will be. I can see how much you've changed in just your writing alone! I'm so proud of you for holding on to what you feel is right! I'm kicking myself for not calling you while I was down there! I promise to take you out to lunch next time I come down...which will be sooner than later. Love you...oh and you're little boy is soooo gorgeous! Our boys would have so much fun playing together!


I know it must be hard to feel like the black sheep of the family. but just know whether they see it now or not, you are setting an example and living the life you know you should be. You will receive so many more blessings from it and although it may be a struggle with your family the rest of your life, you will be blessed. They love you no matter what. You know your church family will always be there for you. Hang in there! I am so proud of you and the choices you have made. You are a better person and it does show!