Earlier today I was just doing the laundry, folding clothes. And it just hit me.
I saw my whole life up to this point. Everything. All the people. Everything that has ever mattered to me.
I never thought I'd be where I am today. I miss holding the priesthood. I miss having a calling in the Church. I miss being safe in the fellowship of the Saints. I hate feeling like a stranger in my own ward. I hate there being only so far people will go with me. I hate feeling like people are afraid of me because I'm dangerous somehow. Being afraid of just saying what's on their minds. I hate being afraid of telling my story, the whole unexpurgated heart-wrenching version.
And yet I can hardly wait to go to Church tomorrow. I missed it last week because we went camping. How is it that when I miss even one week it feels like I've been gone for a year?
And yet so often I feel like a cypher, a shadow there. I always sit on the back pew. I remember when I was a kid, I remember there was some guy, I overheard some folks saying he had been excommunicated. He always used to sit on the very back pew. I always loved the Church so much, with my whole heart. I never thought I'd be that guy. The excommunicated guy sitting at the back alone. And yet...
Still, I don't know how to explain this. None of that matters. I don't feel pain. I feel longing and unrequited love. But not pain. I don't feel angry. I can't complain for anything. I love my life, I love my home, I love my friends, my neighbors. I love being part of this MoHo blogging thing. I love you. I have the best family in the world. I love my writing. I love that I'm going to be a teacher in the spring. I love the Church. I love my partner. I can't even say how wonderful that is. I love that we are going to be foster parents (though I can scarcely believe it still). My life is filled with love, love that grows more profound and better every day. My life is full of the Spirit. I go to Church and I feel as whole and complete as I possibly can be. That's where I need to be. Where I can grow. Everything is as it should be, the Spirit says.
How can this be? How can nothing be like what it's supposed to be, like what I expected, and yet everything better than I ever could have dreamed?
Still, I miss it. I pray for what Alma told Corianton: "It is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order." Things are broken. They're out of joint. I want it all to be whole, restored to its proper order.
It's come back to me several times, this longing for wholeness, and every time it's come to me this afternoon, and even now, I cry. But I can't tell what kind of tears these are. Tears of sadness, or tears of joy, or tears of holy expectation.