I actually showered, put on my Sunday best, and within 15 minutes of church starting, I was covered in poop. The baby has impressive skills and shot her poops right out the leg of her diaper, through her tights and all over my light tan skirt in the blink of an eye. Awesome.”Why do I even come to church?” I thought. “This is such a waste of time.” My husband was speaking in sacrament and I was really excited to listen to him. I love seeing and listening to him speak in public. If someone were born to speak in public, it’s that man. The moment he stands up to speak however, cue: toddler tantrum. So with baby in one arm, I try to, as seemingly noisy as I can, take the two year old out into the hall to teach her that reverence during sacrament meeting is more important than treats. Not working today. By the time I got back into the chapel, he had finished. I missed the whole thing. Again I thought, “Why do I even come to church? I just wanted to hear him speak today.” Next we head over to Sunday School where I sit down for five minutes to enjoy the lesson before I have to leave to feed my baby. As I sit in the tiny mothers room that reeks of dirty diapers ripening all afternoon, missing the lesson in Gospel Principles with some investigators I was excited about, I again think, “Why am I even here today? I could have gotten pooped on at home and nursed this baby at home much easier than all this hassle.” I go back to Sunday School and sit down for five minutes just to have the door open with the nursery leader and my toddler standing there. I stand back up, go out, and the nursery leader says “Sorry, but she pooped in her undies.” She pooped her undies?? Awesome. 10 minutes later, after cleaning up yet another poopy mess in my Sunday best, I walk her back to nursery and overhear comments from people in the hallway about her that make me cringe… make my blood boil, and again these thoughts, “This is church, aren’t people supposed to be ultra sweet and perfect? Why did I even come today??” I go back to class and it’s over. “Cool. Glad I could get so much out of Sunday School today.” Relief Society, thankfully, was only saturated with a fussy baby who finally fell asleep after 30 minutes so I was able to enjoy the last half.
I wish I could say that my mood improved once I got home, but it didn’t. My continuation to dwell on my awesome experience at church mixed with a case of hangry made for a pins and needles climate. But here I am, 24 hours later, fed, rested, out of poopy clothes, and have had some time to think about why church truly is too hard.
Church is too hard because I have to put on my Sunday best to show respect to my maker, father, teacher, friend and savior. If it’s not yoga pants, it’s nothing.
Church is too hard because it’s the only place I can go to take the sacrament to renew my covenants with my Heavenly Father. Covenants that if I keep, promise eternal life with those I love the most. Covenants that if I keep will allow all wrongs to be righted. Covenants that if I keep will help me be a better person. It’s just too hard on my end to make an effort to get to church, especially with no drive-through. Hello, life with kids equals drive-throughs.
Church is too hard because I have to sit in a stinky mothers lounge to nurse a baby while those cute little nursery leaders are teaching my daughter that she is literally, a “Child of God.” She could be sitting at home watching Anna and Elsa for the 179th time learning the words to a much more important song that goes something like “Let it Go” or “Love is an Open Door.” After all, YouTube is the best teacher.
Church is too hard because it teaches my child reverence and respect, humility and obedience. It would be much easier to ignore church and allow the world to teach her disrespect, immorality and how to be “authentic” with no effort on my part, than to once a week, sit in church and enforce behavior that is calm, collected, quiet and reverent.
Church is hard, but life is harder without it. Luckily, 24 hours later, I realize that all my excuses about church being a waste of time pale in comparison to the real reasons as to why I go to church, why I believe in the gospel, and why I will continue to go to church, covered in poop or not. This world is wicked, to put it nicely. Satan is clever and somehow convinces me that I can do it all on my own and that things will go perfect. And when they don’t I automatically blame God, his system, and all the other imperfect mormons that are only doing their best. I’m so glad Heavenly Father has given me a place I can go once a week to focus on being better, and if I can’t focus on being better during those three hours, then those experiences motivate me for the rest of the week to think about the why’s.
Hang in there my friend. If you are struggling, hang on. If you are angry, hang on. If you are sick and tired, hang on. If you are beyond confused, hang on. If you are discouraged, hang on. If you are doubting, hang on. Please, I beg you. There is nothing in this world that is worth more than what Jesus Christ has to offer. It’s impossible to see six inches past our face sometimes, but hang on. Hang on to that speck of hope that is there, because it is there. I know it is. We are literally children of an Almighty God who is good, wise and so, so loving. We can’t be His creations and not have at least one tiny speck of hope.