Teach them to walk in the light...

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Post Reply
Tica
Posts: 34
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Tica » 13 Sep 2019, 02:08

I know that somewhere there was a post about raising kids in the church, but I had trouble figuring out how to attach myself to it, so this is going to end up being its own post...

I had a dream the other night. One that left me feeling pretty raw and alone. I can't stop thinking about it. It's funny, because I don't really remember my dreams often, and when I do they are usually something realistic and mundane, like doing housework.

Anyway, long story short, in this dream I was riding across a huge, high, busy, and really steep bridge in a driverless truck with my kids. I didn't want to go on the bridge, felt really anxious. But the driverless car didn't give me any say in the matter. We drove on at breakneck speed and quickly careened off the bridge. While we were falling I grabbed my kids and told them that I love them, sure that we would die. Then we hit the water. I really felt the shock of the cold. And I saw the truck sink. But we were all floating safely on top of the water. I think we were in a bay, and I could see land with the sun behind it in the distance. And the dark bridge way above us.

As far as I remember that's where it ended. Or I woke up, or whatever. In any case, I had this dream on Sunday and realized that it was a really good visceral and visual version of my relationship with the church right now (thank you, subconscious!)

If the bridge is the church in this little metaphor, my husband is still happily up there. He knows that the bridge makes me anxious, but I don't think he realizes that I have fallen off. All of my family is up there with him. Aside from the isolation, the part that I am struggling with the most at the moment, is that I have inadvertently dragged my kids into this deep uncertainty with me. I don't know what the dive off the bridge means for me, but I care so much more that I don't know what that means for them. I grew up with the warm certainty of the gospel, surrounded by lots of family, scriptures, family home evening and primary songs. And as a child and teen that gave me hope, strength, and strong values. I don't know how to raise my kids any other way. But at this point I don't know how to raise them the LDS way either. I feel like there might be some sunny land ahead somewhere. But I haven't figured out how to get there myself, much less with my perceptive littles in tow. And they are growing up so fast. I'm afraid I don't have time for mistakes...

I feel so utterly alone. Sorry for the ramble, this is just such a lonely journey.

Anyway, thank you for all of your thoughts on other threads about how you all have handled spouses and kids, it helps me think things through.

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3974
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by mom3 » 15 Sep 2019, 21:59

My kids were a freshman at BYU, a Sophmore/Junior in High School, and a 13 year old middle schooler when the first tsunami of transition started here. My husband was the first one down the hole. For a year or so we covered fine, but by year 2 or 3, the slide took over.

Let me first say - we made it. None of my kids attend right now. For our family that is okay right now. (My extended family probably isn't as comfortable, but we live far enough away and spend time so infrequently together, that we can muddle through just fine.)

A few things I learned, you can keep many of the same supportive rituals in your home. Just dial things your way.

For instance family home evening can come from other ideas, Aesop's fables, or general faith promoting type things, like the Golden Rule and good sportsmanship. You can use heroic lives to teach moral based stories.

If Scripture reading is a family thing, stick to scripture you can swallow.

Keep family dinner sacred or whatever traditions you do have.

Use the Christmas idea as your guide. When kids are little everything is Santa related. As they get older it morphs. But you still give presents, show love, make goodies and the rest. Make your home life like that. Base things you can on Jesus and his life. That gives you some cush.

Good luck. Keep breathing. I am not joking. Meditation is a great healer.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Tica
Posts: 34
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Tica » 17 Sep 2019, 18:20

Thanks, mom. Taking a big deep breath now :D

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7111
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Heber13 » 19 Sep 2019, 21:22

Kids need love, and examples of living values and doing what is right. That can be done as faithful members of the church up on the bridge, or as your dream showed you...should you not stay on the bridge...it is not fatal...you float and you survive. Just from different viewpoints.

The greatest part of your dream was your desire to express to those kids your love for them in a time of crisis.

I think there is a great message in that. And the rest takes care of itself.

You'll be surprised how smart your kids can be, and how they reach their own thinking and understanding and faith.

But what they will remember the most is the parent that held to true values and made them feel loved. And that will help them when the time comes for their car to steer on the bridge or plunge off.

Be authentic, and compassionate, and teaching of correct principles. Love can bridge differences in viewpoints or faith perspectives.

Dreams and metaphors can be powerful teaching tools. But they are not our reality. What we choose to do with the lessons becomes reality.

Thanks for sharing.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Tica
Posts: 34
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Tica » 22 Sep 2019, 14:11

Heber13 wrote:
19 Sep 2019, 21:22
But what they will remember the most is the parent that held to true values and made them feel loved
I hope so. The very basics are my religion right now. Love. That's what it all comes back to for me. And that's something I can do.

Thank you, Heber. Your thoughtful reply meant a lot.

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3974
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by mom3 » 22 Sep 2019, 14:46

My mom is a convert to the church. An only child. Her parents didn't church - anywhere. But that worked hard, were generous, friendly, excellent neighbors and more. My mom was wonderful. Even if she hadn't been a member.

I am with Heber, you are on a good path. Keep living with Love.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Roy
Posts: 5699
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Roy » 24 Sep 2019, 12:49

Tica wrote:
13 Sep 2019, 02:08
And they are growing up so fast. I'm afraid I don't have time for mistakes...
Parenting is like trying to follow a recipe to create a fancy meal but each child brings different innate ingredients. Lots of experimentation and substitutions and sometimes you just give up on the fancy meal for a particular evening and just warm up some corn dogs and tater tots. Maybe you might discover that the ingredients that a particular child had did not go well with the recipe at all and that trying to fit the square peg into a round hole was not a productive experience. The point is - parenting always includes making decisions with incomplete information, experimentation, and mistakes.
Heber13 wrote:
19 Sep 2019, 21:22
But what they will remember the most is the parent that held to true values and made them feel loved.
Yes! Bottom line, children need an environment where they can feel safe and loved. The LDS church CAN provide such an environment for some families and individuals. It can be wonderful for whom it works. But many communities can also help with this. I personally try hard to supply an home environment of safety, love, and acceptance independant from but not in competition with the church. For example, I believe our family will be forever simply because I will accept nothing less. Add temple covenants and priesthood power if you want to ... or don't. You are still stuck with us. We are family, and family is forever!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
Posts: 1702
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Minyan Man » 24 Sep 2019, 13:10

Tica, recently I posted the following topic: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=9376

It maybe what you're referring to or not. If not, disregard.

Tica
Posts: 34
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Tica » 03 Oct 2019, 22:43

Thank you so much everyone! It has been a crazy couple of weeks. With lots of tater tot-like dinners. And pancakes, lots of pancakes. Anyway, thanks to some of my kids' "unique ingredients" I am definitely feeling a little out of control of the parenting recipe right now! :wtf:

They are great kids though. And whether or not any of us stay in the church in the long run, love will definitely continue to be an overarching value in our house. Mom, my best friend has never "churched" either, and she is one of the best people I know. We spent last weekend camping together and I came away feeling seen and inspired. There is a lot of good in the world.

Tica
Posts: 34
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: Teach them to walk in the light...

Post by Tica » 03 Oct 2019, 23:01

Thanks, Minyan Man, I missed that one. But it was a good read. :thumbup:

Post Reply