I realize now that I actually started long ago. The day my father’s words woke me up to the reality of the situation I was living in. I also had a few moments here and there that were key to my being able to avoid suicide.

Being LDS means I believe in Jesus Christ being my Savior and Redeemer. He is my Lord and he loves me. But I never understood what that meant. Then one day in an Institute class, (think of it as a kind of bible study or church seminary) one of the teachers said “If Jesus was here right now beside you, what would he say to you?”

It was one of the few moments I allowed myself to hear the answer. And the answer was so very unexpected.

I have noticed that humans tend to understand God the Creator based on experiences with parents. Which makes sense if the teaching is that God is our Father in some way shape or form. Also we tend to respond to many authority figures based on our relationship, or lack thereof, with the first authority we know. Our parents.

So I expected a merciless God who demanded so much more than I could ever do, give, or be. I was terrified of my parents so I was terrified of my God. And I believed the whole “You’re a worthless devil child and are going to hell because you can’t live up to my expectations of you” attitude I always got from my parents. I didn’t know anything else or any other way.

So when I heard and felt this response, because I did hear and feel it, quite clearly, I was floored. I almost passed out. My vision blacked out and inside I started howling, the tears came and I almost didn’t make it back to wherever I had to go after that. (I’ve always wondered how people back in like Jane Austen’s time could be so overcome with one emotion or another that they were physically affected. I completely understand that now).

I think I was kind of feverish for a few days. I almost couldn’t believe what had happened. Almost didn’t want to because I still believed I was a worthless thing. So that was one moment that started me on this path.

Another earlier experience was had to do with feeling the affects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ on my sins. That was pretty amazing.

I am not going to expound too much on these experiences as they are very personal and very sacred to me. Plus how on earth can I possibly describe such beauty and joy and love to anyone who has never experienced it. It’s like trying to explain a taste or a smell to someone who has no baseline for understanding what on earth your talking about. Go ahead. Try to explain what salt tastes like to someone who’s never tasted it and see how far you get.

You won’t understand unless you’ve been there. Suffice to say that these, and many other experiences that were more gentle and thus not as memorable to me in the state I was in, gave me hints of what and who I was to become and am now becoming. And really if I look at it, I started on this path long before I was ever born on earth. (Yes LDS people believe in life before and after this mortal life).

This blog is just about the hardest part of the path in this life.

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