Last Sunday was the last weekend of October, and it was our Stake Conference (or, as I gleefully call it, No Church Day). But don’t worry- I still got my fair share of doctrine, thanks to a visit from our Home Teachers and an email from my Visiting Teacher. Both HTs and VT shared a message about The Book of Mormon and the whole “If we do not doubt, we shall not fear” idea. I have a big problem with the church’s eschewal of doubt in general, but that’s a topic for another day. The thing that both messages emphasized was the importance of daily scripture study and family prayer. Or, at least, that’s the point my messengers brought out. It’s always an uncomfortable topic, since I don’t do these things and I’m not eager to start. One of the Home Teachers actually got pretty pushy about it, directly asking me and Knox whether we have daily family scriptures and prayers. This was extremely awkward, especially considering the fact that Knox is not a practicing member of the church. I awkwardly admitted something like “We haven’t been very good about that lately,” and he urged us to get back in to the habit and notice the resulting change in our lives.
So a few hours later, when I got the email from my Visiting Teacher mentioning this same just-do-it-and-don’t-doubt-it approach to scripture study, I got uncomfortable. She emphasized the idea that we as mothers need to testify to our children of the importance and truth of the Book of Mormon. I didn’t write back. I know she means well and she’s genuinely trying to help me, but I’m so conflicted about this that I don’t know what to say.
I don’t want to testify to my children because one of my biggest parental fears is that I will accidentally brainwash them. And besides, how can I “testify” when I don’t even know what’s true? I don’t have much of a personal testimony of the church or The Book of Mormon, and talking about these things makes me SO uncomfortable. I guess I’m more of a social or cultural Mormon than a true believer. I’d be ok with that if everybody else would be ok with it. I’m so tired of awkwardly smiling and nodding when other people talk about spiritual things. I’m always walking this fine line, trying to agree and support their testimony without actually committing to anything myself. I know I’m not going to be able to do with with Elspeth and Dean. Or, at least, I’m not going to be able to do it for much longer. As they get older they’re going to want to know what I really think.
So anyway, by the end of the day I was feeling pretty drained, but then that night things got brighter when I received a couple of emails from Urs and Ingmar, the Intended Fathers I’ve been matched with. Hooray! They sent a ton of photos of themselves, their family, their beautiful island home. It was just the pick-up I needed, and it helped me to reaffirm my choice to become a gestational carrier. I wrote back with our family blog address and some more photos and a little message. Welllll, actually it was a long message- I tend to get pretty chatty in email. They might have been a little overwhelmed by all the text (their English is pretty limited) because I haven’t heard back all week! I hope I’ll hear from them soon. I can’t wait to get to know them better and I hope they’ll be able to come visit soon.
On Monday I got official confirmation of the match, which was fantastic news. I’m so, so excited about this couple. Urs and Ingmar (sorry for the outlandish names! Have to protect their anonymity, too) are so kind and enthusiastic. I’m really happy to be working with them and helping them create a family.
All week I’ve found myself thinking about the idea of doubt, and sort of twisting it around in my head. I will probably always doubt God, spirituality, and almost everything else I can’t experience with my own senses. I’m ok with that. But I’ve decided I’m going to try my darndest not to doubt my own self, and especially my decision to be a carrier for Urs and Ingmar. They are the reason I’m doing this.