Starting Over


Photo of Jesus holding out his hand. Have you ever wanted to start over, just hit the restart button and begin again? The opportunity to wipe the slate clean is a very liberating thought. I'm sure that at some time we have all experienced hindsight and realized we should have done some things differently.

In my life I have made choices that I have regretted and others that I have found through hindsight worked out for the best, even though at the time they seemed questionable. One of those decisions was the most important decision I have ever made in my life, my faith.

I was raised LDS and grew up in a family that lived out the requirements of that faith. My parents purchased dramatized versions of the Bible, Book of Mormon and other church scriptures. We listened to them at home, in the car and at times during work. As kids we really enjoyed them and we gained a basic understanding of the main stories in all the books. Our family was very active in all church activities, held positions in the church and basically followed the rules.

Although my parents raised me with their beliefs, I had doubts and began to question some of the teachings. I struggled with feelings of acceptance and felt that I would never measure up. As time went on I decided that I didn't want to conform to what I felt was a mold and I chose to leave the church.

After leaving the church I lived a rebellious lifestyle and made choices that would affect my life and the life of others. Many times I had the thoughts of how nice it would be to hit the restart button, but then I would ask myself, do I really want to return to my previous way of life? I knew what that would require and I knew that I wouldn't be true myself if I returned to something that was better than the way I was living, but not what was best for me.

So I stayed in that lifestyle and had a different type of peace, I knew where I was going and all my friends were going with me. In that circle of friends I felt acceptance, we watched out for each other and we seemed to be enjoying life.

Then when Brock was diagnosed with cancer I came face to face with a harsh reality. What did I believe? When you hear, "its cancer", your mind starts thinking up all kinds of questions. How bad is it? What can be done? Is there a cure? Help me, please! Other questions like did I cause this? What could I have done differently? Is this a punishment from God for my actions? also come to mind. I even thought that bargaining with God might help, as if suddenly becoming a saint would change the diagnosis. The truth was, I didn't feel worthy of help. But I knew that my son was innocent and that is why I was grateful for the men who prayed for us.

When our friends Bryan and Ellen invited us to church those old feelings of unworthiness were ever present in my mind. I didn't want to be responsible for the church burning down. In my mind I knew full well the many mistakes I had made and I felt that I had gone too far to be forgiven. To many times I had asked for a second chance and time after time I found myself praying for help for the same situation I had just be rescued from.

Going into the church that day and hearing the message that God loves the sinner1 and will forgive2 the sin changed my life. I knew deep within me that it was true. With all my heart I wanted to be forgiven and have my slate wiped clean3 this was my chance to hit the restart button and choose to live a God honoring life.

Those same questions I had asked about cancer could be asked about sin. How bad is it?4   What can be done?5   Is there a cure? Help me, please! The answers were, sin is life threatening, you can ask for forgiveness, choosing Jesus as Lord6 is the cure and God is willing to help.7

With those questions now answered the next step was where do I go from here? I felt I needed to relearn so many things, so I started at the beginning, Genesis, and read my Bible.8   The more I read the more it conflicted with what I was taught as a child. While growing up I attended seminary and had learned about the LDS faith. My husband and I had received the missionary discussions because we knew we left the church with a rebellious attitude and we wanted to make sure of our decision. Once the discussions were completed we knew we had made the right choice in leaving.

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Jeremiah 29:11-14  NIV

" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,' declares the LORD, 'and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.' "

Copyright © 2012 Brock's Story     All Rights Reserved