Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stepping into the Dark

D arkness filled our chapel today. But, it was a great experience, I promise! Read on...
It's been awhile since I've had a better than "eh" day at church! I've struggled with feeling connected to people at church. I LOVE the people at church. I really believe that I live in one of the most accepting and loving wards in all the world, but I don't always feel connected with them. And today when I donned a lovely pair of purple dress pants, I knew of only one other person who would be wearing pants with me. She's sort of wonderful. But even with that, I was anxious. Maybe even a little afraid. But today, I wore pants and I felt good and I looked good and I was happy! I knew going into it that I had the love and support of my family and of my priesthood leaders. (There was an email sent out that someone shared with me.) The speakers in Sacrament meeting and the lessons in sunday school and Relief Society seemed to be written for me. I felt validated and loved by God and my fellow sisters and brothers. An older woman in my ward, that I've known and loved for years, did tell me how good my pants looked. And that was the only comment I got. Everyone else was business as usual.

One very notable and interesting experience was this though: For a little more than an hour (most of sacrament meeting and about half of sunday school) the electricity went out in the neighborhood. It flickered a little at first and then was out. Our first adult speaker was only a few minutes into her talk. The congregation sat there few several seconds before people began getting out their phones, some jumped up to open the doors to the chapel and let in light from the foyers, and our speaker stood there, probably unsure of what to do. I carry a flashlight in my purse so I jumped up and handed it to her. She then began again with her talk, this time with a louder voice. We sang two more hymns with the piano instead of the usual organ, using the lights from our phones to read the hymnals. The other speaker gave his talk with the use of my flashlight (he was quite creative with it and we had some good laughs). Our meetings went on as usual and I was touched by the seemingly normality of it. For me, it was a great parable for what was going on my life. I was stepping into the unknown. I was wearing pants to church for the first time. I had no idea what was going to happen or how I was going to feel. I didn't know how people would react or if they would just ignore me or what. It was kind of nerve-wracking! But, I did it. And it turned out great! Everything was business as usual. In fact, it was better than usual. I was able to feel a part of something again. I knew there were others all over the world who were wearing pants with me today. I couldn't see all of them - just like I couldn't see all of the members of our congregation in our blacked-out chapel, but I felt their presence buoy me up. After today, I am excited and hopeful for what the future in a way that I wasn't just a week or two ago.

Please pardon the laundry in the background!

4 comments:

Jandi said...

Thank you for sharing your experience today! I was the only one in my ward wearing pants. I am sad that I was alone but thankful that I felt love from many members. I'm glad to know there are others out there who don't quite fit the mold!

Ms. Misc. said...

Im so glad you had a great experience. Thank you for sharing. :)

Chantal said...

You enlightened your ward!

Melody said...

Charmaine, you've always had an enviable fashion sense, and this outfit is just as super-cool as always. I'm glad you felt loved.