Just yesterday, a friend asked, “where do you think you would be right now without the Church?”
And for what may have been the first time, I thought honestly about this question.
And my honest answer is that I would have been happy. I would have still graduated college, I would still not be addicted to alcohol or drugs, I would still have an abundance of positive relationships, and I would still be a healthy and contributing member of society. Also, I would be married and have a few kids. My husband would have a good job and I would be able to stay with my children. Now, I obviously don’t know any of this for absolute certain, but if I were to make my best guess, this is how it would be. I know who I would have married, a very smart, dedicated, and compassionate man I dated my Freshman year of college. The only reason we broke up was because of our religious differences. Other than that, we were perfect for each other.
Without the church, my life would have probably worked out pretty well. It probably would have “worked out” better than it has with my being in the church.
As I articulated this to my friend, I felt the gravity of realizing that there are good things that I am missing out on, that I could have had if I had chosen a different path. But I did not feel sadness, or regret. Nor did I doubt my commitment to my religious convictions.
For me, Jesus just makes up for everything. The satisfaction I find in him is greater than the satisfaction that I could ever find in any set of circumstances.
I will not tell you that striving to be a faithful member of the church guarantees happiness, ease, or even peace. Sorry, but my experience has been otherwise. But nothing, nothing, is more fulfilling than knowing that I am living in accordance with the dictates of my conscious. To understand the truth is the greatest blessing I could want.