I prayed to know if I should marry John

wedding day, 1992 .

Another post in the series about my relationship with John. You can find earlier entries here and here.

When John and I were courting, I prayed to know if he was the right spouse for me. I knew that I loved him like I'd never loved another, I knew that I was super-attracted to him, and I could think of nothing better than the possibility of spending forever with him.

A part of me really didn't want to pray about whether or not to marry John. Because I knew if the answer from God was "no", well, I'd probably go ahead and do it anyways because I was so head over heels in love.

(Note: I don't think I've ever told this to John, at least I can't remember if I ever have)

When I prayed about it I had many warm feelings. I felt sure that God wanted me to be happy and also that he blessed our union. However, there was one caveat to the response: I kept thinking of the choice that John made at age 18 to join the LDS church. He'd willingly disobeyed his parents and was completely disowned from them for his choice. Of course I, as a devout Mormon, felt that John had done right in choosing the church over his family. Yet as I prayed to know if I should marry John I realized that John had already demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice relationships for the sake of his ideals. And that scared me. I thought of John someday leaving the church and I acknowledged this as a very real possibility. Although there was nothing in John's behavior or in his testimony that led me to think that he would leave the church someday, perhaps even then I was seeing this in our future.


John said...

You haven't shared this with me, though you've hinted, very subtly, at the fear. The irony is that I wasn't willing to sacrifice our relationship for my convictions. I stayed in primarily for your sake (though I made the best that I could of sticking around), and we ended up leaving only when you were ready to. At least that's how I've experienced it. :)

Anonymous said...

after your announcement in October, i asked john if you (jana) hadn't left if he would have, or if he thought you'd have left of your own accord if his beliefs hadn't changed, or if you could separate out the process of your disenchantement independent of each other. i am still curioius about this. i gather that he stayed because of you till now. do you think his loss of faith in the lds church's beliefs has influenced your present standing? or do you think that you would have eventually come to this point on your own? i ask because i'm curious due to my own situation.

jana said...

This is the part of the story that I have yet to write. It's the hardest for me, really, to talk about my own beliefs changing. It's tough because I'm afraid of angering/alientating my still-Mo friends and it's tough because I haven't yet created a narrative about my deconversion so I'm not sure how to tell the story. I'm probably making no sense here. Stay tuned, though, as more details will follow soon. :)

Deborah said...

I love reading about your relationship. I have a good relationship with my husband -- yet it is not the marriage I envisioned for myself for most of my life (prime evidence A: interfaith). I find it both helpful and comforting to read your honest reflections.

Julia said...

it is my experience that when there is no intent of angering/alienating/offending others, none is taken. except in cases where the person is looking for opportunities to be angry/alienated/offended. and then it's very hard to avoid such an impact no matter what you say/do.

one of the halmarks of you both is your openness and honesty. seems to me that the hardest part is already behind you (publicizing your change of status). your audience (including those still-mo friends) expects nothing less than the open/honest way you operate, and i believe that knowing your experience will only mitigate any disappointment, confusion, sadness they might currently feel, because understanding tends to have that effect.

fMhLisa said...

This is an amazing and very touching series of post Jana. I really appreciate being able to read them.