Written by: Ali Hallock
This post has been a difficult one to write.
Earlier this year, I resigned from the Mormon religion—a religion that has essentially shaped me and has been part of my life for almost 30 years.
While it’s not fitting to go into any details for this particular post, for the sake of some kind of clarity, I’ll just say this was a long, four-year process of research and praying that ultimately helped me realize my personal beliefs no longer fell in line with what the Mormon religion stands for. So, I decided to step away and live this life for me.
If I’m being honest, I’m still figuring out exactly what it is I believe in since stepping away from a religion and culture I’ve been part of all my life. But, through this big change, I have continued to build a relationship with my Heavenly Father.
All my life I tried to live up to these impossible standards of perfection I thought God expected of me, and I constantly felt disappointed in myself when I fell short.
I had this idea of a God sitting up in Heaven, looking down on my every move, expecting me to follow a meticulous set of rules every single day, and disavowing particular groups of people in order to have His acceptance and approval. I had this idea of perfection, that though I knew was impossible to attain, strived so hard to achieve.
I think in some way, we all find ourselves exhausted and defeated trying to achieve an idea of perfection we think we are supposed to be, whether it be from society or our religion or both.
I would look at other families, other mothers, other women, who seemingly had it all together. I would compare my life and failures to these seemingly perfect people and the lives I saw and read about on my social media feeds. I felt alone and worthless. I felt like no matter how I hard I tried, I just couldn’t ever be as “perfect” as all these amazing people around me.
And, as horrible as this sounds, when my health struggles began progressing rapidly after I gave birth to my third child, I felt like I must have been doing something wrong or following a path I wasn’t supposed to. I felt like God hated me. I remember at one point lying in my hospital bed crying, and as I looked up at my husband, I asked him, “Why does God hate me so much? What am I doing wrong?”
While I knew that wasn’t a rational thought, it felt so real and true at the time.
It’s easy to see God’s hand in life when things are going well. But, when bad things happen to us and there’s no human fault to blame, we quickly blame ourselves. We feel like we must be doing something wrong… we must have caused it and brought it on ourselves.
The truth is, bad things happen to good people. That’s life. Life wasn’t meant to be perfect or easy. And, it’s in the moments when we struggle most, that we find out just how strong we are, learn our greatest lessons, and become more compassionate, empathetic people for those around us.
For those who don’t follow my health journey, my life is a constant redefining of what “normal” will be in my future. It’s a constant state of acceptance for the many things I cannot control that affect my life so greatly. But, I know God is with me through it all. He’s been holding my hand every step of that way and guiding me down this ever changing, winding path.
He’s given me this strength to continually fight and remain here on earth with my beautiful family… to be the mother of my three beautiful kids and wake up each morning to kiss my husband and tell him how grateful I am for this life we’ve created together.
God has given me a voice to share my journey and hopefully inspire others to continue living through a life that’s often hard to live, to fight for yourself and the life you want to have, and to believe in God, yourself, and the power of your own voice in this world.
Ali is a chronic illness and blood disorder warrior who is sharing her daily life of motherhood, marriage, faith, a love for fashion and interior design, and all the moments of her health journey—in and out of the hospital, at weekly therapies, exercise training, her treatments through western medicine, and as a strong advocate for naturopathic therapies and lifestyle, including her life on autoimmune protocol paleo diet and FODMAP. You can follow her on her blog and Instagram.