Discover more from Iron Strong
Iron Strong Part 14
I found God in Vegas and a Life Changing Vanilla Latte...
In 2012 I journaled daily through my divorce, leaving the Mormon Religion, being a Single Mom, becoming a Marathoner and eventually an Ironman Athlete. This story will be delivered in parts and not really edited down from the original writings in my journal (including some typos and grammar misalignment). I do this to uphold the integrity of the Woman I was when I wrote these a decade ago, long before I knew this would end up as a full book and despite the fact my writing has evolved in the decade since I wrote these pieces. They read in present day time from a decade ago. These are stories of hope, miracles and never giving up on your dreams. It is a heroine’s journey of shame, secrets and ultimate seclusion to the Finish Line of Ironman Arizona....and then beyond. An Outward Journey to an Inward Destination of Freedom and Liberation, Iron Strong.
I found God in Vegas
I went to Vegas with my best friend for Mother’s Day (remember the one who gave me permission to get angry?) and the craziest thing happened. She bought me a pina colada at the pool…I drank it…and I didn’t feel guilty!!!
My whole life I had grown up with fear, guilt and shame about drinking. The Mormon Church has a very confusing rule called “The Word of Wisdom” where alcohol, drugs, tabacco, coffee and tea are prohibited. But Redbull and energy drinks are ok.
The repentance process was talking to your Bishop and then public shaming by not being able to take the sacrament or bless, prepare and serve (only if you were a male).
I had drank a few times in high school but immediately went to my Bishop to confess my sins because the guilt was so strong from my Sunday School lessons.
Something changed in me when I hit the lowest lows in my life. (Read here the story from the beginning).
Something changed in me when I was hit with my weakest moments while training for a marathon.
Something changed in me when I spent months cursing God and hating him with all the passion of my soul for all the religious trauma and abuse me and so many I loved had endured.
I actually found God. Like the REAL God.
Not the God that teaches an eye for an eye and that my body is no longer pure or I will probably get liver disease if I drink as my “consequence”.
No not THAT God. The REAL God.
The God that I had been looking for my whole life. And dare I say, I began to understand the Goddess that had been beckoning me since I was a child but the Mormon Religion brainwashed me into believing that a “Heavenly Mother” was just too sacred so we don’t talk about her.
Even in my darkest anger and rage I knew God AND a Goddess were real.
How could you feel that fiery passion over something that you didn’t believe was real. It became true to me that I believed in a higher cosmic power that included God and Goddesses and likely much more. You have to believe in something to hate it.
So this is the point, I found the God who loved me.
And I knew he looked at the bigger picture than what I was drinking poolside in Las Vegas while having a laugh with my girlfriend. I had more cocktails that weekend and had fun dancing, singing, and laughing.
Innocent girl fun while dressed up in high heels and eyeliner.
I had looked for God in churches and temples my whole life but ironically I found the God who loves me most poolside in Las Vegas while I drank my first pina colada…ever…at the age of 30.
Speak your Truth … And a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks
“Speak and Live your Truth”
That phrase from my hair stylist hit me like a ton of bricks as I was getting my hair done in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I was trying to keep the peace with friends and family by not being to vocal about my leaving the church. I had just started enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine every now and then only a few months previous.
But when she spoke those simple words, speak and live your truth, in that very moment, all doubt and shame flew out the window and I decided she was right.
I was a grown woman and ready to LIVE the life I wanted to create. There would be those whose love was conditional and based on a pretense of religion or me being in a marriage.
And that was simply OK now.
Because it was time to let the unconditional love IN.
There would be those who would love me unconditionally no matter what my life reflected because they knew I was a good person and my heart was in the right place. I didn’t have to fear anymore about conditional love. I was open to receive unconditional love.
As a newly ex-Mormon the one thing I hadn’t done yet that was preiviously labeled as “sinful” was have a coffee, a BIG Mormon no-no.
So my stylist (who was an ex-Mormon herself) dropped everything…literally my hair was still wet!...and brought me to Starbucks in her car. She ordered three drinks so that we could have a little buffet of coffee to try and enjoy the rest of the hair and makeup appointment. A Vanilla Latte with whole milk, a Soy Matcha Latte (remember tea and matcha were sinful) and a Caramel Macchiato. All full sugar. All fucking delicious. My initiation into “coffee” couldn’t have been more complete and whole.
To this day, I still can’t order a vanilla soy latte without thinking of her. And it brings a smile to my face. Because I can say without fear of judgment or guilt that I drink and LOVE my coffee!!!
That is my truth and I refuse to live anything different as long as I live!
When I got back home I started then and there assembling my tribe. My tribe of those who loved me unconditionally and those who I loved the same. My inner circle. I decided to speak up about my behaviors and life. I even posted pictures on the internet of me in a tank top which was a dead giveaway I wasn’t Mormon any longer because married Women had to wear Mormon Garments under their clothing which covered their shoulders and down to their knees. I no longer cared because I was finally free.
Living and speaking your truth without fear of judgment is the most liberating feeling in the world. Spreading your wings to soar high and allowing those who love to join and those who don’t to fall behind.