"But it is." She responded. She embraced me as if she was saying goodbye. I got in the car to leave the church building after sitting through sacrament. I was extremely tired and didn't feel like going to Sunday School and Elders Quorum—sit alone—and not saying anything. I backed out of the parking spot and watched her walk away to go teach her Primary class. I felt sad that she was so affected by my not wanting to stay for all three hours.
I do not want to set my parents up for an expectation that my attending church translated into a embrace and path of repentance. My going to church is simply, because I want to go. Nothing more. I don't want to regain my full fellowship. By leaving this Sunday I am helping my folks understand what I want my church experience to be.
Two of the four previous Sundays I have also worn a non-white shirt. In my family this is paramount to sin. Wearing a white shirt is what we were raised to do, it was a sign of respect and reverence, but not a commandment. But, by my wearing a colored shirt sometimes, I am showing that I will be doing things my way. I should state that all of this isn't an act of rebellion. Instead it is a natural action that I see double meaning in. In other words, I don't put a colored shirt on for the purpose to upset my parents or be rebellious. I put my shirt on, and later think, oh, I guess this is a good way to show X.
I will continue to go to church because I do enjoy it. I will continue to be setting my own path and my own expectations, gently easing my parents into my decisions. I know it will hurt my mother, and I don't intend to or enjoy seeing her hurt, but I know she is happy for any amount of church I will attend, be it one hour, more than not going. She is more happy to have me in sacrament in a colored shirt than not there at all.
I love you Mom, but this is your grown son making his own choices. Agency—you taught me about it and now I am exercising it.