An Interview with Faith-Based Social Worker and Ex-LDS Member, Klarice
He never leaves us and He will never forsake us.
Today’s episode is a bit heavy. Our guest Klarice went through some exceptionally hard times. This episode deals with depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. But more than that it deals with God’s love and His grace.
At the lowest moment of her journey, God’s miracle was waiting and Klarice’s life and heart were never the same.
She grew up in a prominent family in a small town with a large LDS community. She had a large loving family, but all the while was hiding a secret of depression and lack of self-worth.
It took years and some very hard times for things to change. This is a story of redemption and proof that God is there, just waiting for us.
Table of Contents for this Post
This episode really hit home for me.
The thing that just makes me so sad about growing up in the Mormon church, and even in this world today is the lack of emphasis put on God’s love for us. It is His grace that saves us because He loves us. If you are struggling with understanding grace or if you are at that moment where you are just overwhelmed with the thought of being Christain, well, I get it. If you are looking for someone to talk to guide you through this transition and help answer all the questions then sign up for the grace mentorship program. We will have a 1-on-1 session and then I’ll put together a custom plan for you to build your faith through His word over the next 2 weeks after our session. I don’t want you to get the answers from me. I want you to get them from the source, and I’ll guide you there. I only have a few spots open so if this is your next step in your journey take it.
Listen to this Episode on the Podcast…
Is the Struggle Worth it?
“It’s so interesting to be able to look back on every struggle and every hardship and every storm and everything that I’ve been through and say, I would never want to go through it again, but I’m grateful for the struggle because I I love who I am today.
I am proud of who I am today. I would not be this person, had I not gone through those things.”
Advice for Women Finding Faith
“The biggest thing that I would say is when you’re questioning something, question it, do the research, go look at the things that you’re questioning. Find people that you can ask those questions to, that you can invest in and that you can, that are going to be real with you.
That’s one of the things that I love the most right now, we have my husband and I both have a tribe for better words. We have that family though, those people in our lives, who they’re, they hold up the mirrors, they hold up the. The mirrors to us that say, this isn’t biblical, or this isn’t godly, or, you shouldn’t be doing this.
They’re my prayer warriors. When I know that I’m struggling or have something hard, they are praying for me. They’re praying for our family on a daily basis. You don’t have to have all the answers. That’s the other thing, [00:37:00] that’s the thing that I tell people the most is don’t try to fit God into a box, cause he’s not gonna fit.
I don’t want my God to fit into a box because if I can understand God completely, then I’m in trouble. That means that I have more power and knowledge than God does. And so question everything and research and question and ask people, but also don’t expect to find all the answers that I don’t know is an okay answer for right.”
How to keep going with your faith…
- Build a Community
Let’s share! Share your creative, God-led story, heal from the old religious junk and make friends while we do it. Support, friendship, and collaboration at the FB group —u003e Christian Women after Religion
More About Klarice…
I am an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). I work in a faith-based addictions treatment program and working to finish a second Master’s degree in leadership and management. I am the mom of 4 amazing kids, 1 son and 3 daughters. My oldest 2 kids are married and we inherited a grandson when my daughter got married.
I grew up in a very LDS family. My grandpa on my mom’s side was the Patriarch of our area. My dad was a convert and we didn’t spend much time with his Christ-loving parents. I knew by the time I was in 3rd grade I would never be good enough for Heaven. I struggled with depression and began self-harming when I was in 6th grade.
I married my night in shining armor at 18. We had 2 kids and I was mentally unstable. Many unhealthy things in our life came together and we crashed. We were on the verge of divorce. I wanted to die, wanted him to not live, and didn’t want my kids to live without parents.
In a moment of desperation I cried out to God and an acquaintance called me and shared the true love of God with me. Our lives changed forever and here I am today.
Get the inside scoop in the Resource Library…
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Full Transcript of Today’s Episode.
[00:00:00] Shelby: Today we have Clarice with us and I am so excited to get into this one. She’s going to share her amazing story of coming to Jesus. I think it’s going to be really powerful for you all. So we’re going to go ahead and jump in. Thank you so much for coming.
[00:00:14] Thank you. She’ll be, I’m so excited to be here.
[00:00:16] Klarice: So excited to share my.
[00:00:19] Shelby: I always say, we never know what people need to hear in order to help them come to Jesus. And so I like to just open it up to you to be able to share that story, however that looks and hopefully, and we pray that it really speaks to people and that it brings somebody around and to have that moment of acceptance, which is what we’re looking for, that changes our lives.
[00:00:41] So to start with your story, can you bring us back to the beginning? How you were raised. Did you have God in your life when you were a kid? What did that look like?
[00:00:49] Klarice: I grew up in a small town and my my parents were both LDS. My dad actually, he grew up in Chicago and was in the Navy [00:01:00] and he met my mom.
[00:01:02] In, at a stoplight in Idaho where we, where I grew up. And my mom was LDS from an LDS family. And my dad told my mom that he would never become Mormon because he didn’t believe it and didn’t believe that was meant to be, and he was getting ready to be shipped back out. And they weren’t gonna, they were gonna be.
[00:01:19] Things changed and his orders were for him to stay here in Idaho. And he took that as a sign from God that he was supposed to become Mormon. So he converted to Mormonism and his parents came out for the wedding and they moved, they loved Idaho and they moved from Illinois to Idaho and they were here.
[00:01:40] So that will be all. I’ll address that again in a minute. So my small town was my mom had. She w there’s five kids in her family. She’s the only girl. So being in a small town, lots of cousins, lots. They’re very connected. And my dad and her got married. I have seven there’s, seven kids in my family.
[00:01:59] I’m the fifth [00:02:00] of seven. So big family, lots of stuff going on. Very connected to family. We were a typical, I would say Mormon family. We, a lot of times went through phases of the, get up in the morning, read the scriptures. I graduated from seminary My dad was the principal of the high school.
[00:02:18] And by the time I got into high school, he became the superintendent. So he knew all the kids in our town. And I think that protected me in a lot of ways. It was a good childhood. So we just had a lot of family went to church every Sunday.
[00:02:32] Very typical Mormon.
[00:02:34] Shelby: Okay. Yeah. So with that too, cause your dad was a convert. Did he fully embrace it? Was he like once he was on board, he was on board or was there ever any distension in the family with that? Or how did that affect you guys?
[00:02:49] Klarice: Yeah, my dad was a hundred percent onboard, 100%. And the hard part with that as I grew up and became an adult and found God.
[00:02:58] His parents [00:03:00] never converted to Mormonism. And what I didn’t realize as a kid growing up that they were devout Christians and they believed 100% in God. And They lived less than a mile from us. And we saw them very little. And part of that is because he had a step-brother or half-brother that was struggled with addiction and lived with them, but also just because they were not a part of our life.
[00:03:24] My, my grandpa, my mom’s. Dad was the patriarch of our town. They’re a little town, like really little, 400, almost 500 people in our town. Six wards. Like everybody in the town was LDS and my grandpa was the patriarch and My mom typed all the patriotical blessings for him.
[00:03:43] And so my family was well-known throughout the entire community. And my dad embraced it fully. And I think part of that was because he knew that’s how he was going to be successful. And it’s just what it was.
[00:03:58] Shelby: You really grew up like [00:04:00] fully in it. Like everyone you knew.
[00:04:03] Everything about your life. There was no question. It was what it was. Wow. And so what happened next? Where did life take you after that?
[00:04:13] Klarice: So one of, one of the hard things growing up in such a devout Mormon community and in a world where. Everybody is LDS and everything around you is religiosity.
[00:04:26] And good enough. And you have to do these things and all about that works based striving for good enough. Striving for perfection. I, at a very young age realized I would never be good enough. And I’m going to get emotional. I struggled with that from a very young age. And again, being the fifth of seven children, I was.
[00:04:50] The lost child. I struggled to feel seen and struggled to feel like I had a place anywhere. And so I remember [00:05:00] by the time I was in third grade I started feeling I would call it now, depression. I didn’t know then what it was, but now, those symptoms of depression starting to feel hopeless.
[00:05:09] In fifth grade, I started writing poetry and wrote a little poem about wishing I was somewhere else and being something different and wanting to not be here. In sixth grade, I started having suicidal thoughts and cut my wrist for the first time. And really started struggling with not wanting to live and depression was very heavy.
[00:05:33] One thing that was very interesting through that whole experiences I realized that cutting my wrists in an. A very passive suicide attempt. I wasn’t necessarily trying to end my life, but I had a friend tell me, oh, you’d never do anything like that. And so then I did,
[00:05:50] you know,
[00:05:50] Klarice: it was
[00:05:50] kind of
[00:05:51] Klarice: a challenge.
[00:05:51] There was a release of emotion and a release of a lot of pain with that cutting. And so it became my drug of choice. [00:06:00] In a sense. And so I became a cutter which this was back in the the early nineties, late eighties, early nineties, there was no internet. There was no communication of, this was a thing.
[00:06:12] I didn’t know anybody else who was a cutter. I was very into sports. That was my family’s thing. We were all into basketball and volleyball and track. And so yeah, I became a huge cutter. That was a big part of my thing. And I just wanted to, I wanted to be seen and I wanted to be loved and I wanted to find connection and I didn’t, I couldn’t find it anywhere.
[00:06:32] so I went through junior high with like that. I do believe that God was in my life then in ways that I didn’t see him I believe it was through his grace that I did not become a drug addict.
[00:06:44] Klarice: I had a lot of friends who would go down and the river bottoms by our school and would smoke pot, smoke cigarettes, and they would drink.
[00:06:52] And. Because of who my dad was, he would not allow me to hang out with certain people. And because I loved my dad and [00:07:00] respected my dad I really try to follow what he asked me to do. I was friends with them at school, but I didn’t go hang out with them after school plus I was involved in sports and I think that’s another thing that saved me.
[00:07:13] As I got into high school, I wanted things to be different and I wanted my life to be different and I didn’t want to be in that crowd anymore. I started trying to do things differently and started to try and live my life differently. However, that depression was still very heavy and cutting was still very much a part of my life.
[00:07:30] I also became I’m obsessed with my weight. That was something my mom was obsessed with. And I was very athletic, so I was five foot six and weighed about 140 pounds. I was not heavy. I was not overweight, just very athletic and had a good build. But the pressure to. Not gain weight was really an issue in my family.
[00:07:50] And so I would not eat anything if I did, I would throw it up. And that was, again, another thing that I just really struggled with all through high [00:08:00] school. By the time I was a sophomore in high school
[00:08:02] Klarice: Had a great group of friends. Most of them were not LDL. Or if they were, their families were inactive but they were just a great group of friends and we became very close and connected in a lot of ways.
[00:08:13] And through the rest of my time in high school, it was a really, actually pretty good experience, although Depression was still lingering. I met my Knight in shining armor and we became best friends. Probably I’m trying to think of the timelines of things. I think I was a sophomore and he was a junior and we were best friends.
[00:08:34] We did everything together and. I was secretly in love with this guy. He was just amazing. And I loved him so much and I finally told him, and then I panicked and he told their friend, you know what, I can’t ruin our friendship. It’ll we’ll always just be friends. And then he thought about it and changed his mind.
[00:08:53] And we started dating and He was from, he was not LDS. He comes from a very different [00:09:00] background and a very legalistic belief system. And so that was a whole different thing altogether. And we had a lot of discussions about religion, him and I and that if we ever got married, I wanted to be married in the temple.
[00:09:15] That was important to me. And His belief system. Didn’t teach him a whole lot about anything, about what they believe they believed in the Bible alone. And that was it. And he was a year ahead of me in school. And when he graduated, his family didn’t want us together. And he moved to Oregon to go to college was living with his grandma and I was heartbroken.
[00:09:39] I was senior in high school and I really was wanting to make changes. We were in love. We wanted these to be different and we wanted to get married and he agreed to take the missionary discussions when he was in Oregon. So we did that and I decided that I was going to make my life better and I was the Laurel class president at the time.
[00:09:58] I went and told the Bishop that [00:10:00] we had been having sex together. And so he took me out of the Laurel class presidency, like immediately and that shameful thing. And I will say I had a good Bishop. He didn’t shame me for that. He just said, this is something that we feel like we need to do.
[00:10:14] And he didn’t ask me the nitty gritty details. Like I’ve heard other people have gone through that experience. He was a very good Bishop and He told me I needed to break up with them. And I didn’t. Brian, his name’s Brian and he took the missionary discussions and he struggled being in Oregon, came back to Idaho and On January.
[00:10:34] First of that year, he got baptized into the LDS church. And like I said, he was in my Knight in shining armor and I was still in high school and we got engaged and I graduated from high school in may. In August, beginning of August, we got married, not in the temple, but we got married.
[00:10:51] Shelby: That’s pretty cool.
[00:10:53] That really is, that’s great that you were able to still figure out how to come together and make it work despite the [00:11:00] differences in your religion at the time. And I guess a big question for that I have for all of this kind of where you were at, I have found that. As we’re walking through this as children not having God’s love, not knowing God’s love having the religion, but not having God’s love.
[00:11:20] Do you feel like that played a part in where you were at mentally and with how you were approaching your health and everything else that went with that?
[00:11:32] Klarice: Yes. That was a big part in everything because my mentality was because the depression was there through everything. And that’s, like I said, Brian was my Knight in shining armor.
[00:11:43] And he came in and he was going to save me and he was gonna make it better. And I think he had that mentality as well. And my, my mentality was, it will be better than. It’ll be better when we get married. It’ll be better when we have a baby, it will be better when we get a house, it will be better when, [00:12:00] and that was our mentality through everything.
[00:12:02] And it didn’t, it never got better. So we got married. We not in the temple of the Bishop that I confessed to married us. He was a very good man and we both respected him a lot and We had the opportunity before our year. Usually you have to wait a year to go through the temple.
[00:12:18] My sister was getting married in may, so we got married in August and she got married. The following may and, my mom checked it out for us and we had the opportunity to get married or go through and be sailed the same time as her. And I don’t know that we wanted to, but felt the pressure of my family to make that happen.
[00:12:36] And. We did. And there was a lot of things that had happened in between all of that time. My husband worked seasonal work at the time was laid off. I started a new job at a doctor’s office and then they closed and I was laid off and we had no money. And then we moved into a new apartment, but first months, last month deposit, all of that, we had no money and hadn’t paid our tightening.
[00:12:57] And that was like a huge stipulation of, we had [00:13:00] to pay all of our back tithing. And so we took all the money out of our savings account, out of our checking account. We had no money. I ended up bouncing some checks, like it was really rough. We went through the temple and was that an eye-opening experience?
[00:13:16] It was not anything that I had hoped for anything that I had wished for. My mom. Kept hitting me as we went through. Cause I was laughing. I was like what are we doing? So we never went back. And that started our path of this is not what we want in our life.
[00:13:30] shortly after that.
[00:13:31] We ended up having two kids and in six years into our marriage Everything changed. Brian had started a new job. I’m working in law enforcement, a new world. We were babies when we got married and he was going on this new adventure in this new world.
[00:13:46] We’d walked away from church, but God was always like something that I wanted, but I didn’t know where to look. And I didn’t know where to go. I knew two things. I knew the Mormon church and the LDS culture. That’s what I knew. And then on TV, everybody was [00:14:00] Catholic. So those were the only two things I knew, but I didn’t know where to go to find anything.
[00:14:05] The internet was fairly new. I didn’t know. Where to search or what to search for, to look for. And I ended up participating in a lot of chat rooms and started having an emotional kind of online affair with a gentleman from Canada, because I got to create a new persona of who I.
[00:14:23] I said I’m a different pictures. I was not the person that I presented at the same time. My husband being in his new world was also having an emotional affair with some of the women he worked with and he shared his struggles with me because I. Very unstable at that point. And he never knew what he was going to come home to you.
[00:14:41] I was working part-time and was home with my two kids a lot. And just through all of that whole experience I was continuing to struggle with depression, continuing to struggle with eating disorder stuff. A lot of self-harm a lot of suicidal statements [00:15:00] and He came home one night and we were just done.
[00:15:03] He was done. I was done. And he said, I just, I’m not happy with you. I’m not happy having kids. I could have been happy with anyone. I don’t want to do this anymore. And I was broken and I was devastated and my happy little life and my happy family that I had always dreamed of was not there and was not going to happen.
[00:15:20] I was in a very dark place at that moment and we were like at a loss. We didn’t know what to do because everyone told us getting married at 18 was not a good idea and that we would fail. That was the last thing either one of us wanted to do. I remember he was at work I was plotting and planning and going, how do I do this?
[00:15:38] How do I end my life? I don’t want my kids to be without a mom. I don’t think he deserves to live. So I was trying to figure out how I kill him and kill my kids and kill me at the same time. It was not a good place to be. I remember calling out to God and saying, God, I can’t do this. [00:16:00] And this is where God really showed up in my life because my phone ring in that moment and someone who I didn’t really know I had met
[00:16:11] Klarice: One of my husband’s new coworkers, his wife reached out and said, God, just put you on my heart.
[00:16:20] Shelby: Does it amazing how he works?
[00:16:22] You get,
[00:16:23] Shelby: You get me all in tears now and you’re too. ’cause he’s there our whole lives, even though we don’t even know it, he’s there and he’s waiting for it. He is literally just waiting. He’s thrown out the rope. He is just there waiting for us to grab it. And sometimes he has to throw a little harder, like someone to call at that exact right.
[00:16:46] Perfect. Isn’t he so good. He’s so good.
[00:16:50] Klarice: So good.
[00:16:52] Shelby: Keep going.
[00:16:53] Klarice: Okay. Yeah, in that moment, I just she called and like I said, I didn’t even, I had met her, but I didn’t [00:17:00] know her. I didn’t know anything about her. And in that moment she just shared, God loves you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter what you do.
[00:17:11] There’s no strings attached, god loves you for who you are. He created you. And there’s nothing that you can do to earn that love. And that was the first time I ever heard that. And I just, I cried. And she invited me to church and I was low wary of that. But. I ended up going to church with her and the crazy thing is the sermons.
[00:17:32] I felt were all for me. I’m like, are you talking to the pastor? What are you telling him? And every Sunday I just felt like the message was for me. The most amazing thing about all of that is through that. I was able to sit down with my husband and say, I want to work this out, but God’s gotta be in the middle.
[00:17:52] And he agreed. And we both agreed that we wanted to heal. We wanted to make things better. We wanted to stay [00:18:00] together. And through all of that, we began a path of healing and my emotional state, our marriage my kids, all of that began a path of healing.
[00:18:11] Shelby: That’s beautiful. Oh, that’s amazing.
[00:18:14] So coming from having that LDS background of having everyone,
[00:18:19] I mean,
[00:18:20] Shelby: that was your whole entire young life. And then here you get married you go to the temple, and that is your moment where you decide that you want something different. How long were you in that place where it was like, okay, I, I don’t know if I really want to be LDS anymore, but I need something else.
[00:18:40] How long did you spend in that realm?
[00:18:42] Klarice: We hung onto that for a while. And we went back and forth. So when we had our. Child. We had that, we had a boy and our first son, our only son. And we went back to church and
[00:18:58] we, of course [00:19:00] wanted my dream, what I grew up with. And we had in blessed and we attended church for awhile. It was just never anything that really sat with us or resonated with us. And then we had 18 months later we had our daughter and At that point, my husband was working at a trust plant and hot summers.
[00:19:20] And he took off his garment top at that point, he wasn’t wearing it. He’s
[00:19:24] Klarice: I’m not wearing my garment bottoms either anymore. And we were in a transition phase of when when we had our daughter, we moved in with my parents for a little while because we were going to move into a rental house that my brother was getting ready to move out of.
[00:19:36] I remember my mom was so angry and when she found out we weren’t wearing our garments, it was such a horrible thing. That was that point of where we were like, we don’t want this, but we don’t. We want God. I want to, God, I don’t know what Brian wanted at that point, but.
[00:19:54] That was that point of, we know we want something, but don’t know what it is. Or at least I did. I just [00:20:00] didn’t know what it was. And for a long time it was. Probably a good four, four years. I was like, I’m going to teach my kids what’s important. I’m going to teach them about God and I’m going to teach them things.
[00:20:12] But then it never did. I never taught them anything. I would take them to church on Christmas and on Sunday with my family and I would take them, we would, I touched them, some primary songs that I like, they know, I am a child of God. Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
[00:20:29] But I didn’t have a whole lot of direction on what to teach them.
[00:20:33] Shelby: So what all changed?
[00:20:34] I mean,
[00:20:35] Shelby: Goodness. You went through that big, huge moment of the phone call
[00:20:39] Shelby: and then deciding to actually go to church with her. And how did that change you and what did life look like after that moment?
[00:20:49] Klarice: Grace. And that’s the only thing from living in a world with the expectations of you have to be good enough and you have to earn [00:21:00] and coming from a sinful world. And I knew, every day I was reminded. Hi, I’m not good enough. And I do these things wrong. And even still today, I’m not perfect. There are so many things I do wrong.
[00:21:13] Grace was such an amazing concept to me and I’d never heard of grace in the Mormon church. I never, it was never a concept that was taught to me. Never discussed never even thought about it was not anything that. I could even grasp or comprehend. And so to start to understand, grace was huge for me that I could not earn my place in heaven, that there is nothing I can do to.
[00:21:47] Be good enough for heaven. You’re right. Clarissa, there’s nothing you can do. I loved that and I embraced that so much. And we went to a pretty big church and sat in the back and did [00:22:00] nothing for a while. My husband being in law enforcement. The church that we were we’re attending catered to the broken people.
[00:22:07] And that’s one thing that I do now. But he struggled with that. So one thing he would struggle with is we would go to church and then there would be people who had just gotten out of jail and he knew them and that’s an uncomfortable place for him to be in. So we went to church there for a while.
[00:22:24] But one Sunday, he was like, he grabbed my hand right after the last song started playing, which he never did. And he pulled me out and he said, I will not go back. He said, somebody who got out of jail yesterday is sitting right behind me and I’m not comfortable. And so we started looking for a new church and we started going to a church that was 10 minutes down the road from us.
[00:22:46] And so this church was 30 minutes. Cause we’re again, we still live. Small town that we grew up in, which is a interesting concept in and of itself. But we started going to this smaller church and it, I mean on a good day had [00:23:00] 120 people, kids and all. And so one of the most amazing things there was, we couldn’t just sit in the back and be quiet.
[00:23:09] We, we started getting involved and we started meeting people and we had an amazing pastor there that did a biblical foundations class. And I think that’s where I learned the most and really started challenging those perceptions and those things that I was taught in the LDS church. Oh that’s not in the Bible.
[00:23:31] That what that was probably one of the best things that happened.
[00:23:35] Shelby: Yeah. And how did your husband deal with this big change that was going on with you as well? Was he right on board with it or did he struggle a little bit? How was the rest of your family too?
[00:23:44] Klarice: When that friend called and we sat down and said, God needed to be in our life.
[00:23:49] I said, I don’t care. I said, it can be more than ism. He’s no, we’re not doing Mormonism. Don’t want that. He was definitely on board. The hard part was is that he worked four days on four days off and a [00:24:00] rotating shift. And so he would do a month of no Sundays. And so that was really hard. I think that he was very lukewarm for a long time in his face.
[00:24:09] But it’s so funny to look at the changes that happened in me. And that’s, I think one of the most miraculous changes is that. I stopped cutting. Depression went away and a complete change in who I was. And I am not the same person. Talk about born again. True. The I changed and I wanted more kids.
[00:24:33] He didn’t want more kids. We now have three daughters and one son and that’s all because of God and the healing that he brought into our life. And. Yeah. He embraced it fully. He was totally on board with it and wanted it, and I think he wanted God in his life. And didn’t know where to go with it.
[00:24:49] And so when we went to that smaller church that. That was all God as well. And one of the biggest things is I can see God working in every step at this point, [00:25:00] and I can see how he’s worked at altogether. One of, one of the things that I think is pretty amazing is my dad’s parents. I said that they’re Christian and we were at the grocery store after church one Sunday and we run into them and they’re like, what are you guys doing here?
[00:25:15] And, we have. We didn’t spend a lot of time with them just cause they grew up not spending a lot of time with them and we’re distant from them they’re like when did you start going to Mormon church? And we had a conversation with them and we started to grow closer with them because of our faith.
[00:25:30] And that was a really cool experience. But one of the things my grandparents told me is we’ve been praying for you and your siblings, your whole life.
[00:25:37] Shelby: That’s awesome. Did you end up having a moment of like acceptance when everything, when you felt like that true born again?
[00:25:46] Or was it something that progressed for you?
[00:25:48] Klarice: Well,
[00:25:48] I think it’s still progressing every day, but the one moment that I could truly feel a new that things were different. Was in 2003 my [00:26:00] daughter I was pregnant and my daughter was born seven and a half weeks early.
[00:26:04] She was four pounds, one ounce she’s teeny, and I was very sick. My blood pressure was like 2 65, over 164. I had to be taken by ambulance from a small hospital to a bigger hospital cause they didn’t have a NICU and they didn’t know what she was going to be, how she was going to be doing.
[00:26:21] I was on the surgical floor for three days because they didn’t know if I was going to see as if I was going to have a stroke. They just didn’t know what was going to happen with me. So I finally got to a point and I don’t remember, I don’t remember much of that time, but I finally got to a point of stability and they moved me to the maternity floor.
[00:26:40] I came from such a place of low self-worth and self hate and not good enough. And I remember sitting there and I was in the hospital and Brian was there with me and I looked at him and I said, this isn’t my fault. I knew [00:27:00] that. Even though I had been sick and that she came early and all of that, none of it was my fault when in the past everything would have been my fault.
[00:27:12] I would have been to blame for every bit of that. And so that was a huge life-changing moment of that self-acceptance and that grace and that love of God and that I’m not in control of life. And that God is.
[00:27:26] Shelby: Yeah. Wow. Wow.
[00:27:28] It’s a mind shift of how we view everything because even if we didn’t grow up where everything in our life was Mormon, if you still had that as your base, everything for myself included everything.
[00:27:43] About who I was. And what I was doing was completely 100% dependent upon me. Everything was on me. And I think that, that seems like such a beautiful thing.
[00:27:54] You know,
[00:27:54] Shelby: The world through self-help stuff tells you all the same stuff. You are 100% capable of [00:28:00] doing all the things. And I think that. It actually deprives you of, or what it gives to you, which is just, it’s just so frustrating.
[00:28:10] Is that complete lack of self-worth it deprives you of self-worth ’cause you never feel like you’re enough. You never feel like you can be there. You never feel like you can do it all. And you are to blame for all of it. You are at fault for it. And for me included the moment where I feel like everything changed for me is when I said.
[00:28:30] I’m not enough. I’m I will never be able to fix all of this, but God, you are so big. And I know you can, and it’s not about me. It’s about you. And that moment, that, that is the moment where everything changes you are absolutely right. It is this huge shift of our hearts and change in our heart that you wished you could give to people, but you can’t, they have to go through it.
[00:28:54] And sometimes you have to go through really. The stuff to make that change. And your whole life, there was different [00:29:00] things that were very hard. But God was there waiting patiently that whole time for you to make that mind shift. So now that you’re on the other side of all of this, what does life look like for you now?
[00:29:12] Where, how is he working in your life now?
[00:29:15] Klarice: Oh, you know what? God is so amazing. And I’m amazed every day at what I get to do for God that he, I am his instrument. I always wanted to go into social work. So I am a social worker. I’ve always wanted to help people. I’ve always been, attracted or, brought in by the broken and the underdog.
[00:29:36] And I always been wanting to help those people. And I think because I felt like that person, I want to help people feel seen. After I had my last baby God opened the door in so many ways. She was almost a year and my mom retired from her job and my mother-in-law stays at home.
[00:29:54] She doesn’t work. So I was able to go to school two days a week. And so I went to [00:30:00] school, then I got my master’s degree and It just, everything fell into place so well. And so I’ve been in social work. I’m a licensed clinical social worker. I’ve been doing that for 11 years and had many different opportunities that I’ve been a part of.
[00:30:14] But right now I work in an outpatient Facility where we’re faith-based. And the biggest struggle that I have with that is that it’s faith based. We’re not any we’re spirituality based, and so that’s hard, but I get to meet people one-on-one and have conversations about God and what God is doing for them and help them make that connection with God.
[00:30:36] And I, I get to do Group therapy and talk about what God’s done in my life and help people connect with a power greater than themselves. And, be a light for God. And so that’s that’s been a cool experience. One thing that I struggled with walking away from Mormonism is I have a big family and my family was always important to me.
[00:30:57] I That’s the glue, I think on the [00:31:00] struggle with walking away from Mormonism is family and It’s put a huge wedge in with me and my family. I struggled in the beginning because I was very defensive about my faith and I wouldn’t let them in, I wouldn’t have conversations with them. And so now that I’m more grounded and I know what I, I understand more and I know what I want to say that door’s kind of been closed in some ways.
[00:31:23] And I have to find different ways to approach it. But one thing that God, I feel like has always promised to me is that my kids will I will have a family that, that I can worship with. And I have four amazing kids. They’re all adults now. And two of them are married and they’re married to believers.
[00:31:40] My two youngest. God’s working on them. We’ll just say that I know that they believe in God and they have that faith. And we’ll see where God leads them. I have true hope and belief that God is gonna lead them where he needs them to be. And I know they have to go through their own experiences to find their own.
[00:31:58] Shelby: Yeah, and I think it just comes [00:32:00] back to the whole basis of all of this is trusting him that he’s able to do the big things that we know he does, which is sometimes hard. You know what I mean? When you’re seeing other people and they are struggling and you want to help them so bad, but you have to also know that you were someone who stroked.
[00:32:18] I myself, I had to go through really hard stuff and I had a lot of people praying for me too. And I had to go through really hard stuff before I got to that point where I could trust God and understand what that really meant. I think it’s so cool now that you are working in. The social work with working with the broken because of your past and where you came from, but bringing it all back to what we were talking about at the very beginning about not having God’s love and not understanding God’s love and how.
[00:32:49] How that can lead to so many broken feelings and outward showing of that brokenness coming through there and now how you’re able to [00:33:00] go back and help people through that. It just is a Testament to, he has a plan for all of this. And if you hadn’t been through all of that, you wouldn’t be able to be here to help others now with where they are.
[00:33:16] And he just works in such an amazing way. Doesn’t he?
[00:33:19] Klarice: Oh yes. 100%. It’s so interesting to be able to look back on every struggle and every hardship and every storm and everything that I’ve been through and say, I would never want to go through it again, but I’m grateful for the struggle because I I love who I am today.
[00:33:40] I am proud of who I am today and. I would not be this person, had I not gone through those things.
[00:33:47] Shelby: Yeah. And not knowing that peace of God. That’s the biggest thing for me is I would not want to go through those things again. I would not, but there’s no way I would have that peace in my heart.
[00:33:59] Okay. [00:34:00] That is worth everything that’s worth everything.
[00:34:05] Klarice: Yeah. I think one of the biggest lessons I learned through all of this is, and one of the things that I teach most often is. There’s a piece that I teach called the seven steps of surrender, but coming to terms with your worst case scenario and in a lot of ways, I faced that worst case scenario.
[00:34:22] I was facing, losing everything. And my Knight in shining armor my, the love of my life. He was my, everything. He was my God in a lot of ways. And now. He’s my partner and he’s my best friend. And at the same time, God is my everything. And I can lose my husband and I would be devastated and I would be broken and it would be very hard, but it won’t, I won’t be lost in that.
[00:34:49] Like I have God who’s stronger and who will be my strength in that moment.
[00:34:54] Shelby: Yeah. And I think that goes back to putting your faith in man over God and having God as the [00:35:00] head of everything actually will help all aspects of your life. And I’ve been there too. I was exactly, I totally understand what you’re saying with that.
[00:35:10] It, my husband and I did this really cool thing through our church was all about vertical relationships, vertical marriage, I think is what it was called. And it’s all about. You have to go up. We have to build that relationship up before. You’re really able to give horizontally to, the people in our life, including our spouse, who I would say my husband saved me from a lot of mess up too.
[00:35:33] He was a good man, but but having that relationship with God, Changes all of the rest for the better and how cool that is. That’s so good. If you could go back and you are actually talking to people through your work now, but if you could go back and talk to yourself or people who are like you, who are at that place where they are ready.
[00:35:57] To really know the true God [00:36:00] and ready to find faith, but they’re still struggling. What advice would you give them?
[00:36:04] Klarice: The biggest thing that I would say is when you’re questioning something, question it, do the research, go look at the things that you’re questioning. Find people that you can ask those questions to, that you can invest in and that you can, that are going to be real with you.
[00:36:26] That’s one of the things that I love the most right now, we have my husband and I both have a tribe for better words. We have that family though, those people in our lives, who they’re, they hold up the mirrors, they hold up the. The mirrors to us that say, this isn’t biblical, or this isn’t godly, or, you shouldn’t be doing this.
[00:36:47] They’re my prayer warriors. When I know that I’m struggling or have something hard, they are praying for me. They’re praying for our family on a daily basis. You don’t have to have all the answers. That’s the other thing, [00:37:00] that’s the thing that I tell people the most is don’t try to fit God into a box, cause he’s not gonna fit.
[00:37:05] I don’t want my God to fit into a box because if I can understand God completely, then I’m in trouble. That means that I have more power and knowledge than God does. And so question everything and research and question and ask people, but also don’t expect to find all the answers that I don’t know is an okay answer for right.
[00:37:27] Shelby: And I think that’s so contradictory to what we were, what we grew up being told, we didn’t question you weren’t allowed to question. And if you were questioning that meant that you weren’t praying hard enough or whatnot, but the beautiful thing about the real Jesus is you can question all you want and he’s just going to show himself even more
[00:37:50] Shelby: Thank you so much for coming on today. I really I can’t thank you enough for showing all the hardships and the vulnerable state that you had been in at [00:38:00] different times in your life. Because I know that there are other people out there who are in this place and they’re needing to hear that they’re not alone and that there is hope.
[00:38:11] There’s always hope and that God is going to be there for them. So thank you for coming on today. I really appreciate.
[00:38:19] Klarice: Yeah, thank you so much for the opportunity. And I just, I enjoyed being here and I just, if you’re struggling, reach out. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you.