Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"I don't have to do it alone"

Today was interesting. My day started out a bit negatively when I realized that I woke up when my first class was starting (goes to show what happens when I try staying up late in order to get the homework done...). It ended up being a busy but lovely day, including a 30-ish minute walk to the grocery store in the late afternoon, when it was warm and the sun appeared to sparkle through the leaves of the trees I strolled past. There's a lot I want to get done this week, and plans to coordinate, etc, but it was nice to take some time to go for a walk, be (mostly) alone with my thoughts, and enjoy the day. I love the blue, blue sky of the American West.

This evening, I had fun with some of my girl friends swapping stories around bowls of ice cream and m&m's. I then got a text from another friend; as he and I continued to text each other, I grew increasingly worried. I care a lot about my friends, so it wasn't hard for me to choose to leave the party and check on him in person. I felt urgent, and prayed with all my heart on the way over that God could help me to help him. After I arrived, I probably spent about a half hour walking around the block with him, just conversing about what was going on, and why he was having a hard time. Based on the particular problems he was going through, I couldn't give him any solutions or magic answers; I hadn't really expected to be able to do that. All I can do is be there for him as much as I can. I reminded him of his divine worth as a son of God, and that God loves him, and will help him, and won't forget about him. Saying it once won't be enough, and I see it as a test of my friendship to be diligent in acting on the love I have for him, in doing the best I can to support him, and in making it more than just nice words. That can be hard to do, when it feels like all your care for someone and desires to help don't make a difference, but that's why I'm relying on the Holy Spirit to guide me and faith to see me through when I can't see the end from where I stand.

When I got home, I decided it was time for me to head back to my bedroom and end most of my socializing for the night. I'm trying to maintain a healthy balance of helping my friend by giving him both the support and the space he needs, and taking care of my own emotional needs. As my roommate climbed into bed and I was on the computer, she started to confess something that was weighing heavily on her heart and mind. I felt like a broken record for the night when I said, "Heavenly Father is looking out for you, and will take care of you. He'll help you through every trial". I didn't know what else I could offer her to help, besides advising her to sleep now and worry about it tomorrow when she has more perspective. The sensed inability to help either of my friends in their pain weighed on my own heart, and I wondered, "How can I help them? I'm not strong enough to lift their burdens for them. I can't even make my problems go away" I turned on some soft Relient K music ("Getting Into You", "Up and Up (acoustic)", and "You'll Always Be My Best Friend") in an attempt to subtly comfort my roommate and calm myself. The answer to my prayer came shortly as a simple, inspired thought to my mind - "I don't have to do it alone." I don't have responsibility for my friends equivalent to that of a parent or ecclesiastical leader, but it is my responsibility as a Christian to "comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11) and do what I can to help. I am still just a human though; it is impossible for me to even carry my own weight at times, much less be of use to others. God most often works through other people though, because the person in need is served, and the giver is equally blessed and strengthened. When I'm not strong enough, God will help me. When I am strong, I need to do what I can to help others. And since it is something that God has commanded, He will help us. "I don't have to do it alone. I have God on my side, and all things are possible through Him that He requires." I'm so glad that my Heavenly Father loves me and helps me, and that my Savior Jesus Christ made the sacrifice that He did in order to help and rescue me. The same is true for all of us, and true for you. God loves you, is ever mindful of you, and will do everything He can (and He can do everything) to guide you to happiness.

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