Saturday, August 13, 2011


I spent the first part of this week dreading the inevitable goodbyes that would come Wednesday night. Then they happened, and now it's Thursday. The goodbyes didn't go as I anticipated nor did they go especially well, but they could have gone worse, I guess... It's probably not a surprise that I cried when I got home that night, but why I cried wasn't quite what I expected either.

I love people. I'm really intrigued by getting to know people as individuals, and as I get to know who they are, I often come to love them. Like I've said, I've been fortunate enough to make some amazing friends in Vienna. Especially considering how short a time I've lived here, I think I've made some really good bonds... But when it came time to say goodbye, the guy who I thought I had the best relationship with kinda flopped, and it left me feeling pretty disappointed - he just didn't seem to care that "I made this good friend and now I might not see her again.", and he just walked away.

What I ended up crying about was wondering what I gained from my experience living in Vienna if I couldn't even make lasting friends or speak German. I cried because I made an investment and was willing to care about people I might never see again, and it didn't feel like it was reciprocated after all.

I spent some time thinking and conversing with my Heavenly Father that night. One thing that I realized even as I was hurting was this: that Jesus Christ doesn't just love the people who love Him back, He loves people no matter what, even if they deliberately and maliciously hurt Him. True charity or love is loving people even if they don't love you back. Honestly, I can't make assumptions as to whether someone loves me or not, but if I love someone no matter what, then that's becoming more like Christ. And that's something that I also realized about the relationships I've formed in Vienna - that I really do love them. Not necessarily in a "I-want-to-marry-you" kind of way (most of the friends I made were guys), but in a "I-enjoy-your-company-and-desire-for-your-happiness" kind of way. And that was really cool to recognize, so I'm glad for that.

The previous two sections were written tonight, on Saturday, and I've had a little more time for my initial feelings to mellow out. I'm still going to miss my friends. I'm also going to hope and have faith that I'll see them again someday, and that love invested will return a profit. Increasing my capacity to love is always a good thing, and prepares me to love people even more down the road. That's all I can really do - thank Heavenly Father for the beautiful opportunities I had to meet some of His other children and establish connections with them, and trust Him when His Son says, "Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good, ye shall also reap good for your reward." Doctrine and Covenants 6:33. Even though it hurts sometimes, I'm just going to keep loving, because now I have faith that that is what we're here for; I haven't always believed that over the years, but now I'm believing and acting on that promise. And for that lesson and assurance I thank my God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


  1. Also, if most of them were guys, just remember that guys are less emotional and/or express their feelings in very different ways. So What may have seemed like an unreciprocated goodbye may have been their natural way of coping with a change in their life. ALWAYS good to love, even if it feels unreciprocated, I agree. It only makes your heart grow - the more it hurts, the bigger it is, right??

  2. Yup, I used to have a really hard time with that, but it's definitely more understandable now, and apathy isn't the first conclusion I jump to :) Thanks for the reminder!