You’re Never Really Alone
Coming home from a mission, moving across the country for college, and basically starting all new here with not a ton of connections is not the easiest thing, let me tell you. I never anticipated the trials that starting a new semester at school after so long would bring me, but also along with that, how many blessings have come this past month.
One of the things that I hate the most and actually find quite terrifying is the idea of being alone. It just makes me so sad to imagine a life without anyone to talk to or laugh with or even just to experience things along your side. I loved being a missionary because I had an assigned companion 24/7 for 18 whole months and the only time I ever was kind of alone was when we went to the bathroom or an interview. But even then, I was surrounded by people still. I loved this aspect of missionary work – I was completely surrounded by people and it just made me the happiest girl in the world. I totally fuel off of other people’s energy and find true joy in just being able to experience life with people I care about. I have lived this way for so long, it has just kind of became a normal to me. With this lifestyle as what I was used to and what I preferred, my new journey coming back to college really caught me off-guard.
The idea of traveling to Utah of course made me nervous, but also I was so confident and excited. I was ready for this new chapter in life to begin! Then, reality hit me in the face. Sure things could have been so so so much worse, but my first introduction to college was not as blissful and great as I had dreamed it out to be. Lots of little hurdles came in my way and I was kind of starting to panic. Although I have an incredible roommate, other great girls I live with, and friends all around me, the idea that I was alone began to sink in.
I remember clearly a particular Saturday where I was the only one home all day; all of my close by friends seemed to be busy, and I went almost the entire day without speaking to anyone. I had a nice, relaxing day, but me being me, was craving social interaction and I was starting to feel like my world was caving in. I went from happily decorating my room and listening to my record collection, to having some sort of an existential crisis (I mean I am sure that is quite the exaggeration, but I was beginning to be freaked out thats for sure). I had been struggling already to make friends at church and in my classes, I was missing my best friends I spent every second of my life with at school before, I wanted to just go back to California, and I just so badly wanted to feel wanted or needed or like I had a purpose here at school. That day, as I sat in my vacant apartment, I broke down. Everything I had been feeling before, all the sadness, loneliness, frustrations, anxieties, fears, EVERYTHING just came out that day. And as sad as it might have been, its incredible to know that at our very weakest points, the times where we need help and love the most, that is exactly when it comes.
This once sad Saturday became the turning point for me so far. All these terrible feelings I had experienced all of a sudden vanished or gained meaning. As I sat there and pathetically cried, I felt the spirit so strong. At the exact moment I gave in and thought that I was completely alone, I felt something so warm and peaceful. It was almost as if someone reached out and hugged me SO HARD it knocked the breath right out of me. And in that moment, I felt the spirit speak to me and remind me, “You are never really alone”.
I had been so overwhelmed and distracted before. I was so focused on physical people not here, adventures I wasn’t going on, and all of my wildest college dreams not coming true in the first couple weeks of school, that I forgot a powerful and important principle – after we are baptized and confirmed members of Christ’s church, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, so long as we are worthy of it. If we are living righteously, we can have the spirit with us always. And not only that, we never ever have to go through life alone because Jesus Christ, our brother that loves us so much and has sacrificed so much for us, is here walking every step of life with us, sometimes even carrying us when we need it. We have so much love and support all around us. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants us to be happy. We are not here on earth to be sad and miserable forever and just sit in our apartment “alone” on a Saturday. No, we are here to have joy, to learn, to grow, to be tried, and to become who God needs us to be. We are never going to be left to fend for ourselves and see if we make it, but we have such great support ALWAYS.
Since that moment, (even if I do spend my entire day doing homework in the library, or if I have a weekend where I don’t really do much, or maybe I am just having one of those days where nothing goes right) I have been increasingly happier as each day passes, I have seen miracles happening in my life, and I have not felt alone again. It is incredible how much we are blessed and how many tender mercies really are in our lives when we open our eyes and look for them. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is taking care of me. On days where I have not felt my best and have planned to walk to campus listening to music to match my feelings, God has put friends in my path that just come up to me and talk to me our entire walk to class. In classes that I feel most discouraged and intimidated by, He has provided me with a new amazing group of friends to have pizza parties with and study with every week. In moments where I just need a friend even for just 5 minutes, He has put former missionary friends in my path with just the right enthusiasm and love to keep me going. In situations where I feel like nobody could ever understand how I feel, not only does He remind me that Christ does, but He provides the exact people I need to talk to that heal me right up. Even on day where I wanted a smoothie so bad for some reason but couldn’t get myself out of the library to walk to Jamba Juice, I come home and my roommate surprises me with a smoothie she bought for me in the freezer. Heavenly Father is soooo aware of us and wants to help. He reaches out to help us by providing these little angels in disguise that are exactly who I need, or by giving me the comfort that I will always have the Holy Ghost with me.
And you know what, I do not think I would have seen these miracles and has this seriously powerful experience in my life, had I not first hit this low. We are never given a trial without a purpose, and I know that this is an important lesson that I had to learn right now. Being alone has always been my biggest fear, and I am so sure that this fear would have remained cripplingly prominent in my life, had I not gone through this experience. Instead, Heavenly Father took this silly phobia of mine and completely disproved it. If I desire, I do not EVER have to be alone. Never. I can have the constant companionship my entire life of one who loves and comforts and helps me like no other. The scriptures teach us that “perfect love castesth out all fear,” and I can promise that is true. As I realized the perfect love that Heavenly Father has for me and his desire for my happiness, my biggest fear dissolved. I am no longer afraid, discouraged, or upset because of my fear, rather I am so full of faith, confidence, and love. None of us ever have to feel alone or that we are unloved, because our Heavenly Father cares so much about us. We really are never alone.