Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Friendships and the Atonement

I have recently realized what it means to have a true friend, and to be a true friend.
On Sunday afternoon, before church was even over, I texted a good friend of mine as a result of my insecurities. 

A while before this moment, I had experienced something during church that left my mind open for self-impeding thoughts. Usually when I'm feeling insecure, I can turn right back around and be happy and confident again. But at some point, these thoughts pile up, and eventually I experience a topper of a thought that causes the pile to fall to the ground. Needless to say, I needed to let some things out. Since I was at church when my pile was nudged over, I was pretty emotional, though the spirit comforted me just enough to get me through church. Instead of just going home and and pitying myself, I had this distinct feeling to talk to a specific friend.

So I texted this good friend of mine, who will remain nameless for now, and all I told him was that I needed someone to talk to who wasn't going to judge me, and someone who would actually listen to me.
I don't want to get too detailed, so, eventually he called me. Up until that point I had sat down and gone through everything I wanted to talk about, but when the time came to talk, I had no words.
It didn't show though, thankfully, and my friend continued talking. 

He told me some of his life experiences that coincidentally aligned with the things that I was going through. He told me that he got to a point where he realized he was trying too hard, and he wasn't allowing the atonement to work in his life the way it was meant to. The atonement of Jesus Christ makes all the difference, and even though I want so much to make everybody happy, I need to accept that I can't do that and make myself happy at the same time.

I really gained a greater understanding of how I should be living my life after I had this one ended conversation with my friend. I also realized that I didn't exactly need to talk about anything that I was going through, and I learned that I had a true, genuine friend at the other end of that call who understood me and cared to understand me. Someone who listened to the spirit that gave him the right words to share with me. Every single thing that he told me was what I needed to hear...and I barely even said a word.

I am eternally grateful for this friend, and for the prompting that I had to talk to him. I have learned through this experience how I need to improve, and how I can be a better friend to those around me. It is important when talking with friends, to listen to the spirit and allow it to take charge when a friend stands in need. We can all get so caught up in the negatives of this world, but I know that, even if I can't change other people, I can change the way a respond to them. I'm grateful for the spirit and for the friends that I have that truly care for me, and if somehow one of them ends up reading this, I want them to know how much I truly care for them also.

"Jesus doesn't make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us."
- Brad Wilcox