When I was 18, my whole family each stuffed two suitcases full of my stuff, and managed to fit all of theirs in a tiny carry-on. Then the four of us piled on a plane and flew out west. We toured Temple Square and went all over Salt Lake City. Then we drove up to Idaho and went to Yellowstone. I remember getting ot of the car somewhere along I-15 and taking pictures on the side of the Highway with all of the sunflowers. It's one of the few pictures Mom ever allowed to be taken of her :). When we got off of I-15 and made the treck to Rexburg, a TUMBLEWEED actually crossed the road in front of the car. It was about then that I started to cry. It was finally sinking in that I was going to be 2,500 miles away from home in a town that was TINY and where it snows 8 months out of the year. My family stayed for a day or two (I even insisted on staying in the hotel with them at night and wouldn't stay in my dorm!). Eventually they left and I was miserable! I didn't get along with my roomates and there was nothing familiar to me at all. The weather was different, even the grocery stores were different. Then I had to go shopping... and I walked into Wal-Mart. (I promise there's a point to this story...) FINALLY something familiar, as I walked through the aisles of Wal-Mart tears filled my eyes as I felt the tiny comfort of something familiar. No matter where I go, I can always count on some constants. Wal-Mart will always be the same, the bathrooms will always smell as disgusting, and I can always find a new toothbrush on aisle 13. As a terrified 18 year old so far away from home, I felt a small tender mercy that day when I was comforted by the familiarity of a store I'm not that fond of.
Ok... here's the point to the story. Recently I have decided to make some changes. I have faithfully gone back to church, been praying and reading my scriptures. And no matter how long I've been gone, or how different my life is now... there is comfort and familiarity in coming back to Christ. Am I likening the Savior to Wal-Mart? No. But I recognize this feeling from years ago when I felt alone and comfortless. Although I've been far from home so long, and seem to be in a place that is 100% different from anything I've known before, I can take comfort in the tender mercies of God. He has not left me. He will always be the same. Just like I can always find a toothbrush on aise 13, I can always turn to God, no matter how long I've been gone, or how far the journey is home. In John 14:18 Christ says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." I have truly felt that more than once in my life. I am so greatful for the knowledge that I am never alone, even though I leave or turn away, Christ never will and all I have to do is turn back.
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