Sweet Comfort

By Wendy Kathryn Bouton

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I was far from family and friends and very lonely. Most of all I missed my mother’s hugs. There was only one place I could turn for help.

My first week at college was difficult. I had never been away from home before, and now I was living in a different state. I was away from family, friends, and everything familiar to me. To make matters worse, my new roommate had yet to arrive. I was lonely—very lonely. I missed my family a lot.

Most of all, I missed my mother’s hugs. Each day before I went to school, and each day as I returned home, my mother embraced me. Her hugs reassured me of her love, made me feel safe, and reduced all the stresses I had felt during the day. I would then talk with her about all that had happened. She was always there to listen to me and help me feel better.

Now, when I came home from school, all I found was an empty apartment. I would sit on the edge of my bed and cry because I felt so alone. I longed for her hugs.

The only thing I felt I could do was pray. I knelt and explained to my Heavenly Father how I felt. I talked with Him as I had with my mother and told Him of all the events in my day—of the new and exciting things, the stresses I felt, and the worries I had. I then told my Heavenly Father I desperately needed a hug. I felt the warmth of His Spirit flow through me. And although I could not see His arms, I knew they encircled me. I felt as though my mother had just hugged me. All the fear and loneliness was washed away, and I felt loved. The scripture from 2 Nephi 1:15 came into my mind: “I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

After that day, whenever I feel lonely or need someone to talk to, I talk to my Heavenly Father. I gained a testimony of the power of prayer and the reality of the knowledge that my Heavenly Father really listens. I know I am never alone. No matter what my needs are, my Father in Heaven will help me.

Photography by Welden C. Andersen. Posed by models