09642_000_010How would I survive living in a new town where I didn’t know anyone?
It all began on a chilly November morning when I was in eighth grade. My parents called my younger sister and me into their bedroom, requesting that we hold a family meeting. I saw my mother’s face, and instantly a cold, worried feeling filled my heart. My father explained to us that he had had the impression for many months that he should begin looking for a new job. A chilling thought crept into my mind, We’re going to move.
Horrified, I quickly voiced my speculation, hoping to clear the terrible thought from my mind. Instead, I was only met by a new wave of anxiety, as my parents confirmed my judgment. I burst into tears. My parents tried to console me, but I dreaded leaving my home, friends, and ward that I knew so well. I refused to see any good thing about moving. For the next few months before the move, I could never last a week without shedding a tear.
My first Sunday in our new ward was pleasant but did not make much of an impression on me. I knew that the ward would be a strength for me, so I tried to keep a positive outlook on the situation.
Then came my first day at a new school. I did not have my own schedule yet, so I was assigned to shadow another student and follow her schedule until I had my own. I was very shy, and everything was new and confusing. So many of my peers introduced themselves to me, and yet when I went home at the end of the day, I was unable to remember even one. Overwhelmed, I did not look forward to another day of school, but I decided it was tolerable enough and concluded that I would survive the experience.
Things at school progressed very slowly. I made some friends. I did well in my classes, but I was unhappy. I did not want to be there. My only truly happy times were when I went to church. I developed strong friendships with several girls my age very quickly, and those friendships provided strength and hope for me while I struggled to adapt. But still, despite those brief reprieves, I felt unhappy.
Everything changed when I went to young women’s camp. The testimony I gained at camp is one that I have kept and developed. I realized then why I was unhappy. I had let the Spirit leave my life. I had not relied on the Lord for strength. The instant I got home I kneeled down and prayed for strength and courage, for peace and comfort, and for the loving feeling that the Spirit brings to life. Suddenly a warm, comforting feeling filled my heart. I know that my Heavenly Father heard my prayers that day, and every day before that, and every day since.
Heavenly Father can always guide us and will always be there for something to hold on to. He has given us the most powerful gift in the world, the gift of the Holy Ghost, which we can use to help us through our trials and tribulations. The power of the Holy Ghost is strong; it can heal wounded hearts and build up testimonies. By keeping the Lord in our lives, we can be happy. Even though we may have to face trials, the Lord eases our burdens. I know no matter where we are, He can be with us.
Illustrated by Paul Mann