I. was. SO. wrong!
The theme was "Dancing in the Rain". The gym was beautifully decorated. White balloons were hanging from fishing line strung across the room, giving the appearance of raindrops. Beautiful open umbrellas lined the stage or hung around the edges of the room. There was soft lighting.
The program was a combination of music, speakers and a narration of quotes connecting it all. I never realized how often the rain analogy is used in songs, scriptures, quotes, and stories! The program seemed to touch on every possible aspect of that analogy.
During one of the talks, the speaker described all the things she had been feeling; discouraged, overwhelmed, lonely. She started to cry a little. An elderly sister was sitting in the front row. She walked up to the younger woman and stood behind her with her hand on her shoulder. The speaker composed herself and continued speaking with this sweet ladies hand on her shoulder the whole time.
This episode illustrated the message of the whole evening; we are not alone.
We each struggle.
We feel lonely.
We feel overwhelmed.
We feel discouraged.
We feel tempted.
We are challenged.
We are tested.
We are blessed.
I know, I KNOW, it feels like you are the only person who has ever been___________.
Or gone through _____________.
It feels like no one could possibly understand.
But it's not true.
I know you have heard many, many times that the Savior is always there for you and knows what you are going through. That is true. But sometimes it feels too...cliche? Distant? Whatever it is, it isn't always enough. At least for me.
This is why the meeting was so important, especially the little old lady supporting the younger woman. It reminded me that we really are not alone. All around us are people who have struggled. Maybe not everyone is willing to help us but many are.
Sometimes I think that older people don't know what I am going through. I make excuses to ignore their advice, not because it is bad but because they are right. Instead of commiserating with me they give me perspective. Who wants that! (just kidding!)
They also give me hope. If they can get through it so can I!
When I was in college I often heard the phrase "God has no hands but ours." I thought it was kind of a wierd image at the time. Now I understand it.
When we reach out to one another, we are acting as the Savior would act and blessing others as he would bless them.
"A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another."