Last night I had a conversation with a guy that made me think a lot about who I am and why I'm here in life. He and I have a lot in common, and the circumstances under which we met were incredibly serendipitous. In talking with him, I was hoping to see a mirror of myself, a pattern to learn from, a form of good and bad and better choices to apply in my life. I wanted answers to some of the questions I've had in life - an understanding of how he's learned to cope with the problems that I face. But, while I could see myself reflected in a few of the things he said, as the conversation progressed, I realized that our problems and trials have far less to do with each other than I had ever expected... and there would be no easy answer by the time we said goodbye.
In the hours since, I've wondered about who I am, what exactly I'm supposed to be doing here, and the destiny that I have waiting on the horizon. I've always had the feeling that life was going to get much, much harder for me in the future... from when I was little... and the feeling persists even today. This is only the tip of the iceberg. And so I wonder exactly what the Lord has in mind for me. My patriarchal blessing talks about sharing the gospel, and about being a father, healer, missionary, teacher, counselor, and leader. It doesn't talk about living with same-gender attraction, or fighting depression, or navigating the paths of learning to be a friend. It doesn't talk about abuse, or fear, or how to develop lasting friendships by becoming more vulnerable in relationships when I already wear my heart on my sleeve and put everything in my life on the table.
And it makes me wonder how some of the people in the scriptures felt during points of their lives. Don't misinterpret me. I'm not a prophet or an apostle or even anyone with authority in the Church. But I wonder how Moroni felt when he was alone, running from the Lamanites... how Paul felt on his missionary journeys, how John the Beloved feels as he serves among people who never truly become his friends. And how Christ felt when He alone understood what it was that He was called to do.
It makes me wonder if this is just part of my gift - if I was just supposed to learn sublime principles from feeling alone, or if it's supposed to inspire me to action, both of which have happened many times. If I had tons of friends, I would never have started this blog. I probably wouldn't have cared as much about people suffering in the world. I wouldn't have the time to respond to personal emails, text, chat, and meet people to help us come closer to Christ... But because I've been able to watch people change, it has been worth it. It will always be worth it.
I don't know what the future holds... whether someone will feel the call to be my friend, or I'll develop the abilities that elude me, or I'll go through life as a missionary - making intense, short-term connections with people all over the world. Thankfully, if I do my best, the Lord will take care of me - in the short and long term. He cares about me and is involved in my life. And that makes life a whole lot more simple.