". . . worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." Alma 34:38
In my life right now, I don't have a lot of close friends. Scratch that, it isn't true. I have more close friends than most. I am very blessed in the friend department. What is lacking is geography. Most of my dear friends are far away. I don't have a close friend that lives close. I have a few friends that I can talk to about the weather, her kids, my kids, my lack of a shower that day et cetera, but a true blue, I can show up at your house with all four of my kids, still in pajamas, and cry on your floor for no reason at all, type of friend (just an example because we all know I have never needed that.) Or a friend that we can laugh at nothing until "tears" run down our legs—I have needed that—a lot.
I have often felt alone, and quite honestly forsaken. I have struggled, since I have been married, to feel like I belong somewhere. I know I belong at home with my children but that isn't enough for me. The closeness I had with friends growing up completely spoiled me. My college roommates and the roommates I had after college continued to spoil me. I have been very blessed. Josh is a great companion and provides so much yet, I have felt a void.
I am not saying that I have never felt this before marriage because that wouldn't be true. I have felt it several times in my life. One of those times was the first time I moved to Utah. My freshman year in college had been filled with too much fun, so I moved to Utah to try to get a little more serious about my studies. My sophomore year proved to be the complete opposite of my freshman year. I lived with a friend from home who was going through a very serious internal struggle. She never did open up to me about it, and only years later did I figure out that she was losing her testimony and embracing her alternative sexuality. The other two girls in my apartment were very close, and my ward was very lacking in the friend department. I remember being on the phone crying to my mother that I didn't have a friend at all. My wise mother told me that sometimes we go through times of loneliness, so that we will turn to the Lord for comfort.
I have remembered those words often. Usually as soon as I turn my heart, windows of friendship are opened up to me. Sometimes I still wonder why that hasn't happened yet where I live now, in this season of life, but it hasn't. I am sure it is because I still have so much to learn.
There Lord has been my one constant friend. I have turned to Him through prayer, fasting and most of all reading the scriptures. Through the scriptures, I have found peace, love and even the friendship that I have so longed for. This is what I am thankful for today: my scriptures.
Elder Richard G. Scott gave a wonderful conference talk that helped put words to my feelings about my scriptures. He stated that "They [scriptures] can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar." I have found this to be true in my life. They are the means by which I can have a conversation with my Father in Heaven. The greatest thing is that the advice I receive from them, is always sound and usually emphatically tailored to me. I love arising early, before anyone else is awake, and having such a conversation with my Father in Heaven.
I am so thankful that I live in a day where I have the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Together there is less room for interpretation by man and more room for precise direction. Every time I want a feast, there is one waiting. As Bonnie D. Parkin calls it, "Fat-free Feasting!" In a time where the world is so full of imitations when it comes to food, philosophy, spirituality, and even friendship (i.e. Facebook), I am grateful to have something real. I am thankful for the scriptures and that I can turn to them when I need a true friend—in my pajamas, on the floor, crying if needs be!