Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peter Pan

At the end of my senior year I was voted "Next Peter Pan; most likely to never grow up." Here's the problem; I still haven't found Neverland. I have been searching diligently, yet it seems nowhere to be found. You see, I just finished with my freshman year of college down at SUU. I feel that despite how much I want to stay a kid, I'm growing up. I've had so many growing experiences it's impossible to deny my leaving adolescence. I guess this is okay because it is inevitable, and I can stay childlike in several aspects.

I think that the way in which I have grown the most can be summed up in one line. "In order to love unconditionally you must accept and respect unconditionally." My mom said that to me as we were in the elevator leaving Eccles B 201 for the last time. To understand why this is significant you should understand that my roommates and I were all very different this year. Different in religious aspects, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and where our priorities lie.

At the beginning of the semester if you told me that three of them would become my best friends, I probably would have laughed at you. I thought it was going to be impossible to even have a civil conversation with this group of girls. However, over the course of a few months we began to realize how very wrong we were about each other. While we weren't the kind of best friends that hung out every weekend, they have become the kind of best friends that I know I can always count on. We've learned to accept and respect unconditionally and a whole lot of love has followed.

(Brittany, Marla, Megan, Sydnie)
When I received my roommate assignment in the mail last summer I looked them all up on facebook, and to be honest I was a little bit alarmed. I thought about it in a completely prideful way. My thoughts about the matter all resembled, "maybe this is just one big missionary opportunity." Just before I left for school, the thought struck me, "maybe you're not roommates with them for their sakes, but rather so you can grow and learn to love people that are different than you." With this thought in mind, I went to school with the intention of being tolerant, not necessarily accepting. Little did I know, they would end up changing my life and being a huge contributing factor to my "growing up."

Living with these girls has cemented in my heart and mind the thought, "We cannot fully love God without loving our neighbor. We cannot fully love our neighbor without loving God." (Russell M. Nelson) My testimony that we are all God's children has strengthened probably about one million times as much as it was before. I'm so glad that Heavenly Father knows exactly who we need to meet, and what we need to experience in this life in order to become the person He wants us to become. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father knows me perfectly, and He knew that these girls were supposed to be a part of my life. I know that he will continue to place people like them in my path to shape my life accordingly and I'm so grateful to understand that.

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