The other day I had a knock on my door. It was a very good friend of mine who came over to drop some things off. She asked if she could come in to talk. She then dropped the bomb on me. Her and her family might be moving out of state. I would be lying if I didn’t say I knew it was coming as she has talked about moving before, but I selfishly hoped it never would. Having said that, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for her and whatever she decides, I will help her with loving arms because, well, that’s what real friends do. This has caused me to think and reflect on our friendship and how it began.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes nicknamed Mormons, we participate in what is called Visiting Teaching. I am assigned a companion and together, we are called visiting teachers. The purpose of a visiting teacher is to go out once a month and visit 2-3 women in the church we are assigned to, and minister. This includes sharing a spiritual message, helping her when there is an illness or urgent need, and staying in contact regularly to see how she is doing. We do not get to choose who we visit. The assignments come from praying and inspiration from the Relief Society President. (The Relief Society is our women’s organization.)
To be honest, I used to find visiting teaching such a burden. I felt that in what was my already crazy life, it was one more thing I had to do. I was not the best at taking the initiative of making the appointments and going. I guess you could say I didn’t understand the importance of what these monthly visits meant. My companion, however, was very proactive about doing the visits every month. That was probably a good thing because if not, I may have missed out on something very special.
I was assigned to a woman about my age who had a family. I knew who she was and we had talked here and there, but that was really all. I imagined her house was perfect, and so were her children. They probably read their scriptures diligently, said their prayers, and I had never seen her get mad or frustrated. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to connect with her. I read my scriptures (when I didn’t have a super good novel I was reading). I said my prayers (when I didn’t fall asleep mid-sentence). Frustrated at my kid? Me? Never!! Surely I wasn’t meant to visit someone who might ban me if she knew I wasn’t as perfect in my life.
Month after month, we visited her and I got to know her. She is funny, caring, and sweet. I learned she gets frustrated with her kids like I do. When we come over she worries about her house being messy (even thought I never thought it was), and some days we’d find her almost in tears because she was having a bad day–much like me. I slowly came to find out no one is perfect, and that we were in fact a lot alike. She had things she needed to work on, and I did too. I grew to love her and her family and little by little, a beautiful friendship was forming.
I can’t tell you enough what a blessing she is in my life. I don’t think she knows just how much. She has been such an example to me, and has taught me to be a better mother, wife, and person. She has been there for me through my worst of times and my best. I have found myself at her doorstep in tears and she has welcomed me in. My husband and I don’t have family nearby and her family has been that family we have needed when things have gotten rough. We have celebrated birthdays together, had girls’ nights, and play dates. We have talked about books we are reading, our families, and about the gospel.
This reflection has caused me to realize what a blessing visiting teaching can be and how our Heavenly Father knows we women need each other as we raise our families. We cannot do it alone. I have come to the point where I get excited to go out every month to learn from these women and to build friendships with them. It is not a program meant to judge, or compare ourselves to each other but to serve and love one another. What an amazing thing to have! Our Heavenly Father takes care of us in so many ways and I am so grateful to Him for that.
My friend and I have been friends for almost 4 years. Doesn’t seem very long, but I will tell you it has felt much longer than that. Whatever she decides I know our friendship won’t stop if she moves. When I first moved to Utah, I hated making friends because as soon as I did and started to get close, they would move. After she told me the news, I honestly was really excited for her. As much as I would miss her, I know it’s something her family has wanted for a long time. She asked me to pray about it for her and I of course said I would! After she left, I couldn’t help but joke with my husband about having “another friend moving”. I used to think it would have been easier to never have gotten close to anyone because they just ended up moving. This time, I told my husband, if I knew when we first became friends she would be moving after 4 years…I would not change a thing.
Through our friendship I have learned to open up a little more, to give of myself a little more and the results can last a lifetime. I learned the best friendships can form in the most unexpected places, and most importantly, I learned that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows what and who I need in my life. He knows my needs, my fears, and sends angels here to help pick up the pieces and to strengthen me. The people He sends in my life, are his way of showing He is listening to my fervent prayers, and He really loves me.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!