you've got a friend.

I was one of those super lucky girls to go to the James Taylor + Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert a couple of weeks ago and I was even luckier to go with Garrett. 

Garrett and I have known each other for a really long time, but we didn't get to know each other until I threw hot apple cider on him at a city pumpkin walk (we were on youth city council together). He could have hated me and never spoken to me for doing that, but he chose to become my friend. Doesn't that say a lot about him? He's truly the best. Tanner (one of Garrett's best childhood friends), Garrett, and I became pretty close for the next couple of years. When they both left on their missions, it was super hard to not have my buddies around to call every so often to do random things together. I wrote Garrett and Tanner, but Garrett consistently wrote me. There was a spell of about six or seven months where I didn't write him, mainly because of work and school. It was awful of me, but at Christmas time, he sent me a card with a picture of him and his companion and a letter. Once again, he could have never written me again, but he chose to still keep in touch. There were so many times where his letters would come on the exact day I needed words of encouragement and stories of missionary successes (along with some Teddy Grahams to comfort me). In April, it was such a blessing for missionaries to be able to start emailing friends. From that point on, I was able to look forward to writing Garrett and getting an email from him on Monday mornings. Those emails were so sustaining for me and I think it really strengthened both of us in many ways. We were able to share so many spiritual experiences with each other that we did not have time to convey in a written letter. He came home about a month ago (two years sometimes is too long) and giving him a hug at his homecoming almost didn't seem real, but it was the best thing to finally see him again. I'm so grateful we were able to do a few things together before I moved (already looking forward to Christmas to be back with friends and family). He made a choice to get to know me better about five years ago and I'm so grateful for that choice. He has gotten me through a lot and I'll forever be grateful to him. Thank you for making the choice to always be there for me and thank you for letting me be there for you, too. 

Last Fall, I was driving home one snowy night from school and I was really struggling with hanging in there and enduring to the end with a few trials I was going through at the time. I was stuck in traffic on South Temple, listening to the radio, and stressed about trying to get home (really the least of my worries, though) when I heard James Taylor start to softly sing:

"When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right. Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am I'll come running to see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, you've got a friend." 

Instantly, I felt like I had been given a warm embrace from my Savior. It was the most gentle and strong feeling all at once. I remember crying and being filled with so much love and gratitude. My worries and doubts melted away and I had the resolve to continue moving forward with faith. So, it was truly wonderful to hear James sing that song, in person, and to remember those sweet feelings. It made me realize how much I have been helped since that evening last Fall; how much I've been helped by the Savior my entire life. Do I call on the Savior daily? Do I consciously make the choice to seek him and receive him into my life? I absolutely must do those things, because I have come to know when I rely on the Savior, He can make my life infinitely better than anything I could do on my own. He truly is my best friend and He always is there for us, no matter what hour or what condition we are in. We just need to constantly make the effort to let Him in and He blesses us with these tender experiences and the best people (like Garrett) to get through life. We are dear and precious to Him; He will never forsake us. I know He will pick us up and embrace us in our hour of need, because I've felt of that love and that embrace we can so easily receive from the Savior.

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