So this next little blurb is a secret. And by secret I mean it just happens to be something I haven’t said out loud yet. #norealsecretsinmylife
It’s a parable. Slash Aha moment. Slash whatever.
Before my mission I was terribly concerned about being liked. I think we all are to an extent. Unless you suffer from anti-social personality disorder. Hashtag, I just took my last exam for abnormal psych. Hashtag, real life application.
The point is this: I wanted everyone I met on my mission to like me.
Well. If you know anything about missionary work, I was setting myself up for failure.
Let me tell you right here, right now, this simple truth:
Not everyone is going to like you. And it’s okay.
And while I learned this one slammed door in my face after another, God was merciful enough to teach me a secondary lesson.
It was a lesson in self-worth.
I was sitting in the home of a member I thought very highly of. My charismatic trainer had already bonded with this family. They seemed to be old friends. I was amazed at how easily the conversation flowed between two people who were essentially strangers.
I wanted to be liked. I opened my mouth. Out of it came a meaningless comment I hoped would win the approval of our company.
I’ll never forget the look this sister in our ward gave me. It was one of confusion. But it was a confusion that shook my soul. Her look seemed to come with a multitude of questions that left me silent and introspective.
I was left realizing that instead of truly trying to add meaning and value to the conversation, I was acting selfishly. I worried more about myself than about my fellow brothers and sisters.
This moment was penetrating.
Then, the spirit spoke to my heart. God had placed me in a corner of his kingdom with some of the most unassuming, unpretentious, down to earth individuals I would ever meet. They didn’t want me to impress them. They didn’t want me to be something I was not. They wanted me to be Sister Buchanan. Somehow, that was enough for them. And then it hit me. It was enough for God, too.
Suddenly, I saw myself as enough.
Relief and resolution rushed through me.
No more would I pretend to be something I was not.
No more would I play a part.
No more would I seek for the approval of the crowd.
I was enough for God. And that was enough for me.
The people of Montana taught me how to be real. They taught me how to be me. It’s a knowledge I am grateful for every day.
The ability to say things as they really are became invaluable to me as a missionary.
Being commissioned to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is not about pleasing people. It’s about inviting others to come unto Christ.
Luckily, I found out who I was.
I was Sister Emmilie Buchanan, a disciple of Christ.
I had been called to offer my gifts, my talent, my testimony and my heart to the people of Montana. God didn’t want me to be my companion. He didn’t want me to be my district leader or my zone leader. He didn’t want me to be my mission president. He wanted ME.
The words of Mormon were etched on my heart as I labored among the dear people of my mission.
“Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life.” (3 Nephi 5:13)
Our mission recited this verse every day.
Remember these truths every day. Remember that whether you have been called to the Netherlands, Australia, Kansas or Temple Square, there is a reason.
You are enough. You are a disciple of Christ.
Go forth. Preach. Be real. Be you. Be enough.