― George Bernard Shaw
Here I am at almost 48 years, and I still find myself thinking about the experiences I have had that have shaped me. Some are smears of friendships and places and events, where I can't seem to pinpoint dates or details. But some things stand out in full color. Full HD. Each of these kinds of experiences has led me to where I am, from my major in college to my marriage, to my now. But you know what I have always known? I have always known that God loves me and has things for me to do. While not necessarily an over-achiever, I have had a sense of purpose for as long as I can remember. Not an "I am going to change the world" kind of purpose, but more of an, "I can do that and help people while I do" kind. And all of these years later I can finally say I am pretty good at two things that I thought I would mention here, more as an exercise in self-realization than an exercise in bragging.
I am a bridge-builder
From the time I was in junior high school I have had friends from different groups. Somehow I have been able to make friendships just as easily with people that share my interests as with those who don't. I had friends who hung out in the smoking section at my high school (yup, a note from your parents gave you permission to smoke in a certain courtyard behind the building), friends on my basketball team, friends from choir. And I have had opportunities to bring people together when needed. I was able to do some of this today as a friend confided in me and asked advice on how to solve a certain concern she has with a mutual friend.
I have my own mind
Although I care about others' opinions of me, I have finally gotten to a place where I can just be. I am not overly stubborn, but I am not easily swayed either. I am confident in my interpretations of situations, and feel like I can read people quickly without being judgmental in a negative way.
I believe the Lord has blessed me with these things. What gifts do you have?
In the Doctrine and Covenants section 46 we read: 11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. 12 To some is given one and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.