I Never Left You

I never left you.
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Sometimes we feel obligated to be someone everyone else expects us to be. We get entangled in everything but the main focus—Jesus Christ.
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He wants us to be ourselves. He doesn’t want me to be you, nor does he want you to be me. He wants us to be unique.
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About two weeks before general conference, I issued a challenge to a dear friend. I challenged her to draw a photo of Christ. As she’s struggled with anxiety, mental health, and other extreme trials, I asked her to try to hear Him. She accepted the challenge and has focused on the Savior for the past few weeks.
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In this photo, we see the pure heart. We see a daughter of God. We see the emotion of a daughter of God. We see firsthand, through her eyes, how she sees the Lord and how she knows He sees her.
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From the artist, “At first I went at it to create something people would want to see…but I felt no connection doing it that way. I thought about it, and then it ended up coming out as a personal experience. This past year, I felt alone; however, I knew I was being watched from above, even though I felt alone in my pleas.
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I would take off and hide to avoid capture after running in the street, and I would just sob. I cried—My pleas of putting to rest that “horrible part of my brain” felt ignored. I cried that I was hurting people.
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I was so upset and angry that I could continue doing this despite it being against my moral standards and beliefs.
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Whatever it is, there was a reason I was left to behave that away. There’s a reason why I’m uninjured and alive. There are so many reasons why things happened the way they did.
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I look back now and realize I wasn’t alone. I never was. I didn’t recognize it at the time, because I assumed the spirit surely wouldn’t stick with someone making the choices I did.
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That’s why I have named this photo “I never left you.” “
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Art by Courtney Earnhart

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