Written By: Alyssa Perfili
Every summer for the past 4 years I have looked forward to BBY! And every summer, I leave BBY a better person, because I am reminded of my Heavenly Father's love for me! Well this past summer was no different. I returned home from BBY, to a new house in Oregon. My husband and I had moved just the previous June for work opportunities. We were still trying to learn the area, meet new friends and serve in a new ward. There was no better time for all of this exciting change. I was energized and uplifted from all of my wonderful experiences at camp and I was ready to share my light with the world, or at least the people of Beaverton, Oregon!
About a month after being home from camp, life continued to be full of firsts. My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary, got a puppy and I was diagnosed with cancer. And along with the cancer came a whole new world that would also include many “firsts”.
There were many questions I was constantly asking myself, I didn’t get answers to all of them then, and I still don’t have all of them now, but the most important question was answered: “Does Heavenly Father love me?” The answer is a resounding YES! I was so blessed to have just attended BBY the previous month and to have my spiritual cup so full, otherwise I would have had a harder time receiving that answer.
Why do we ever question that God’s unconditional love? It may be because we are taught by the world that love is conditional, based on how you look, how many followers on Instagram you have, or however the adversary see’s he can bring you down. My Heavenly Father didn’t care that I was bald and had unevenly drawn eyebrows, He cared that I was using my time and short supply of energy trying to improve myself, and serve those around me in any way I could.
He wants each of you to feel His love for you too. Each of us will have our own experiences on how we gain a testimony of His affection. I had to go through cancer treatments to see how truly loved I am for who I am and not for what the world tells me I should be. Elder Uchdorf said, “ Heavenly Father is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today.”
I invite all of you to ponder on your life experiences and find a moment when you too were given a resounding “YES” and felt an outpouring of His love.