Two years ago in November, I wrote about my little 7th grade friend who I was helping out. Just in case you don’t remember, Savannah was the one who I had mentored at BYU and who was from a very broken home. Months after the mentor program, I ran into her at the grocery store randomly. After giving her my number and telling her to call me if she needed anything, she called me one night asking me to take her to the hospital to see her mom who had a stroke. For the next couple weeks, we really bonded and I began to love this girl so much as I served her.

Well, a lot of stuff happened and she ended up in the hospital. Savannah had a lot of issues, but who can blame her when you have zero support at home. We lost contact because the phone numbers I had of hers all were out of order. I tried everything that I could, even calling the hospital and stopping by her parents’ apartments. But I never was able to reach her again. Needless to say, I cried a lot thinking that I had just lost a close friend.

The last time I actually saw her was the day before Thanksgiving. She had told me that the year before, they were living in a motel room and had mac & cheese for dinner. I wanted her to have a real Thanksgiving dinner and so, with help from a couple of friends, I brought over a dinner to her family. I have never had such an enjoyable Thanksgiving as that year. It felt so wonderful to help a family in need and helped me realize that, even in Provo, there are people who need our help.

Anyway, Savannah has been on my mind this week since it’s been two years exactly. I thought at the time that I was in her life to help her and to be an example for her. I’m sure I did help her to some extent, but I know now that she was in my life for a short time to teach me about service.

That experience showed me that true love and gratitude come directly from service. As we serve others, in true humility, we will have a softened hard and become selfless.

I challenge you, as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, to serve those around you. Make an effort to help someone, and you will be amazed at how fast you feel the light of Christ in your life.

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