The main idea which stood out to me when my stake president laid his hands on my head and set me apart to serve a full time mission was that I would be blessed to love. Even as he said it, I selfishly wished that he blessed me instead to be loved. Though I do not always comprehend, I know the blessing he gave me is far greater than the one I hoped for. It is greater to love than to be loved, harder too. On my mission, I many times prayed that I may love those around me. Many times I was able to love them and focus upon them, rather than on me.
I miss that blessing. Now I am as I was before: I want to be loved. I want to be noticed, valued, cared for. I am seeking affirmation. All of that I want on my terms. I’m waiting around for someone to tell me I am spectacular. I do not want to do anything to gain that approval. I just want to be. The truth is, when I laze around, I am not all that spectacular. I am far from living up to my potential. The truth is, as long as I am focused on others loving me, I am missing the point.
I miss being a set apart missionary, because I miss that blessing. That blessing, however, is not limited to me as a missionary. Love is not just an attribute of a missionary, but a defining characteristic of Jesus Christ. Now, even now, I, even me, can be filled with Christ-like love. Moroni (Moroni 7:47) invites us to pray for that love, with all of our energy. It is not that I should pray for that love, so others will love me in return. Rather, I should seek to have Christ-like love that I may be like Jesus Christ.