In a church that is primarily focused on families, it can be challenging to find your home as a mid-single adult. This past year, I had the chance to make the transition out of a YSA ward. I was trying to feel things out to decide where my place should be when word spread that a new MSA ward was starting in my area.
To be frank, I had very low expectations for this ward because I had always been taught that mid-single adult wards were the island of truly misfit toys. However, the very first week of its creation, I joined with hundreds of others to check it out. As the meeting began, I was unprepared for what was about to happen.
The spirit of the Lord was so strong as a newly called bishop spoke. He talked about how there was nothing in the world too powerful to keep us away from the blessings of the Lord. Nothing that we had done, or were, or struggled with would stop the Lord from granting us His blessings. As I heard those words, they touched my heart so deeply. I wanted all of the blessings that God promised, but wondered if I had missed my chance to receive them.
Bishop further stated that he himself had been a single adult for longer than many, and he would not talk down to us, preach to us about marriage, or make us feel badly about our place. When you are surrounded by well-meaning folks who ask about it constantly and focus on your marital status as a part of your value, what the bishop said is exactly what you need to hear. After a meeting that powerful, I did whatever I could to join myself to its cause.
As you can imagine, with the creation of a new ward, there was nothing in place other than presidents for Relief Society and elders quorum. We didn’t even have an entire bishopric yet. No one knew if this ward would be a success or a failure, but we were in it for the ride.
What I have witnessed over the past 11 months as the pieces have been put together is nothing short of miraculous. Many of us found what we needed. We found a place to worship together in the most real and sincere ways possible. We found a group that is vulnerable, open, and honest about how things are going. We have seen so many people come out of the woodwork and rekindle their faith. We have felt remembered of God, and it has been beautiful.
Rather than viewing myself and my new friends as an island of misfit toys (don’t you worry; there are some strange ones!), I now view this ward as a place of friends. Instead of noticing how odd some of us are, I’m starting to see how much each individual has to offer the world. I have seen how we can come together to support one another in some of the most difficult times in our lives. It truly feels like a ward family.
And it feels like our family found home.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.