Over and over again, the prophets in the scriptures remind us to think about and reflect, to remember — and today, I was doing just that. I took some time to remember where I was just one year ago this week.
For any who have been following my story, you might recall that just one year ago, my life wasn’t looking so hot. At that time I was sick as a dog, falling out of the hospital bed with a team of doctors feverishly surrounding me trying to figure out what was going on. I was unable to even go to the bathroom by myself. Under those circumstances, I felt discouraged and ready to give up. It felt like there was no end in sight, and certainly no light at the end of the tunnel.
Now looking back, I can see so many of the good things that I would have missed out on if I would have chosen to quit. So today I write to anyone who is having a hard time. Maybe you feel alone or frustrated, overwhelmed or afraid. Perhaps you feel that no one notices you or even cares. I plead with you to hold on. People always told me that it would get better… Well, a year later I’m here to tell you that it does get better. It doesn’t happen all at once. Life isn’t a picnic, I won’t lie to you, but life has good and beautiful parts that are awaiting juxtaposed with the darkness, sorrow, and opposition.
Don’t get me wrong. My life isn’t perfect or easy, but I realized today that I am happy — or at least have happy moments. In those circumstances, that was an emotion that I thought I would ever be able to feel again. I feel moments of peace. I feel moments of joy. I have moments when I smile for no reason at all. I feel hope for the future. I feel loved. I feel remembered by God, my friends, and my family. I feel safe.
For every tear of sorrow and sadness that I felt during that difficult time I have been blessed one hundred fold. My trials didn’t magically disappear and I still get to work on them every single day, but I can see growth. It is truly the best gift God could have possibly given me.
More than anything, I wish I had a magic solution to share with everyone. Just do this and this and you will be happy again. Unfortunately, I don’t have that. However, I can wholeheartedly endorse refusing to quit. Simply don’t quit. You keep walking. There is hope and happiness ahead. As Elder Jefferey R. Holland said:
“Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. Moroni spoke of it in the Book of Mormon as ‘hope for a better world.’ For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of ‘good things to come'” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” October 1999).
So today I want to add my witness that there are good things to come. There is respite. There is hope. There is healing. There is joy to be had. If you are in a hard spot, keep going! And if you are on the other end of a difficult trial, stop remember and look back to see how far you have come.
Wherever you are, please don’t give up.
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.