Words to two of my favorite hymns have been on repeat in my mind this week:
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
The other, a primary song:
He promised he would send
The Holy Ghost to comfort us,
Our true, eternal friend.
Sometimes thorny ways get a bad rap… Mostly because of the image associated with it. I mean, who wants the prickly, pokey parts of life? However, over the past couple of years (and again this very week), as I have walked the thorny paths of life I have learned about friendship with our Savior and the Holy Ghost.
It has been a pretty brutal month for me with full-time work and added full-time school. After 14-hour days of homework, 8-hour work shifts, and 5 tests, I failed in my objective. It was painful. Failure doesn’t feel cozy. It’s pretty prickly.
However, looking back over my week, I can see the exact people placed in my path to help me endure the thorny path. The companionship on the thorny path is holy and sacred. Members of the Godhead are with you along the way. Often on the path, you also get to meet angels who are inspired by your Heavenly Friends to help too.
As I was standing at work stressed out of my mind worrying about how I would finish everything, my friend walked up and asked how my progress was going. I expressed concern for meeting my deadlines and she immediately jumped into action. She found a way for herself and other coworkers to cover for me so I could go home and study. After about 6 hours of homework, the umpteenth tear-filled breakdown occurred. It was 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Typically I would be at work, but since my coworkers sent me home, that’s where I was. Suddenly I heard a knock at the door — a neighbor had stopped by to drop off a slice of tres leches cake that she just thought I would enjoy. Another time, when I was stuck and frustrated on an accounting problem, an accountant brother called at just that moment to see how my coursework was going. Best of all, on Saturday the week before, the temple matron reached out to see if I might be willing to serve in the temple this weekend. She could not have known that I would fail in a big way only 12 hours before the assigned shift started. Through each of these moments, I came to know that God was in the details of my life and was meeting my needs through other people.
Through the process, when I got stuck I would pause, look up at a picture of the Savior, or pray earnestly. My prayers changed and I became so honest and direct about how I was feeling. I felt the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
After I found out the news of failure, I was blessed to receive a priesthood blessing almost immediately. The Spirit filled my heart with peace. As I drove home between Salt Lake and Provo, I had an experience with the Spirit that helped me once again to feel God’s love.
To me, the thorny way has provided a closeness with the Godhead that I didn’t know I needed. I have come to know my Savior and His goodness. I believe in Christ. I believe He walks with us on the path. I believe the Spirit embraces us with warmth and comfort. I believe that Heavenly Father is in the details of our life and that He never leaves us to walk the path alone.
So instead of avoiding the thorny path, I invite you to — when you are going through struggles and trials — open your eyes and find out if you can see Them. They are there.
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.