Hope Works

Feeling Joy in the Midst of Struggle | Abby Stephens

Description

Abby had life by the tail. She was 23 years old and engaged to marry the love of her life, Cole. But one week before the “big day” their lives changed forever. While they were on a road trip together, Cole accidentally veered the car toward oncoming traffic, and then he overcorrected and flipped the car. Abby was rushed to the hospital with a broken neck. She and Cole were told that she was quadriplegic and would never walk again.

During the difficult days and months that followed, Abby wondered if she’d ever feel happy again. So, she decided that instead of feeling sorry for herself, she’d try to shift her focus to feelings of gratitude. Was she happy all the time? Of course not. Were there tears of heartache and frustration? Yes. But as she focused on being grateful, she began to feel joy. She was grateful to be alive! She was grateful that she had family members, friends, and her fiancé to support and comfort her.

But as Abby continued, she replaced negative thoughts with positive ones. She’d visualize Jesus Christ healing her. Abby knew if it was His will, she could receive a blessing to be healed. After many priesthood blessings, a miracle happened. Her foot moved. Then her left hip and body. Three months after the accident, with the help of physical therapists and weeks of hard work, she was able to walk out of the hospital.

Twenty-two years later, Abby still has no movement in her right arm and she walks awkwardly, but she is grateful to be married to Cole and to have four children.

Not everyone receives the physical healing they seek. We all struggle with life’s tough moments. It’s OK to feel the frustrations of life. And it’s OK to want to feel joy. And for Abby, whether she was healed on not, she knew one way to feel joy was through gratitude and faith.

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