Nicole Marie Hilton
There is not much value in regret, especially when your whole life lays ahead of you. Change what you can and turn the rest over to God. With Christ, our greatest mistakes and trials can be turned to wisdom.
May 30, 2021
First of all, I apologize that it’s taken me this long to write. So many things have happened (haha… that’s the understatement of the century), and I haven’t been able to find my voice yet—until now.
Last night, I had a horrible dream. In it, I was 18 again—just starting fresh at college who-knows-where, and I got my bachelor’s degree, then my master’s—and then, even going so far as to get my doctorate degree. (I can’t remember what it was in, but that’s not important.)
It took sooo much toil and strife to become what I had become: a professional in my field—extremely knowledgeable, published, respected by all, and surrounded by friends who understood and loved me.
In my dream, I had been given a button that if I were to press, would send me back to when I was eighteen and just starting out in college.
Well, one day, somehow, in my older age, it got pressed. And I was 18 again. Everything I had learned, all that I had gained, drained out of my brain (try as I would to hold onto it). I had a perfect body again, but everything I was, was gone.
I woke up early, horrified. But then I knew what I had to do: write again. So here I am—writing this on my phone—trying to put the words and ideas I have running through my brain to the page.
So, two ideas; the first one is that before The Jump, I had become a consummate professional in keeping myself healthy first spiritually, then emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially.
But it is as though I’ve hit a reset button. Like, things I once knew, I don’t know so well anymore. The good habits and discipline I had developed before are all gone—I had a system, a daily plan that really worked for me, you know? Get up at 7:30, say prayers—sincerely—for an hour or at least until I could feel the spirit (while pondering the whole time in my head the many quotes on my “prayer wall” I had created down by the floor), study my scriptures, bike the six mile loop (while listening the whole time to James B. Cox—or something equally powerful), get showered and dressed, go to my mission, come home and write, then hang out with family and friends until I went to bed. So, there’s a lot of regret now that I’m dealing with an injured brain and legs that don’t work at all, and all of my good habits from before have gone down the drain.
You see, unlike all my other suicide attempts—where I committed suicide because I was depressed, or confused, or angry at God—this attempt was completely different! And I mean, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Instead of being suicidal because I’d just been raped or tortured or programmed or in utter despair over my life’s circumstances—I was pressed to end my happy life by a 3-day long all-out attack from what may have been Satan himself.
It’s like a “reset button” has been pressed, it seems. Without the use of my legs, or my memory, the good habits it had taken years to set up and find out what worked for me are gone. Now, I am back at the starting line in so many ways—
Okay, second idea: is that now—after The Jump—there is all this new knowledge I have gained (besides the old knowledge and use of my legs I’ve lost): about who I am, about what I’m actually supposed to be doing here, about heaven and seeing the most welcome sight in the universe—Jesus Christ walking towards me—a huge smile on His face, arms wide open, ready to embrace me in the most healing hug in the universe… would I give that up for a “reset button” and the use of my legs back? Sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, the thought flits through my brain—yes. But then, when I really stop to think about it, the answer is NO! Not just because of my memories of heaven, but because I have this little inkling of hope that that welcome scene is going to happen: getting myself back, stronger than ever, living a beautiful life of service and writing, surrounded by friends and loved ones—laughing until tears are streaming from our eyes.