As Easter approaches, we get to take a tiny moment in our busy lives, to embrace and remember the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He suffered unbearable pain in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we can be healed from all of our afflictions. He died on the cross to complete the act of His infinite atonement so that we could once again return to our Heavenly Father’s presence.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 25:8
Several years ago when I was diagnosed Bipolar disorder, I didn’t want to accept it. That wasn’t who I was I told myself. I’m not “broken” I’m completely normal. I don’t need to be on medication when this is something that I can manage on my own. In fact, I thought I could do it ALL on my own. Not just manage my mental state, but everything that was going on in my life. I was a busy stay-at-home mother of 4 with a home business, trying to run a household, and several other plates that I was balancing, including the state of my mental health. I told myself, “I’m not so different than everyone else, that I can’t do it just like everyone else”, (at least that’s what I was thinking. Now I know better, that no one is really doing it all). What I was forgetting is THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT. It is, in fact, the only way. And it took me a long time to really figure that out. It is through His Atonement that we can seek to heal our broken souls. It is through Him, that our burdens become light.
He is the one that we can run to when we are broken, the one who heals us and makes us feel whole again. He does what none of us can do for ourselves.
He mends our broken souls and minds and his only plea is Come…. Follow ME.
This past couple of years I have had the unique opportunity to attend mid-week worship services outside of our normal Sunday worship. In my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better know as Mormons), we have a building that is called the temple and there are many throughout the world. Going every week is quite a commitment as it takes up several hours of the day (especially since it is about an hour drive each way), but it has been such a huge blessing in my life and has taught me so much about myself and about my Savior and the Gospel. As I have witnessed the people who come each week, I am deeply impressed by the commitment that it takes for some individuals to be there. At this time in my life it is relatively easy to rearrange my schedule to make time for it. And my health and situation allow for it. I don’t take for granted that it may not always be like this. When my children were little, I was not able to have this opportunity so often. But for now, I rejoice in the opportunity to serve, that the Lord has allowed me at this time in my life.
On one particular day, I was deeply touched by one woman that had obviously gone to great lengths to be there. I was late getting there. I had felt an unusual pull that I needed to be there at that particular time. The weather was terrible and thus, traffic was a nightmare. I became extremely anxious thinking I wasn’t going to make it. Normally, I would not have been too stressed about it. If I didn’t make it in time it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But for some reason on this particular day I felt extremely drawn to be there. I made it, though almost too late. I ended up being one of the last ones there but still in time for a few other latecomers to make it in. And then a certain woman came into the room. There was a hush as she struggled to her seat. She was wearing the kind of crutches that attach to your arms and she hobbled precariously to her seat. Her hands were deformed and her breathing labored. It was not easy for her to be there. Several times throughout the service she struggled and it was obvious that this was very difficult for her. I could tell that she felt “broken” as it shown on her face. Though there was something else that shown even more and that was sheer determination and love for the Lord and this Gospel!
I learned something that day that I will carry with me always. Never, ever, take for granted how easy it is for me to serve so often at this time in my life. And second, it is not about me! Yes we serve God to get closer to Him and to learn and grow. But this life is not about us. We are here to minister to one another, to look outside ourselves for opportunities to help others in their quest for truth and light. It doesn’t take much for us to fix a meal, or write a card, or telephone someone we’ve been thinking about. It doesn’t take much for us to give a little bit of ourselves to help someone’s burden become lighter, to help someone feel a little less “broken”.
I read a recent article by Carole M. Stephens entitled The Master Healer in it she says, “As we increase our understanding of the doctrine of Christ, we soon discover that we are developing a deeper understanding of “the great plan of happiness.” We also recognize that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is at the very heart of the plan.”
She continues, “When we learn how to apply the doctrine of Christ to our individual circumstances, our love for our Savior grows. And we recognize “that regardless of perceived differences, all of us are in need of the same infinite Atonement.” We realize that He is our foundation—“the rock of our Redeemer, … a sure foundation … whereon if [we] build [we] cannot fall.”
I have often thought about how God made each of us as individuals, unique in our own special and eloquent ways. We each have our own set of behaviors, character traits, problems, talents, trials, successes and failures. Not one of us alike, and yet not so different in so many ways. Although, sometimes we feel like we are totally alone and that there is no one that feels the way we do about what is happening in our lives. I am sure that is the way this woman felt that day. But, God also gave us each other, to help us along in our journey through this mortal probation. We are not alone! He also gave us a gift that is beyond our comprehension. He gave us his only begotten Son, the Savior of the world. A Savior who loves, cares, and suffered for us, so that we can overcome all that this life throws at us. I am eternally grateful for that! Let us turn to Him in times of heartache and sorrow. Let us glorify him in times of health and prosperity. He has given us so much, even our very lives. Though we are broken… He is the Healer!