Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thy Faith hath made thee Whole

There comes a time in all of our mortal journeys when we are faced with the ultimate choice: whether to become angry with God, blame Him for the unfairness of life and shun Him or whether to fall to our knees and plead for His help and for faith. I remember facing those two roads. For the first time in my life I had been beset with such a soul crushing trial that I truly wondered if there could be a loving God and what I had done to deserve such pain. I felt as if He had deserted me. When I looked down that dark road of anger and pain and loneliness I could not bear to go down it. So, I fell to my knees and plead and sobbed to find a better way, to have faith.

Almost immediately, miracles began to unfold. The burden was not completely lifted, not all at once. But line upon line, precept upon precept, gradually and miraculously like the sun breaking through the darkness of a moonless night I began to see and hope again. One day, I will write about the trial, but it is not nearly so important as the path I found to healing.

That path was my Savior, Jesus Christ and his Atonement. It began with a heaven sent Priesthood blessing that dispelled some of the awful darkness. I no longer felt like I was suffocating and alone. It was still dark, but I could quite literally feel angels surrounding. I felt distinctly that they were mine and my husband's ancestors. I watched my baby girl, my sweet little angel given to me to keep me grounded through this trial, get up and take her first steps to me that very day. And I knew that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and that He would guide me. I was lead to all the right resources and reading material and support that I needed. I was never alone. I came to believe that my Savior did have the power to heal me and my family.

The visiting teaching message for March is what inspired me to finally write this piece. What touched me most was this scripture story: "The scriptures tell us that in our earthly life, we should 'be patient in afflictions, for [we shall] have many.' God then gives us this comforting promise, 'Endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days' (D&C 24:8).
The following Bible story is an example of patience and faith.
woman looking at Savior
'And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years … touched the border of [Christ’s] garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched [stopped].
'And Jesus said, … Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
'And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
'And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace' (Luke 8:43–48).
Like her, we can find blessings and comfort, and even healing, as we reach out to Jesus Christ—whose Atonement can heal us."

I love how in this story the Savior humbly attributes her miraculous healing to her own faith. By so doing, He teaches all of us that we all have the power already within ourselves to be healed if we will only have faith. But I think too often we get swept up in the world's definition of "whole" - the perfect smiling family, perfect health, perfect house, perfect vacations, perfect job, perfect figure. Too often we wonder why the Lord hasn't made our lives perfect when we exercise faith. We look at others with their seemingly perfect lives and think they must have a more perfect faith. Or worse, we begin to doubt and lose faith. But no matter how perfect anyone else seems, remember that we are ALL broken within in one way or another - we do not know or understand the private struggles of the mother with the perfect hair and makeup and home, or the high powered CEO, or the privileged children who seem to have everything handed to them. That mother might be suffering from depression, that CEO might be losing his family, those children might crave an absent parent's love and attention. We are all broken and we all struggle even if we can't see it. 

Only our faith in the Savior and His Atonement can make us whole. And by whole I do not mean picture perfect by the world's utterly imperfect standards. I mean whole within ourselves, in our own hearts. It is our hearts that He is trying to make whole, not our entire lives. The woman in the story was whole in her heart and her faith before she ever touched His garment and that was of far greater eternal worth. So "be of good comfort," and have faith. I know that when we exercise even a particle of faith the Lord will magnify it immeasurably. And whether or not you brought your trials upon yourself, no matter the lies and discouragement you have heaped upon yourself, He will see you through them if you turn to Him. He will heal you.

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