What if you knew my story could heal you? Would you want to read it? What if I wasn’t ready to share it. Infact, I doubted the power that lies in my tale. What if you weren’t sure you wanted to hear it? Because you would be responsible for the knowledge like an experimental rat who gets shocked for tapping the wrong lever.
I know this may sound like a mythical tale where you open the book and magically you are healed but if anything life has taught me the power to overcome, endure, and survive lies in sharing, receiving and applying each other’s stories.
So why aren’t more people healed you may ask, we share stories daily. Often we are sharing the wrong stories. The tales we must tell aren’t the ones that make you laugh or entertain, however these stories do have their place and we often select them because of their safety. They are the ones we try to forget like materials stuffed tight in the back of a storage room. So far removed that we are not even sure what is inside it anymore. The stories you would like to forget and almost do and in silent moments come creeping into your consciousness. It’s like looking down and discovering an unwanted insect has landed on your shoulder.
But our stories, shared honestly create a sense of community that is so comforting. One of our deepest fears is that only we have experienced this feeling when in reality so many of us are living the same feelings under different circumstances. The general rule I try to live by is if I share my secrets the only things left to do is offer my story to heal and give meaning to other people’s stories.
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Unlike some I already knew the answers to those questions.
I am a child of God. I am here to learn and grow and make and keep covenants to get me back into my Father’s presence. I will be returning home one day. So why then do I feel so uncertain and doubt what it really is I am supposed to do? Why don’t I know my specific purpose and how am I supposed to figure it out?
I guess my testimony came at a cost. A price that I never thought was expected of such a little child. Infact, I was so furious that God would expect me to come to Him on this path that I doubted His very existence.
I have never really doubted the prophets and the scriptures, but I had problems with the very foundation of the gospel. I couldn’t understand how a loving Father in heaven could allow one of his tender children to be sexually abused;. No loving God would do that. My young mortal mind couldn’t put the pieces together and therefore doubted in His existence.
It was a confusing hurtful time for me. The abuse had happened years before but when i was struggling with puberty and all of the crazy emotions that accompany it, that the gravity of my situation became quite unbearable. To add to the confusion of the situation I was struggling with an addiction. I was caught up in Satan’s lies and deceptions about what could bring me happiness.
I couldn’t see any way out. My self worth was dramatically decreased and I began loathing my very existence. Sin and abuse made me despise myself with a hatred and a shame that overwhelmed me. I didn’t know how to share these feelings with loved ones and my outcome was looking bleak.
One afternoon I had lost all hope and I had decided that my life was of no value and I would have to end it. So I decided on drinking a small bottle of my mom’s jewellery cleaner. I had gone upstairs to my bathroom and locked the door. Before I could get any liquid into my mouth my whole body crumbled to the floor and in one last plea of desperation I just asked, “Father can you love me? Can you love something so despicable, wretched and unclean as me?”
The answer that followed would change my life. Right there on the bathroom floor I felt heavenly arms wrap around me and envelop me in a love so pure and beautiful. All my pain and hatred was swept away. I knew it was God’s purest love for me and that it encompassed everything and knew everything but loved me anyways. I guess I could say on the floor of my bathroom would be the place that I found out God loves all his children. That He is our eternal Father and his son Jesus Christ held me that day. Although I did not see Him that day, God held me and he did “wipe all tears from [my] eyes” (rev 21:4). I wasn’t made whole in an instant. I would actually need to go and see my bishop and settle some issues. But he did renew my hope and he filled my cup of faith and love. That day I found out for sure that I was a child of God. I knew it. I felt it and it changed the way that I saw myself. It softened my heart of how I felt about Him and kept me hear travelling on this road of faith. It also helped me see others with a softer light.
“Most suffering is self inflicted but some is caused or permitted by God. This sobering reality calls for deep submissiveness, especially when God does not remove the cup from us. In such circumstances when reminded about the premortal shouting for joy as this life’s plan was unfolded, we can perhaps be pardoned if, in some moments, we wonder what all the shouting was about. (Neil A Maxwell. ) “
(halfway through this story, I had to walk away from my computer, this story hurts because I can feel that little struggling girl, wanting so bad to know truth, wanting to remember the things she can’t remember. So I went to my bed and laid on my back and poured out my heart to my loving Father in Heaven. I told him this was hard and that I needed some encouragement.
The last conference ensign Nov 2014 was on my bed and I opened it up to the end of L. Tom Perry’s final address. I read “ Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we have the opportunity to teach children a lesson which will have a lasting effect on their young lives… A successful parent should never be too busy to capture a moment in a child’s life when an important lesson can be taught.
It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more. We have a great and noble heritage of parents giving up almost everything they possess to find a place where they could rear their families with faith and courage so the next generation would have greater opportunities than had been theirs. We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior. Nov 2014). This gave me courage to come back and keep writing. ) However, for this post I am going to end here.