Ultimately, It Is the Spirit That Heals

Ultimately, It Is the Spirit That Heals

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Ultimately, It Is the Spirit That Heals

. . . They had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed . . .

3 Ne. 7:22

According to an Oprah show on abuse, one in every two women will be abused at some point in her lifetime, a sign of the degenerate times we live in and a warning to women and the mothers of daughters everywhere.

Unfortunately, most LDS women who have been abused neither report nor address it, wrongfully assuming the damage will go away as they more fully live the gospel, which is utter nonsense. Recovering from abuse requires professional help, which fortunately the Church offers.

I was sexually molested by my brother on a regular basis for six years between the ages of ten and sixteen. I buried the horrible experience deep within my soul until my late thirties. When my sister suffered a breakdown that was founded in the abuse she suffered at the hands of the same person, I checked myself into therapy, fearing the same breakdown.

I hated it. I dreaded it. I skipped many a session that I had to pay for anyway. I could not bring myself to say the words that described what happened to me, so the therapist had me write them down. I typed eleven single-spaced pages.

I angrily answered his questions, begrudgingly read the articles and books he assigned and hesitantly put to work the new behavior he taught me. And, in time, I began to heal.

But I was still mad. Mad that God had allowed this to happen to me. Mad that I had not been born into a family who would love rather than hurt me.

One day when I was driving to the city, I began railing at God in the privacy of my car. With tears streaming down my face, I screamed, “Why, why did you let this happen to me?”

Then I heard a voice.

I thought someone was in the car with me. I looked around, but there was no one.

Then I heard the voice a second time. “Don’t you remember?” it asked.

“Remember what?” I whispered.

Then I had an epiphany, my own personal vision.

I saw myself in a room with my two Heavenly parents. They were explaining to me, “We’re sending you into a tough situation: a mother who does not want another baby, a father who does not want a daughter and a brother who will abuse you.”

I do not know how I continued to drive while I was having this experience, but I did. Perhaps it never really happened. Perhaps it happened in a split second. I do not know.

“But,” they continued, “when you are older, the missionaries will find you and teach you the gospel. And later, you will marry a returned missionary in the temple with whom you will raise four sons who will become to you the brothers you never had.”

That is exactly what happened in my earthly life.

I looked at my Heavenly parents and announced with all the confidence I possess today, “I can do that.”

And that is the inimitable spirit with which I was born, with which I have faced and survived every challenge God has sent my way in this life, including abuse.

When the vision closed, my anger was gone, and I felt peace for the first time since my pre-abuse childhood. And I learned the most important lesson of my mortal experience: that even with our best efforts, ultimately, it is the Spirit that heals.

Patricia Diane

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