I had the coolest experience this morning as I met with an amazing woman, Amanda (name has been changed). I want to share her story with all moms so you can see how God is doing His work!
Amanda is a 33-year-old single, oldest of five sisters, Polynesian woman. Her culture has a strong belief in never showing weakness and honoring family traditions. She has been taught to be strong and overcome all weakness with family support, laughing, faith, connection, food, celebration, etc.
But recently, she has found this doesn’t always work; sometimes you need more.
She and her siblings are struggling with similar symptoms of depression. When Amanda approached her parents about it, her parents also said they struggle with the same symptoms. Her niece who has been suicidal and attempted twice, obviously is struggling too.
But she nor her family members have ever sought help or told anyone; not even a family doctor.
When I met with her today, the Spirit was so strong! I want to share some of the ideas and thoughts that came to my mind as we spoke and later as I wrote her a follow-up note.
Here are those thoughts:
Healing Comes When We Do What God is Leading Us To
Amanda, please understand you are the expert. You must follow the spirit and the revelation you receive. I am also following the revelation I am feeling this morning to write to you. You are my sister in the gospel seeking answers. God will give them just to you.
It is my testimony that healing comes when we do what God is leading us to for our healing. Often we lean to our own understanding and we miss God’s message that is leading us to the healing we need.
Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches us to, “Trust the Lord with all our hearts; and lean not unto our own understanding.”
It also gives us the formula for courage as we experience the vulnerability of separating ourselves from the family traditions that might not be supporting our ability to trust the Lord and lean on His understanding.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths.”
Sometimes our beliefs, and those of our families are so strong, we fear rejection or disappointing those who have taught us.
We absolutely honor our parents with all our hearts! My dear Polynesian friends we spoke about during our visit, were amazing at caring for and honoring their parents, and I’m sure your family is the same.
Moana, in the Disney movie, followed the inner revelation she received to question the beliefs/ways of her parents and people. At times we must take courage and follow our own revelation. We can come to know how God is trying to direct our path, and perhaps even save our people.
Our Allegiance Is To God
Each week when we take the sacrament, God is trying to remind us that our allegiance should be to Him and His Son because he loves us and wants to be able to heal us and care for our wounds.
Each week as we remember all our Savior did for us and all He is for us, our commitment to follow and remember Him is strengthened. We acknowledge we are willing to honor Christ above all things so He can direct our path.
Even though we love and adore our parents and family, God still asks us to follow Him first and foremost. We have been taught to honor our father and mother, but we must always remember to honor God and His council above all.
Because following God and His council is challenging at times and can cause us to question ourselves and delay our healing, satan starts becoming part of the barrier. His playground is the arena of self-doubt and fear. He uses our desire to love and respect others and our desire to not cause problems or unrest to prevent us from taking steps to our own healing.
John 10:10 teaches us that Christ is offering us an abundant life. It also warns us that satan is a thief who wants to steal that life from us.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
Healing is Never Forced on Us
Because Christ respects our agency, He never forces healing upon us. And sometimes we can pray for years for healing to come, but it doesn’t.
I have noticed in the work I do with thousands of people seeking healing for themselves and their families, that in many instances the reason He doesn’t heal us is because He has already made available the healing for us here in mortality. He has helped train and educate others to bring us that healing. However, because it takes courage and humility to get it, or people might find out or judge us as weak or broken, we don’t go get it. We are afraid.
We must never forget that God created all things spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth (Moses 3:5) All things are created spiritually before they are created physically. This means that all things, like medical discoveries, are created spiritually first.
If we pray to be healed from depression or other illnesses, but never go to receive the medical help or medicines to heal it, it is like the people of Moses who were asked to just look at the brass serpent and would not.
It also makes me think of the example of a broken bone. If a bone is broken and we can feel it and see it, we go get it fixed! However, when things are broken that we can’t clearly see, we think we must hide or ignore them.
This is where satan can have more power because we are isolated in our weakness. We do not have support or the right weapons to fight back with in the battles we face.
Being Open to Healing Takes Humility
God is teaching us that all healing takes a humility to admit that we have a weakness. And then we have to trust that God’s purpose is in it. (Ether 12:27) Then it takes courage to ask for help and then commitment and discipline to follow through with the treatment He leads us to; despite what others may think or say.
The pioneers received revelation and made covenants with God to honor and follow Him. They had to have incredible courage to find the peaceful place God was leading them to, and confidence in doing what they knew through the Spirit was right.
But first they had to go through some persecution and tons of trials and setbacks to get there.
You, my new amazing friend, are a pioneer in your family!
Please know that I believe in you and I’m very inspired to notice that God trusts YOU to be the catalyst for change (the Moana) in your family.
“We are truly sons [and daughters] of the Most High and are endowed with unspeakable potential. We are designed to soar freely through the heavens. We are not meant to be shackled to the earth, imprisoned in straitjackets of our own making”. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf – “Are You Sleeping Through the Restoration?” April 2014 General Conference.)
Declare What is Really True
I often ask my students to rewrite things that have the Spirit in them, like scriptures, hymns and quotes in their own words and keep them where they can see them and memorize them. Declaring what is really true about our divine identity and purpose increases our power to access Christ’s help and power. It gives us the guidance of the Spirit and decreases the power of our common enemy, satan.
Here is Pres Uchtdorf’s quote re-written by a sister in one of my classes.
“I am Truly a daughter of the king, my father, and most high. I am talented with extreme, unique potential. I am WORTH MORE THAN GOLD. I am made to fly Freely FOREVER through his kingdom, and heavens. I am not meant to be torn, shackled, or dragged down to the core of the earth; imprisoned or trapped in a box of my OWN MAKING!” – by Bailey
Pres Uchtdorf goes on to say:
“I testify that the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the transformative power of the Holy Ghost can heal and rescue mankind. It is our privilege, our sacred duty, and our joy to heed the Savior’s call to follow Him with a willing mind and full purpose of heart. Let us “shake off the chains with which [we] are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.”
“Let us be awake and not be weary of well-doing, for we “are laying the foundation of a great work,” even preparing for the return of the Savior.”
(Uchtdorf – “Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/are-you-sleeping-through-the-restoration?lang=eng)
YOU Can Lay the Foundation of a Great Work
Amanda, you are full of courage and well-doing!
You are laying foundations for a great work of healing for you and your family; made possible through our Savior’s atonement. All healing of any form is attributed to Christ and his power…even the advances in science that lead to the creation of medication that support us in our mortal weakness. When we take advantage of these gifts, we are allowing our Savior, Jesus Christ to do his great work to save us and our families.
Great battles can make great heroes,
but heroes will make great battle.
You will never have a better opportunity to be a greater hero in a more crucial battle than in the battle you will face today and in the immediate future.
Be warned that some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul. (Ezra T. Benson “In His Step” Sept 1988, Ensign)
YOU ARE A HERO!!!
If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, depression or other self-harm concerns, please check out our Daughters of Light program at Life Changing Services. You can work with a licensed therapist and find healing.
Karen Broadhead is the Parent Support Specialist at Life Changing Services and Founder and Director of Mothers Who Know, a free online support program for all mothers. If you would like to meet with Karen, please schedule a free online visit with her HERE.