Hearthaven Publishing

12 Step Materials for the Latter-day Saint Community

A few days ago, during my early morning scripture study, I came across these words in Isaiah:

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness . . . (Isaiah 61:3)

And these words in Luke:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18, emphasis added.)

As I read the precious words recorded by Luke, spoken by the Savior Himself, I wept at how much I have come to identify with each of those descriptive phrases: “the brokenhearted,” “the captives,” “the blind,” and especially, “them that are bruised.”  How tender it is to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ not only cares that we are being stabbed and lacerated as He was, but He cares that we are “simply” being bruised.

The word “bruised” fits so well for those of us who have lived with “invisible” violence.  Like a bruise, this kind of damage is done just under the surface, hidden behind a thin skin of “fineness.”  Because the blood never quite leaks out, the wounds are easily hidden.  They never get messy or obvious enough for anyone to even know they’re happening.  However, I have learned firsthand for myself, that God knows they’re happening and He is not pleased.  It was upon His own testimony directly to me, that I was given my liberty to divorce myself from a life-time of absorbing the invisible violence of emotional and spiritual abuse.

The words in Isaiah, “To appoint [deliverance] to them that mourn in Zion” also held a great key to my deliverance.  I see now that though I did a lot of mourning during the twenty-three years of my marriage, I was not doing my mourning in Zion, and thus could not receive the Savior’s counsel or comfort in any complete way.  I realize, today, that I could not enter into Zion in those married years because I was serving the god of my own lust after the “perfect family,” more than I was serving the God of Zion, even the Lord Jesus Christ.  I was obsessed with the lie that I could somehow qualify myself to enter into Zion and find peace and rest in Her King.

Read Part 2 tomorrow.

~Colleen H.

©2012 Hearthaven Publishing. All rights reserved.

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