Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How I Learned to Visualize Giving My Burdens to the Lord

A few years ago I was suffering from depression and anxiety that was becoming debilitating.
I'd heard of a woman who helped people deal with emotions that were causing physical problems and felt impressed that she might be able to help me- or at least steer me in the right direction.

I went to see Betty Ann.  She was such a peaceful, light and love-filled woman that I immediately felt at ease.

We started with a prayer.  
As we talked it became apparent to Betty Ann and to me that I had some issues I needed to forgive fully.  I felt ready to completely forgive, holding nothing back.

Betty Ann told me to close my eyes and relax.  She told me not to worry if I couldn't see in my mind what she was describing but to pay attention to my feelings.

She told me to imagine I was standing in the light in a beautiful place.  She told me to imagine, with the eye of faith, that I could see my Savior approaching.  I tried to see Him in my mind but I couldn't.  Then I realized I could just listen and feel and it would be alright.

Betty Ann told me to hand Him my burdens- any anger, fear or sadness- and as I visualized handing them to Him, something interesting happened.  They all disappeared.  Vanished.  Swallowed up in His matchless love.  
I felt light and free and like I could finally breathe unrestrained.  
Next she told me to hand Him my heart.  (At this point I made a puzzled noise and she told me to imagine I was handing Him my heart, right out of my chest.)  And I could do it.  I could picture removing my heart, holding it in my hand and feeling how broken it was.  She told me to ask Christ to heal my heart and He did.  It was shattered and broken and half-dead and then, at His touch, it was whole and beautiful and living.
She asked me to ask Him to fill my soul with light and love to heal me and help me. 
The feeling throughout my body was incredible.
The Spirit I felt was peaceful, calm and happy. 
 I knew that although this seemed unorthodox, it was right and good and okay with Heavenly Father.

Before I left Betty Ann's home she counseled me.  Here are the words I wrote down about her counsel.
"Learn who I am and then BE who I am.  Only worry about what Christ thinks of me and then I'll be free to achieve my true potential.
Read my Patriarchal Blessing, the scriptures and the Ensign to figure out WHO I am.  Allow others to be WHO they are.

I feel as though my shattered heart has been put back together and I can resume being myself."

Betty Ann has since passed away.  I am eternally grateful that she shared her gift with me and taught me this powerful way to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Master healer.

I know that Jesus Christ is the source of all healing and is the Light of the World.

P.S.  I am not saying all depression is caused by needing to forgive. This is my own personal experience. (In the past I've had depressive periods and used standard medical treatment with positive results.) 
 I am a firm believer that God has given us many tools (medical and other) and that He will lead us to the tools we need at the time we need them for our learning and growth. 

Scripture References:

Ether 12:19 19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Acts 2: 25-28 
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
(The bold emphasis is mine.)

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