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Faith that He Lives

FAITH THAT HE LIVES

By Meagan Koch

Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives, “I know that my Redeemer lives!”  For me there is no truth greater. It was a warm summer day in June that I sat in a man’s office. A man whose name I did not know nor had I ever met. Sitting across the table from an empty chair my mind raced with fear that the past 5 years would now be judged and the new found faith I had would be shaken by the wrath of God. As the minutes passed by slow there was one minute that stopped and time stood still as my eyes met His. There hanging on the wall behind the desk was a picture of the Savior and to my surprise I recognized not the details of his face but the spirit in his eyes. I knew Him. What followed could only be described as the pure love of Christ.

I’ve always dreamed of unconditional love. To be seen for more than a fragile exterior of armor and flaws. We call it “love” but what I think we are all really wanting is the unconditional love that comes from understanding. When someone can be there with us feeling every ache of our pulse. Someone who can invoke some empathy. Through my life I’ve always felt isolated from the world around me and never felt like I belonged anywhere. People around me would tell me they loved me yet it never hit with sincerity. This deprivation made it impossible for me to love myself or see any worth in myself. I felt lost for some years chasing thieves- people who only wanted to take away from what little I had left.

I will never forget the chariot of angels that led me to my home. It wasn’t a structure of stones, no physical make up, rather a sweet sensation of familiarity. His eyes held an indescribable feeling of kindness. He knew me and was right there on his knees with me as I bowed with a pleading heart. Though his physical arms couldn’t reach me His grace embodied my shaken soul freeing me from all the abuse and terror. Like falling water rinsing a surface clean all the flashbacks from my troubled past slowing washed away. I was no longer a broken down soul that had been beaten with the bitter sting of divorce, rape, abuse, and drowning in substances. I belonged to Him and had His Heavenly genetics running through my veins. This was always the truth and he always had his arms outstretched to me- my eyes were just hurting and closed keeping me from seeing him. In every moment of my life good and bad the Savior was right there with me. Even when I denied his existence he still fought to make me feel his love.

Was my rebellion part of the plan? Was I supposed to suffer rape alone? What about when I sobbed  in agony when I got a divorce at only age 20. When the gun was pressed against the fragile skin of my head was that planned too?  Was the pain from childhood meant to be carried alone? Where was His love when all I had to feel ok was drugs and alcohol? For one who has suffered it might at first glance seem cruel to think that it was in some ways planned but not to the soul that has faith. As I look back on these trials in my life I am able to see how my own pride and submission to my natural man caused me to suffer these “alone”. Our Savior is always there ready to save us, we just need to reach out our hand.

The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power.” (David A Bednar)

Though the “unfairness” of my life still weighs heavy on my heart, now as a  woman of faith I can see freedom where I used to see only torment. These achings of my past have already been paid for and are now to be left at the altar. It is here I meet my Savior at the foot of the cross to no longer hold on to the feelings of anger I hold towards my mom for how she treated me, anger to the man whose abuse hurt me so much that I hated myself, sadness for losing two babies, frustration with myself for all the nights I cried in anguish alone. It is here my  heart sings the words “He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my soul’s complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart”, because I know my Redeemer lives.

My story is that of a wanderer searching valleys & peaks for that which was inside their chest all along. The light of the Savior’s loving atonement that guides us like a compass showing us which way to go so we can make it back to Him and our loving Heavenly parents. The details of our hardships are not what are always important, in fact they are what often times distract us and hold us captive. I have found it best to let  them fade away just enough that the worth of its lesson still resonates true but it is not overtaking you still in your present. God’s purpose of sending us here and allowing us to suffer was not left there so don’t leave yourself there. When Jesus was suffering in Gethsemane He was thinking of you and His love for you. That love is still there today and always available to you. If you could identify one thing that is keeping you from his love what would it be? Are you ready to be forgiven or to forgive? Once you’ve found what it is turn it over to him and watch how he heals. I never knew that the details of my pain and suffering was what was holding me back. I was so consumed by them that I lacked gratitude and sight of my Savior.

 

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