the atonement is an individual experience {quotes from "lighten up" by chieko m. okazaki}

"We know that on some level Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that he experienced everything - absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means Jesus knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer - how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children who ever come are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that.

...Give him your whole heart, all the pieces, and let him heal you.

...The door to him is always open, but the door to you can be closed and stay closed - if you choose to close it. If there is one great constant in the universe is the unfailing love of the Savior, the other great constant is his unfailing respect for human agency. He will not override your will, even for your own good. He will not compel you to accept his help. e will not force you to accept his companionship. He leaves you free to choose.

I beg you to open the door and let him out of that room. Give him your whole heart, all the pieces, and let him heal you. He promises, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all of your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13.) With all our hearts. That means we don't have pieces of our hearts that he doesn't touch or that aren't relevant to him...

...He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save us in our imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.

...Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that the world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and he is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him in."
- Chieko M. Okazaki from Lighten Up

I am grateful for these words and the reassurance/reaffirmation I feel when I read them. The Atonement is an individual experience. It brings enabling power into your life and it is for all who come unto Him. I know He loves me, He loves you, and He knows you and your needs perfectly.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know He lives! He has taken me in my most broken, unhappy moments and transformed my life. Let Him into your life and let Him heal you.

1 comment:

  1. this is just what i need. thank you. a million times over.


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