First: I want to say that I make no claims to be an expert on Spiritual things or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm simply sharing my experience of healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and what I did to accomplish that healing.
3 Ways I have found healing
through the Atonement
I experienced an immediate forgiveness from my Savior the moment I turned to Him and asked for it. He was not angry with me. He was not requiring anything from me as "penance". Christ forgives freely and openly when we admit our faults and turn to Him for help. When I did things contrary to the Lord's commandments, and broke covenants I made with Him, the natural consequence was that I lost my spiritual connection to Him. In a sense, I had turned away from Him. Then I got angry with Him when I couldn't see Him in front of me or feel Him in my life anymore. When I found the humility to admit my mistakes, made changes to correct them, and did the things I know reconnect me to Heavenly Father and my Savior, I found They were still there, They always had been, and were happy to help!
My process of finding Forgiveness through the Atonement was not over, however. I still needed to learn to forgive myself, and forgive others (even when they had not apologized). Forgiving myself was not easy at first. When I felt the immediate forgiveness of my Savior, part of me was like, "Wait, that's it?!" and I felt like I had "gotten off easy"! I wanted to punish myself more for what I had done than what God was requiring of me. I found help in forgiving myself through a principle called "Self Compassion" as presented by a brilliant woman, Kristin Kneff. She doesn't talk about God in her speech. This is simply something we need to do as humans to help ourselves. Hanging on to resentment for the way others treated me only held me back from finding the peace I wanted. The Atonement provided Christ's lasting peace the moment I let go of the anger and pain that I had been holding onto for so long. Part of me wanted to "keep track" of everyone who had wronged me so I could tell God on Judgement Day what happened. However, I realized that I was being a hypocrite if I didn't forgive them when I knew I needed forgiveness too. When it came to the pain from an early childhood trauma, I realized I was holding onto it because I was afraid I would allow it to happen again if I didn't constantly hold on the memory and pain as a reminder. When I discovered it was holding me back from living in peace instead of protecting me, I realized I could let go of it and have faith that I would be happier without it. This was not a quick process, but the more I trusted in the Lord, the more peace I found. Fear can be a powerful barrier to growth. I learned that fear comes from dark influences and recognizing that gave me courage to trust the light and leave the fear behind.
I will only share a brief description of my physical healing experience because I feel it is a sacred thing that I do not want open to mockery by unbelievers. I had been in a bad place mentally and emotionally a few years ago. I had a headache most of the time. I was not acting like myself. I was not treating others the way I would if I were myself. When I went to the Dr, they told me I had Anxiety and Depression and gave me meds accordingly. The meds made things worse and I felt helpless. I asked my husband to give me a Priesthood Blessing and during the blessing I felt something in the front section of my brain leave, like pressure had been relieved and the pain was gone. I know that it was the power of God that healed whatever was in my head because it was a tangible feeling I will always remember.
I believe now that the Lord had a wise plan in mind for me by waiting to heal me emotionally as the final step in my healing process. Before it happened, however, I was frustrated because I couldn't understand why He would heal me in other ways and not emotionally, especially when I had been asking for the emotional healing the longest. I had been to therapy at different points in my life seeking help and healing but it was not successful. I had basically accepted that the Lord didn't want to heal me for some reason. (I know now this was not true, but it is how I felt at the time). I was angry and wanted to stay angry and resentful towards God. Then a part of me thought, "Maybe I need to learn something from this before I can be healed." So I made a choice to set aside my anger and resentment toward the Lord and try to reconnect with Him to find out what it is He wanted me to learn. I did very specific things to show my faith and trust in my Savior:
I read scriptures consistently (I followed the Church's "Come Follow Me" curriculum).
I prayed about and pondered questions I had, and the questions within the Come Follow Me guide.
I wrote down all my thoughts, impressions, and personal revelation I received through the Spirit in a journal.
I did this for over a year before I received the prompting from the Spirit to seek therapy again. I felt the promise that this time would be different. From the beginning of my therapy things were different because we tried a new modality called EMDR. This allowed me to access my traumas in an non-invasive way. After a few sessions, we approached the oldest trauma that was affecting me the most. As I went through the motions of EMDR therapy I saw an image in my mind of my heart being stitched up. I would take a moment to check in with my therapist about what I was noticing and feeling, then I would get back to work stitching up my heart again. I finally reached a point where the work was not done but I was unable to finish on my own. Part of me felt discouraged and I asked myself, do I have enough faith to be healed all the way? What else am I missing? My response came in the form of me pleading to my Savior for help. I told Him, "I believe, please help my unbelief" (yes, I felt very much like the father who plead with Christ to heal his daughter in the Bible). After this I felt a strong loving presence on my left side - when I opened my eyes, I couldn't see Him, but when I closed my eyes again I could definitely feel Him there. He said to me in my mind, "Alright, Jenny, let's do this!" Tears of gratitude streamed down my face as I watched in my mind, Him helping me to stitch up the rest of my heart. He helped me turn it over again and again, making sure we got all the little tears I missed before. Although I was grateful, I was also confused and I asked Him, "Why now? After so many years of me asking you for help to heal my heart, why now?" His answer was simple, "Because you've done the work". I realized then that my journey over the past year of reconnecting to my Heavenly Father, and my Savior through prayer and scripture study had helped me let go of the destructive things (like anger and resentment) that would constantly tear up my heart again if He had healed me before. I needed to be ready for complete healing. I learned then that the Savior WILL heal any and all of us when the time is right, and when we are ready.