When I reflect upon Easter and the life-saving holiday that it is, I can't help but think about the hours our Savior spent in the Garden of Gethsemane and the pain that He suffered for all human kind. Isaiah speaks of the Savior's mission saying ". . .he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isaiah 61:1) The time He spent in Gethsemane and the unfathomable pain He suffered is a fulfillment of this mission that Isaiah prophesies of.
Both professionally as a marriage and family therapist and through my own personal situations, I have witnessed and experienced being brokenhearted and being bound in a personal prison of mental illness. Whether it be episodes of depression or anxiety or other chronic, serious mental illness, the internal, often times silent suffering of the human soul can be a heavy cross for many people to bear.
Through my own personal journey of depression and anxiety, I've spent countless moments on my knees pleading for strength, for a reprieve, for my burden to be lifted. Sometimes I felt immediate relief as if He was right there beside me and took the burden from me and other times the relief was not there but I was blessed with the strength (ie, therapy, medication, friends, family, etc. . .) to get through another day of suffering.
In my darkest moments I have felt forsaken, trapped and alone. In those desperate moments, I have always had a reminder that ". . he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things. . ." (Doctrine and Covenants 88:6.) His suffering in Gethsemane and His eventual and ultimate sacrifice of His life was not just to pay the price for our sins but to also suffer all that we suffer, endure all that we endure so that He can provide for us an infinite atonement. He does comprehend all things; all that we experience He has experienced so that He truly KNOWS us and can atone for us. What a message of hope this Easter season brings! I have hope and a knowledge that even if the pain and anguish of the human soul cannot always be taken away it will always be understood. While He was deserted by His disciples in that sacred garden, He will never desert us and will always succor us in our infirmities. What joy it brings to my soul to celebrate His life and honor His sacrifice during this Easter season.