The prospect of writing an auto-biographical summary post may be daunting to some writers out there. Where does one even begin? I could start out by telling you that I’m a single Mother of 4 or maybe I would begin by stating that I grew up as the only girl in a family with 3 brothers. Maybe a better place to start would be by touching on my hobbies, piano, writing, nature, people, or favorite things to read, non-fiction, auto-biographies, Jane Austen. I would probably want you to know that I love Jazz, Chicago, chocolate and sleeping in and if it came up I would perhaps mention that I have abuse in my background. If we got to that point I would tell you that I have walked through the fire of abuse and healing and then, at my weakest point, pushed on to break the cycle and keep my children safe, going on to thrive and I would tell you these things to let you know that I’m here to help.
All of the above may be true aspects of my life, but they don’t tell you the single most defining part of my identity which is –
My earliest memories are of a Father’s love, both earthly and divine. I have a deep and abiding understanding of what a woman’s divine nature is. I know that I wasn’t sent to this earth by chance and I know that it won’t be an accident to make it back home to God. There is a plan outlined in the gospel of Jesus Christ and if I cling to its teachings and try my best to live as Christ lived, I will make it home to Him. I have felt the strength that comes from choosing to believe that Gods love and support are with me and not with my abusers and their supporters.
I have lived through unimagainable pain and loss and come out stronger because of Jesus Christ and His atonement. I have been shattered beyond the point of recognition and both seen and felt my heart, soul and life restored through that same power of healing. I’ve met countless others who have had various amounts of similar experiences in their lives – some none, some more and some in-between.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I am one of more than 6 million women who have been given a knowledge of my divine nature, the plan of happiness, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Like 1.5 million of those women, I was sexually abused. Most of the leaders of the church are men, and because I know how loved and valued I am as a woman in God’s church, I can clearly see that the topic of healing from abuse isn’t touched on very often out of sensitivity and respect for my pain. I have no need to change anything that the living prophets are doing. I only need to raise my voice and shout from the rooftops what I know to be true, which is that the most complete healing of body, mind and spirit can only be found through Jesus Christ and that the fullness of the gospel is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Therapy is important and medications may be necessary, but those 2 things, even together, will not be enough to make an abuse survivor whole.
This is who I am. I am the voice of that little girl who was hurt so many times by a family member. I am the voice of the grown woman who was re-injured by her family of origin when she chose to speak the truth and shine light upon an evil that existed in the family that she still loves. Above all else, I am the voice for every other woman in the church that is struggling to find healing and who wants more than anything to find that healing within the walls of the church but is struggling to do so. Big things are happening in the world because everyone is talking about prevention against and healing from abuse. As members of the church we need to do the same.
My name is Nicole Leifson-Jensen. I live in Utah, USA and am the Mom of 4 amazing children who are happy and healthy – free from the pain that comes from abuse. After breaking a cycle of abuse in my own family that reached back to a Great-grandfather, I have found hope and healing through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no shame in what someone else chose to do to you. Men are so often forgotten in all of the talk about abuse, specifically sexual abuse – but they are victimized too and the results are just as devastating. We have a men’s support group alongside our women’s support group and there’s no need to be a baptized member of the church to join. The only requirement is that anti-LDS literature or sentiment NOT be posted. We would love to have you join us.
#breakingabuse #sharegoodness #lds #mormonmessages
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