I've been asked to teach the lesson in Relief Society this week. I've never taught the sisters before and have been agonizing over this lesson as it is a sensitive topic, "Forgiving Others With All Your Heart". I'm mostly prepared and wanted to share my Ah-Haa moment which I've decided to include in my lesson:
I had an experience this week with my son Crew. Crew suffers from spasticity, a disorder in which certain muscles are continually contracting. This contraction causes stiffness or tightness of the muscles, interfering with his movement and over time may result in abnormal bone growth. The spasticity which effects both arms and legs greatly reduces Crew’s rate of development. One treatment method for spasticity involves injecting Botox into the muscles.
On Thursday, I took Crew down to Primary’s for his first set of Botox injections. The procedure was simple but Crew had to be restrained by the nurse and myself while the doctor used a needle to inject the botox into his hamstrings and gastrocks. Many injections were made in each leg and it only took two minutes. However, as you can imagine Crew was quite upset. He doesn’t understand yet he feels the pain and frustration and is probably wondering why I would do that to him. During the procedure he cried and cried and I cried too. As soon as the doctor was finished I sat him up and he immediately stopped crying, wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug. He is quick to forgive and quick to trust!
The benefit of this drug will likely make it possible for him to move more freely and sit more comfortably. The botox along with lots of therapy is intended to speed his rate of development.
I liken the spasticity that Crew suffers from to the anger and bitterness that can canker our unforgiving hearts. Left untreated it is debilitating. Bitterness, like spasticity, injures the one who carries it; it hardens and shrivels and cankers. Bitterness and anger prevent us from developing spiritually. Health professionals tell us that the body manufactures "high voltage" chemicals like adrenaline and cortisone when you don’t forgive. Too many of these chemicals can result in tension-related ills such as headaches and abdominal pains. This can result in more serious problems such as ulcers and other ailments. Aside from the physical problems caused by an unforgiving heart, our spirits suffer as well. Bitterness and anger prevent us from developing spiritually.
Just like the injections given to Crew, sometimes the pain we feel is initially out of our control. Fortunately, we have our Savior to take away our pain. Through our desire to rid ourselves of this pain, with prayer and effort on our part and completely trusting the Savior, we can have the opportunity to grow and develop spiritually. Just as Botox takes away Crew’s spasticity and gives him the opportunity to move more freely, forgiving with all our hearts, eliminates that constant negative interference in our lives. Forgiving with all our hearts frees our spirits and allows us to grow and develop spiritually. How thankful I am for the gift of forgiveness which sets us free.