There are few things that bring me more joy than the opportunity to give love and support to my children and friends. This past Sunday was Easter Sunday, the most sacred day of the year for followers of Christ. I had the opportunity to drive down to meet one of those friends and sister-in-cause, Heather Richey, to accompany her on the piano as she sang for her congregation. It was such a wonderful chance to celebrate with another woman who understands the pain of growing up in an abusive home and what that takes from you.
I was 7 years old when I started taking piano lessons and before too long I learned to love sitting at the piano and creating something beautiful with my hands. In 6th grade I accompanied my school choir and started accompanying the young women at church. From that point on I never looked back. Playing the piano was one of the ways that I relaxed and it brought me a lot of joy!
6 years ago I was in a difficult place in my healing. We had experienced several incredibly difficult and traumatic events in addition to the abuse that my family of origin was continuing to perpetuate. I was breaking further and further into an unrecognizable woman. Depression and anxiety had gripped me and was pulling me under the waves to the point of drowning. The only time that I played the piano was when I was needed at church. I had almost no coping strategies, I was only doing whatever I could to survive.
Eventually I stopped playing the piano completely. That’s what abuse and depression and anxiety do. They rob your life of joy and satisfaction. This is why it’s so important to NEVER GIVE UP! Keep working towards your healing, keep your faith and hope alive by the testimonies of others. The past month I have rediscovered the JOY that comes from sitting at the piano and playing for hours on end. This gift has returned to me a little bit at a time over the past year, a testimony of the complete healing power of the Atonement.
Heather is a fellow survivor of sexual abuse and neglect. She is a singer/songwriter and recently spoke and sang at the U.N. on prevention of sexual abuse. She carries the title of Mrs. World Ambassador, is a loved wife and mother of 8 beautiful children. As Heather worked to heal, she stopped singing for 10 years. She has experienced the healing of the Atonement in many aspects, including the re-birth of a passion and talent that is now giving children a voice all over the world.
Jesus Christ restores all aspects of our life that are damaged by abuse and the difficulty of healing and I promise you that as you turn to Him you will experience the joy that comes from coming through a crucible with your hand in the Saviors. – Nicole
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