How to Heal a Broken Heart
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
We have all experienced heartache at some point in our lives: sometimes minor, sometimes major, sometimes we thought the world was coming to an end, sometimes we humbly approached the situation and surrendered to the will of God. Today, I want to focus on “the who” and “the how” of the process of healing a broken heart.
The Who: Jesus Christ
Isaiah prophesied of Christ’s mission, and Jesus later identified himself as the Messiah in Nazareth after reading passages from Isaiah.
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; 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;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Luke 4: 16-21
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Jesus completed His mission as was prophesied and as He testified that it would. Both passages of scripture mention the word brokenhearted. Isaiah specifically states “bind up the brokenhearted,” and the Savior reads “heal the brokenhearted.” I love the comparison of the wording because of the image that comes to mind. Binding up the brokenhearted produces the image of a doctor who is carefully suturing a wound, making sure that the wound’s tissues are not tugged on too tightly but are sewn together close enough for the body’s natural healing process to restore what was broken. Healing the brokenhearted produces the image of the Savior performing the miracle for the individual in need, immediately restoring what was broken and what needs to be fixed. Jesus Christ DID in fact perform the miracle for all of us, in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Psalms 147:3 beautifully combines these two images into one: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
The How: The Sacrifice
Jesus Christ offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice. Yet he requires that each of us also offers up a personal sacrifice:
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
3 Nephi 12:19
19 And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled.
As we are repenting of our sins, a change needs to happen. We need to be sincere in our repentance process and humble ourselves enough to allow the miracle of the Atonement to work in us. Here is where I would like to introduce our focus song, so that we can explore the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice. The song “Let Him Heal Your Heart” was written by Tyler Castleton and sung by John Canaan. It gives us a beautiful imagery of the Savior’s love as we allow him to heal our hearts. You can learn more about Tyler Castleton here and about John Canaan and what he is currently involved in here. I invite you to listen to the song here and read the lyrics here.
The song begins by asking questions of the heart. We have all felt the heartache and burdens that plague us. We feel like there is no one in the world that can understand us. Doubts can fill our minds when we are feeling downtrodden and alone. That is Satan’s work. He wants us to feel that there is no hope for us. When we remember the Savior, what He did for us, and His love for us, the doubts and the questions lessen. When we make the choice to change and forsake our sins, Christ’s Atonement can purify us. The artists use the words warmth and light to portray the cleansing that begins to happen as we allow Christ’s love to envelop us. It doesn’t matter where we started, where we’ve been, where we currently are, or what we’ve done. True repentance is true repentance. He forgives our sins and remembers them no more (D&C 58:42). You can start a brand new life every day. The choice is yours. Change can be difficult, but with Christ all things are possible (Mark 9:23). Don’t be discouraged. Look to Him. Offer your heart to Him. Let him heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. He is waiting for you to reach out to Him. He promises to reach back and help you along the way.
Learn more about the Atonement Series