Editor’s note: I want to thank Michelle Iverson for being willing to share this tender and powerful testimony. She’s been through both sexual abuse as a child and the trauma of being married to someone with a sexual addiction. She testifies how the Savior has helped her find healing. She and her husband, Tyler, are dedicated to helping others on the path to healing.
During Education Week at BYU, Elder Bednar asked that we flood the internet with our testimonies. He said, “My beloved brothers and sisters, what has been accomplished thus far in this dispensation communicating gospel messages through social media channels is a good beginning—but only a small trickle. I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood. Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.”
So I am going to share my thoughts and testimony of Jesus Christ.
My name is Michelle Iverson. I am a wife, mother, teacher, writer, missionary, and disciple of Jesus Christ and I believe that love is a super power!
It is a power we use in everyday life as we care for our families and friends, serve others through our work and church callings, and share the gospel. But there are also those defining moments in life where we get to find out what we are made of and it is in those moments that we can call on love to help us make it through.
When I was a very little girl I was sexually abused by my grandfather. This was a very scary experience for me that continued on for many years. I felt confused because I really loved my grandpa and I loved myself, but what I was experiencing made me wonder if I should love either one.
Those early defining moments in my life created a wall around my heart. I no longer saw myself through eyes of love. In fact, I hated myself. When I looked in the mirror, I could never see who I really was. I saw something so far from the truth. I could only see a broken, ugly, and unlovable image looking back at me. I carried secrets and those secrets were heavy and dark.
As I grew up and started to date, I realized that I had some serious issues with trust and commitment. I saw men as untrustworthy, and so that is what I often attracted and experienced in my relationships. Several years after I returned from serving a mission, I met and married Tyler. A couple of years into our marriage, I discovered he was struggling with a pornography addiction. All of the fears and insecurities I had carried my whole life were unleashed again, and I was left wondering if there was a single man on the planet I could truly trust with my heart.
Here it was, another defining moment. I remember praying and venting all of my pain, loneliness, and anger to Heavenly Father one night. I laid next to Tyler and quietly cried in the dark. I was angry, but I knew that if I was ever going to heal my heart and the incorrect perceptions I had of myself, I had to learn how to love and it had to start with me.
Throughout my life, I have found that the overriding lesson here on earth is love. We are given many experience where we learn how to wield our superpower with faith and humility. True love, the kind that heals lives and changes hearts, comes from Christ. He is the source of our power and I have seen his grace and light work wonders in my life and literally “save the day” in the most heroic ways. Anything I have been able to overcome is only because of him. He has healed my heart, my children, and my husband.
My greatest desire is to love as he loves, and life is giving me many opportunities to practice. It is the difficult things we face that carve out a deeper reservoir of light within us and allow us to use our powers for good! I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he lives! He is real, and when I look at myself now, I am looking for him.
Michelle Iverson is a wife, mother, author, speaker, teacher and follower of Jesus Christ. She loves to share her insights and experiences through her writing and teaching and seeks to restore well-being to the lives of those who suffer. After experiencing sexual abuse in her childhood, and sexual addiction in her marriage, she and her husband Tyler have become passionate about sharing their story. Michelle’s true passion is helping women overcome adversity through the “sacred art of self-nurture.”
Thank you for sharing such a personal testimony,