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Feeling God's presence, coast to coast

From the November 2003 issue of The Christian Science Journal

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I love my dad dearly, but every summer when I've gone to visit him, it seems like something's gone wrong. I've gotten sick or been stung by a bee—something. It's not just that these problems are unpleasant. What bugs me is that they make me feel pressured to prove that Christian Science works. My dad and stepmom aren't Christian Scientists, and sometimes it's hard feeling like I'm all alone with a problem to deal with.

This summer's visit didn't seem to be any different. I'd just returned from an awesome two weeks at a camp in Missouri. I was feeling good about the friends I'd made and the closeness I'd been feeling to God. But when I got to Oregon, where my dad lives, I started feeling lonely almost right away. I've got lots of friends back in Massachusetts where I live for most of the year, but in Oregon I only know a few people. To make matters worse, one day I started feeling uncomfortable, and when I told my stepmom about the symptoms, she said I had a yeast infection and that it would take a month to go away.

I thought about calling my mom, who is a Christian Science practitioner, to give me help through prayer, but it seemed awkward—like I was choosing my mom's way over my dad's or something. And my dad and stepmom did try to help in their own way. But I knew I wanted to use Christian Science in the end, so for the time being, I just resigned myself to the problem.

I thought, "I'm only in Oregon for two more weeks. Then I'll go back to Massachusetts and be healed, At least I'll only have to deal with this problem for half the time it normally takes to go away."

But the discomfort made it hard to sleep, and I was frustrated that the problem was consuming so much of my attention. Finally, one night, I'd had enough. We were at the beach, and I'd woken up irritated and in pain again.

I thought, "This is ridiculous! What am I doing? Do I really believe that just because I'm in Oregon I'm somehow outside the reach of God's help?"

The silliness of this got my attention, and I realized that I didn't actually believe that God's care for me was limited to a particular place or based on a set of circumstances. I thought, "This can be healed right now!"

The basis for this affirmation was my understanding that as a spiritual idea, I'm not subject to a set of material laws or what everybody says about a particular problem. The only thing that has power in my life is God, and all His laws are good. In fact, they're what heal, and I knew they could heal me, too.

These thoughts helped me resist the idea that it would take a month for me to be healed. Instead, I realized I didn't have to wait for healing. Time wasn't a factor, and neither was the fact that my mom was far away. God's love was there for me and was the most powerful thing in my life.

I was totally convinced of this, so much so that I was even able to fall asleep again quickly—something that hadn't happened since the difficulty had started. When I woke up in the morning, I was completely healed.

This experience proved that God is there for me no matter where I am. He's the one holding me up, and because of that, I can pray for myself and be healed.

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