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Freed from alcohol addiction

From the September 2016 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The following healing was the most profound experience of my life, and it feels as if it happened only yesterday. God was with me that July afternoon 35 years ago, as He always has been, and I still feel His power and presence in my life.

I will not belabor the serious condition I found myself in those many years ago, and will simply say that after years of alcohol abuse, I finally came to the conclusion, reluctantly, that I had a problem. My life was a wreck and my marriage was in trouble. Still, I felt that I could handle this all on my own. I was a college graduate and an officer in the United States Navy, and I ran my own business and always had a take-charge manner, solving problems as they occurred. But this was different. As problem built upon problem, I “solved” them through the use of alcohol. The result was stress adding to stress. Pride was my enemy. I realized this could not continue. 

All through this, my wife stood by me and would occasionally suggest Christian Science treatment. Early in our marriage she had introduced me to Christian Science and told me of its healing power, but I had never realized its potential, as I didn’t think this spiritual approach would be effective. I met with medical practitioners and social counselors, and even tried Alcoholics Anonymous, but without success. I wanted and needed healing, yet could not find it.

One afternoon, in a state of desperation, my wife again suggested a Christian Science approach. She gave me a copy of The Christian Science Journal and said I could find a Christian Science practitioner from a listing in the magazine. The next day, when she was at work, I found the number of a practitioner and telephoned her office. She immediately answered the call with a cheerful voice. I told her the reason for the call and asked if she could help. “Yes” was her very firm, confident reply. She asked me if I had a Bible and a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science textbook. I said yes. We both opened our Bibles, and she began reading from the first chapter, in Genesis. I followed each word. The message was clear—God created all and “it was very good” (verse 31). Man was made in His, God’s, image and likeness, and I was that man.

She then read from Psalms, and I again followed along: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (23:1). We went through many different books and verses of the Bible. The passages she selected and read were finding a place in my heart as we read them together. I could not fathom the change that was beginning to happen in thought, but the truths the practitioner shared were so deep and pure, I knew it was very good. As we read the passages together, it was as if we were of one mind. We were truly in one accord. The words were on fire, burning in my heart. I learned that God is infinite and there is no limit to His power, and that if I could only open my thought to this Truth, I could, I would, be free.

Then the practitioner paused and said to me, “Bill, there is a hole in your life, and you are filling it with the wrong substance.” Something changed with those words; a realization came—I could feel it. The healing was imminent! She spoke to me directly, telling me that God—Truth, Life, and Love—was true substance, the only substance of my life, and that to understand Him was to be filled with true substance, and this is what satisfied. She said that when thought was filled with spiritual substance, I wouldn’t have a desire for alcohol. I thought, “Let this be so.” What followed was a deep sense of completeness. 

The practitioner said she would begin spiritual treatment right away. She asked me to open my Science and Health to the first sentence of the Preface and read it, and then we hung up. I picked up the book and opened to the page and read: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (p. vii). I read it out loud and said, “Yes, Lord, I am leaning!” Then I shouted, “Yes, Lord, I am leaning!”

Then something happened for which I had no explanation. The room was filled with light, and it felt as though I was standing on holy ground. I knew, instantly, that all was well. I asked God what my work should be from then on. What I heard, though not in human language, was “Whatever you do, do for the glory of God.” I have no idea how long I was in this enlightened state. 

Afterward, I called my wife and told her that I had called a Christian Science practitioner, and that the healing was complete. I couldn’t even remember I’d had any problem. I had no desire to go back. I’d been a captive of an alcohol addiction for many years, and it was gone in an instant. My marriage was preserved, and my wife and I continue to be happily married.

The Bible says: “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).

I have been blessed with many other healings since this first one. My heart is full of gratitude for Christian Science, for having had the opportunity of Christian Science class instruction, for our church community, and for the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.

William Woodford
Florissant, Missouri, US

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