Sitting in my high school English class several years ago, I could have sworn that the hands on the clock on the wall never moved. I was watching it, I confess, hoping the bell would ring, signaling the end of class. Then I could escape for another day without having to stand in front of the class and read my book report.
In my late teens and early twenties, whenever I attended a Wednesday evening testimony meeting, I felt glued to my seat, even though I desperately wanted to get up and speak. I was so relieved when the service came to an end, so I could put off giving a testimony for another week.
Anxiety over speaking in public limited me from expressing myself, and I wanted to be free with all my heart. Later I learned that other people have had to struggle with this debilitating problem.
Several years ago I joined a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and at the first business meeting I attended, I was elected to serve as Second Reader. I was shocked and heard myself shout, “No! Are you kidding? I can’t do that!” Then something unusual happened. The member conducting the meeting said, “Why don’t you think about it for a moment, and we will come back to you.” As I sat there, what I would call an “angel message” came to thought—a spiritual intuition that met my need at that moment. It was, “You are not God’s repression; you are God’s expression.”
I remembered the account in the Bible where God asked Moses to lead his people and how Moses had at first felt unequal to the task. I later found the story in Exodus: “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth?… have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (see Exodus 4:10–12). I knew then that with God’s help, I would be able to do it, so I accepted the election to serve as Second Reader.
Thinking that one is a separate entity apart from God, trying to do something on one’s own, unsure of the outcome—if it will be good or not—subjects our hopes and efforts to chance and a personal sense of ability. With God, divine Mind, governing, however, there is no opportunity for any outcome but good. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 280). Seeing myself as the reflection of God, expressing His intelligence and love, removed the fear of public speaking and the shyness that had once seemed so real.
Through the power of God’s grace, I have served as Second Reader in my branch church for several terms; have been master of ceremonies at various events, such as our annual Christmas hymn sing; have hosted a World Day of Prayer service for our local area; and officiated at funeral services. I now enjoy sharing my testimonies of the healing power of Christ, Truth, at our Wednesday evening testimony meetings without feeling self-conscious.
On a final note, when asked to read an account of this healing at the meeting of the Christian Science students’ association to which I belong, I considered it an honor and a joy to do so. I accepted without hesitation! I am so grateful for Christian Science and for the great freedom it brings to us from every ill and so-called anxiety. Reflecting God’s goodness makes it possible to speak with authority and freedom. I have learned that nothing is impossible to our Father-Mother God!
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