Three years ago a new friend and I were having a casual discussion about different religions. She mentioned that she had grown up in the Christian Science faith, and that she had witnessed some amazing healings, accomplished entirely through prayer.
As soon as I was alone, I spent some time pondering this woman’s words. I was no longer thinking about religion, I was thinking about a healing that I had been desperately seeking for seven years. At the time, I was suffering from a serious autoimmune disease that resulted from an extended exposure to a high concentration of black mold. I had been unaware of its existence in my home for some time.
The illness dictated every aspect of my life. I couldn’t think clearly, and I was continually plagued by dizziness and extreme fatigue, as well as other alarming symptoms. Consequently, there were times when I was afraid to drive. Being a single parent, our active family lifestyle became greatly restricted as a result of my health-related limitations.
I sought medical help, but most of the symptoms remained. Every medical doctor I consulted told me there was nothing more that could be done. The illness made it impossible to live a normal life, including holding a job. Having been a life-long athlete, I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life in this condition—and vigorously rejected the idea. I aggressively searched for a cure and tried everything to get well, including naturopathic and homeopathic remedies, vitamin supplements, Chinese herbs, and energy medicine treatments—only to be extremely disappointed when any relief I experienced proved to be short lived.
After years of my fruitlessly searching for a cure, my new friend had unknowingly introduced me to Christian Science, and set me on a path to healing. The first thing I did after our conversation was to locate the nearest place where there were Christian Science services—a Christian Science Society—and attended the following Sunday. I was met with a wave of lovingkindness from the members of that tiny society. They gave me a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and briefly explained how a great many people have been healed simply by reading the book.
In the Preface of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy makes this bold statement: “The time for thinkers has come”—and I took those words as her pact with me that she would deliver logic and substance (p. vii). The chapter “Prayer” proved to be exactly that—reasonable and logical. It began to shed a new light on my existing Bible knowledge and the truth became clear to me as I read the book.
By the end of the week, after I finished just that first chapter, my health was completely and permanently restored. The following Tuesday, I swam a mile—one of my typical workouts, prior to the illness. Not only did I complete the distance, but also I wasn’t winded nor did I feel unusually exerted. It was as if my routine had never been interrupted.
Needless to say, I was astonished. My victory celebration took the form of a quiet awe. I walked through each of those initial days of restoration in a state of profound gratitude, and with the knowledge that I had found something breathtakingly precious. I intended to find out what else this thing called Christian Science could do.
I immediately began studying everything I could about it. The first time I visited the Christian Science Society’s Reading Room, it was closed—so I took most of the free magazines that were tucked into a small bin on the door and consumed them within a short time. I wanted more. I called one of the women who had given me my copy of Science and Health. She told me where the key was hidden and to make myself at home, if it was closed. These people didn’t even know my last name, yet they entrusted me with free access to their precious Reading Room!
I spent blissful hours there. I got to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). I read biographies about Mary Baker Eddy, her writings, as well as testimonies of healings in the Christian Science books and periodicals that spanned almost a century and a half. In Science and Health, the Scriptures I had studied for years were interpreted in a simple, straightforward, and exciting new way.
By the time I was introduced to Christian Science, I was equipped with over two decades of vigorous Bible study. I knew my way around the Scriptures, and I was very familiar with the covenants and pledges God had made with His people. However, I was frustrated by what appeared to be God’s capricious nature in response to prayer.
Through my study of Christian Science, I acquired a different understanding of God’s promises. They became literal absolutes instead of a poetic kind of spirituality. I began to demand the fulfillment of those promises and experienced repeated healings for my efforts. In large part, I credit my knowledge of the Bible with my radical healing. I knew the Scriptures upon which I stood when I made my claim for restoration.
I should also mention the numerous Christian Science lectures I found online. It was there I developed a love of these lectures—in fact, I devoured them. One lecturer talked about fear in a way I had never heard before, and how one could overcome fear—which I realized was at the root of many issues in my life—through an understanding of God and of God’s love for us. Overall, these lectures provided a nurturing way for me to understand Christian Science and aided my reading of Science and Health as well. Watching the lectures assured me that this thing called Christian Science was just as real as it had been in Mrs. Eddy’s time, and was still healing—now, this very day—all kinds of problems and changing lives for the better.
Gradually, a new life and rhythm emerged for our family. Within a couple of months of my healing, I continued studying Christian Science with the support of a Christian Science practitioner. The children and I started attending the branch Church of Christ, Scientist, of which the practitioner was a member, 50 miles away—twice a week. The services and meetings were so satisfying and sustaining. This beloved practitioner became the girls’ Sunday School teacher, and later my Christian Science teacher. I joined that branch and then The Mother Church.
My family’s story has unfolded in beautiful ways that I could never have anticipated—“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, New Living Translation). I now have a full-time job and continue to enjoy swimming and other demanding physical activities. Many of the fears that plagued me have been dispelled, and my study of Science these past three years inspires me to continue to “fight the good fight” (I Timothy 6:12) until I am victorious over all fear, which I am convinced is not only possible, but my divine birthright.
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