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EATING DISORDER YIELDS TO PRAYER

From the July 2010 issue of The Christian Science Journal


THROUGHOUT high school, I enjoyed running for the freedom of expression, playfulness, joy, energy, endurance, and camaraderie it brought to my life. Years ago, when I joined my high school track team during my freshman year, it was a very fruitful season filled with joy and friendship, and one where I had the opportunity to run with strength and dominion, qualities I had not previously demonstrated in sports.

During my sophomore year, I looked forward to the spring season so I could participate in track activities again. At some point during this season, however, I became very focused on my body, thinking I needed to lose weight in order to have the perfect figure to stay fit in order to progress with my running. Although I was already at a very normal weight for my shape and size, I began to change my eating habits in an effort to lose weight. I soon adopted a way of thinking that wasn't healthy, and in a short amount of time, I lost a great deal of weight. My mom became very concerned. Close family friends, teachers, and coaches also started to make comments to me and to my family because I didn't look well being so thin. During track meets, I was at a plateau with my performances and performing adequately, but not really progressing.

My mom had many conversations with me where she tried to show me that I didn't want to adopt this way of thinking and living. These conversations went on for a while, but nothing seemed to change my mind. Later on in my junior year, all conversations had ceased. But my mom, a Christian Scientist, who had been praying for me all along, continued with her prayer. I know now that she was praying deeply with a concept about the mirror of divine Science. In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes: "Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere" (pp. 515–516).

My mom prayed to see that God's image was the only way that I could see myself. She prayed to know that I could see myself as His reflection, not in some distorted view I had adopted. My mom also said that she prayed a lot about influences, to know that I couldn't be falsely influenced by anything that was opposed to God, good.

Although I wasn't aware of her prayers at this time, I was becoming more receptive to the divine Mind that she was acknowledging in prayer. One morning, late in my junior year, I remember waking up and very clearly having the thought, "I need to eat, and I need to eat right." This simple, clear thought was transformative and immediately moved me forward. That morning, I began to eat very healthy-sized portions for my meals. I also became very content with who I was and felt a sense of balance, freedom, and dominion. I gained back all of the weight I had lost in a very short period of time. And I had my strongest track season that next year, which enabled me to learn deeper lessons.

Recently, as I silently gave gratitude for this healing, a line from the Christian Science Hymnal came to me: "No mortal sense can still or stay / The flight of silent prayer" (Samuel Greenwood, No. 194). This hymn came to thought as an illustration of what had occurred as my mom prayed for me. I am so grateful for this healing and countless others that I have experienced through studying and applying the system of Christian Science healing that Mary Baker Eddy founded over 100 years ago.


I'm happy to verify my daughter's testimony and to acknowledge the healing efficacy of Christian Science. Throughout Heather's childhood, healings had always come quickly through earnest prayer to God and the application of the spiritual truths learned in Christian Science. Heather readily listened to and applied these truths to her daily life and to challenges that arose. So it was unusual in this instance when she didn't see the need for a change and was unreceptive to our many discussions regarding this.

As this unnatural focus on food and the body resulted in a pronounced change in her eating habits and in her appearance, I continued to turn wholeheartedly in prayer to the one divine parent, her Father-Mother God. There were many truths that I prayed with during this time, including the specific ones stated in the testimony. I was also praying for God's guidance for me in parenting—humbly listening for the right words to say and right steps to take in parenting through this circumstance.

Through my prayers and spiritual study, I was gaining a deeper understanding of God as Mind and of my daughter's oneness with divine Mind. Throughout this time, in my earlier discussions with her, and later when just quietly continuing to pray, I was often reassured by this familiar statement from Science and Health: "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (p. 332). When the healing came it was instant, natural, and complete. One morning, without any comment, Heather began eating rightly and was her free and happy self. I am so grateful for this proof of God's goodness and love.


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