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I said, 'No,' to suicide

From the October 21, 2013 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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I attended Christian Science Sunday Schools from the age of three, and there was always a sign on the wall stating, “God Is Love” (see I John 4:8). This passage from the Christian Science Hymnal best describes what I was taught about my relationship with God: “Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected, / Walk thou with courage each step of the way” (Hymn No. 278).

My parents backed this up. During my youth I was healed of yellow jacket stings, scorpion stings, dog bites, injuries from bike accidents, near drowning while swimming and boating, and more, all by relying on Christian Science.

I don’t believe anyone ever really leaves the teachings of Christian Science, but I did stop studying this Science, and allowed material thoughts and beliefs to creep in. Despite that, Science has always been an ever-present help for me, even if it was sometimes in the background. 

At the time of the healing I’m sharing here, I was married and had three children. One day it became very clear to me that my husband’s drinking problem and his inability to keep a job were unlikely to change. He was always looking for the rainbow that was just around the bend. The kids and I were like “camp followers.” He’d say, “I know I can get a job in such and such a place.” And off we’d all go. That is how we ended up camping on a gorgeous beach north of Acapulco, Mexico.

When no job appeared, he began drinking again. We were in this very primitive location, with no hope of improvement. We had very little money left. 

One night I felt completely helpless. I walked down to the ocean’s edge and stood up to my knees in the soft waves. I thought, “If I just jumped in and kept swimming farther and farther away from land, I’d eventually get tired and would not be able to make it back.”

I stood there for about an hour. A huge moon started rising. Its light shone like strips of gold down this long stretch of beach—right up to me. It was so beautiful that I felt God’s love revealing itself to me, and I felt the tension in me slip away. 

The thought came: “How selfish I would be if I left my precious children in this situation!” This thought slowly swept away the feeling of hopelessness, and I felt God’s care for me once more. 

I went back to camp, and never again contemplated committing suicide. And somehow we found the means to continue our itinerant lifestyle.

Several years later, I stopped by a Christian Science Reading Room, and the attendant asked me to sign the guest book. This information must have been noted by another member because he stopped by our home and introduced himself. He said that he would be delighted to take me to church and the children to Sunday School. My husband was a free thinker, and was happy for me and the kids to be going to church. Throughout their growing-up days, many healings took place through the application of Christian Science. Healings of broken arms, the effects of falls from horses, the “usual” childhood diseases, whooping cough, and much more.

We continued my husband’s search for the rainbow for another 12 years. Their dad and I went our separate ways after the children were “out of the nest.” I joyfully continued my study of this Science of Christianity. And my children went forward with their lives, too. 

Two years ago, I realized with much joy that one daughter was First Reader in a branch church in Texas, the other was Second Reader at a church in Tennessee, my son was First Reader in a church in Hawaii, and I was a First Reader in a church in California—all at the same time! 

My heart overflows with gratitude for the structure of Church that Mary Baker Eddy, as Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, left for us by giving us the Manual of The Mother Church.

Also, I am grateful for Jesus’ example, and his commands, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37) and “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom” (Luke 6:38). I found them very strengthening while I was working my way through these experiences.

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