As a teenager I became very ill with a mysterious illness doctors labeled chronic fatigue syndrome. I completed high school at home, and after several specialists were unable to help me, I was told that I was not likely to recover and I should expect to be disabled for the rest of my life. But inwardly I was unwilling to accept this grim prognosis, and I continued to believe that I’d be able to find some way to overcome it. As traditional drug treatment seemed to leave me worse off instead of better, I abandoned medical treatment for more natural therapies, and in line with holistic philosophy, began to seek methods to heal and nurture my spirituality as well as my body. I studied many religions and eventually found joy and fellowship through participation in a well-known Christian church.
During my late 20s, although I felt I was developing in character and knowledge, I continued to be troubled by chronic health problems that I feared would continue to keep my dreams out of reach. I recall seeking out the counsel of a highly respected member of the congregation I was attending. Her advice was to accept that I would never be able to be fully independent and that I should abandon my attempts to be so. Looking back on that conversation, I can see how my personal theology had begun to diverge from that of the church I’d been attending. I’d come to believe that the salvation promised through the atonement of Christ was a complete salvation—fully able to redeem the mind, heart, life, and body of any individual believer. I knew intuitively that God was a perfect God and His promises could not be a lie. I also felt that God could not be less mighty to save and heal than He had been in biblical times. I felt confident that by following His direction there would be complete redemption in my life, including release from any health challenges.
Around this time, I began to feel drawn to the Christian Science church. I made the decision to attend the Sunday service at a Christian Science church located just a few blocks away from where I was living. There, I was given a copy of Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy that I began reading avidly each day. Though at first I felt only partially able to grasp the concepts in the book, every time I read it, I was filled with such a sweet sense of peace and spiritual restoration that it became my joy to devote as many hours as I could to study it each day. I never failed to put the book down without feeling that I had been transformed by its uplifting influence, and as the months passed, I found the ideas becoming more comprehensible. After a three month period of reading Science and Health, the chronic fatigue that doctors told me would trouble me my whole life was gone. Now, I wake up each day energetic and able to perform my work without any fear of a recurrence of symptoms.
When I began to study Christian Science, I’d also been troubled for several years with serious digestive problems and food allergies, and I had been on a severely restricted diet, taking a large amount of pills every time I ate in order to be able to digest. One day at lunch, after my study of Science and Health had been underway for about a month, I went to reach for my usual handful of pills. But the thought came to me that God’s child, created whole and perfect, could not be sick. And I was God’s child. I then felt the supplements were unnecessary and stopped taking them on the spot. I progressed in eating different kinds of foods each day until I was able to eat anything at all. I now have no problems with digestion.
While I remain very grateful for the physical healing afforded me by the study of Christian Science, even this benefit seems slight when compared with the peace and assurance of God’s constant care. I’d studied the Bible previously, but now the meaning of the Scriptures has opened up to me like never before. Daily spiritual study continues to restore my soul, my spiritual sense, and I feel I have at last found the Christianity of Jesus Christ himself.
Los Angeles, California, US