I was brought up with Christian Science. My mom drove my brother and me to the Christian Science Sunday School regularly, even though we bickered on the way there in the back seat! When I was about nineteen, a healing proved to be a turning point in my practice and understanding of Christian Science.
I had always been proud of the religion ingrained in me from childhood. And yet I was taught to accept my existence as a sinner living in a state of unworthiness.
I grew up in a dedicated Christian Science family. My mum left her hairdressing business to become a Christian Science practitioner when I was very young, and my dad had been a Christian Scientist since very early in their marriage.
As a child, I was often told I was unwanted, unwelcome, even a “thorn in the flesh. ” These remarks sank deeply into my heart.
In 1944, a series of physical exams for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces consistently indicated I had contracted tuberculosis. I was labeled “4-F”—unfit for military service.
I was literally knocked off my feet. Out of the blue, I was stricken with such pain that it prevented me from leaving my studio apartment for several weeks—much of the time unable to get up from an easy chair.
My great-grandparents were contemporaries of Mary Baker Eddy, and my great-grandmother was the first in our family to become a Christian Scientist. She raised 13 children, and she also held mortgages for people, so she was a businesswoman back when many women were not engaged in such activities.
I was raised going to the Christian Science Sunday School, and I think it’s fair to say that I have never known a time when I didn’t know Christian Science. I have been healed of numerous problems —from broken bones to being bullied at high school to workplace challenges.
About six or seven years ago I became discouraged about the power and presence of God and stopped studying Christian Science. I still attended church because I drove my mother to the services.
I’d like to share a couple of turning points in my life. The first occurred after I came back into Christian Science (see Donna Mae Berneman testimony in the October 19, 1981, Sentinel ).