In December 2008 I spent the holidays with my family in South Africa. Soon after returning home to the UK, I became ill with what appeared to be a severe cold.
I've been a Christian Scientist all my life and have had all my healings from prayer alone. But this time, instead of going to God in prayer to feel better, I focused on the work that was waiting since my holiday. I worked long hours, despite feeling poorly. My health deteriorated rapidly. I had a persistent cough; I felt weak, couldn't sleep, and was discouraged.
I'm in close touch with my family in South Africa, and they became concerned—my sister in particular was fearful and urged that I seek medical care, which at length I agreed to.
The doctor I visited ordered that X-rays be taken, which indicated a severe case of pneumonia. The specialist he referred me to insisted I stay for urgent treatment. I thanked him for all he had done but said that I wanted to go home. I had done what my family wanted me to do, but I felt sure right then that all things were possible through relying totally on God (see Mark 10:27). Reluctantly, he agreed to release me, giving me his private telephone number for me to call if at any time I felt worse. I thanked him for all his care and concern, but I knew I wanted to put all my trust in God's loving care.
I drove home and contacted a Christian Science practitioner, who agreed to pray with me straightaway. I also called a Christian Science nurse, who came for three days to help me. In addition to caring for my practical needs, she calmly read the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson to me, as I was finding breathing and talking difficult. I felt such wonderful love expressed by friends as well.
The practitioner and I prayed together every day, acknowledging my spiritual perfection; he pointed out that I did not have to wait for healing to take place. And I began to realize that the picture of illness was not my identity—which I knew to be entirely spiritual, made in God's image (see Gen. 1:27).
I reasoned that a loving God could not cause suffering of any kind, and this sentence from Science and Health confirmed that truth for me: "God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power" (p. 473). I asked myself, How could God's creation fall outside of His loving care; how could I, His image and likeness, be left out in the cold of mortality, subject to medical law, when His immortal law of love is everywhere?
As I continued to have the practitioner's prayerful help, my breathing became less laboured, the fever gradually subsided, and I slept better. Still, I was impatient for complete healing. One evening, although I was tired, it came to me to once again read the weekly Bible Lesson on the subject "Love" rather than go to bed.
Although I'd already read this lesson twice, as I studied it again it was as if I were reading everything for the first time. The pages from the Bible and Science and Health seemed to be lit up. I read, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee" (Isa. 41:10), and felt my fear dissolving. And I read this from Science and Health: "The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!" (p. 520). It was as if it been written for me. I felt completely surrounded by God's love. Then as I read another passage, I glimpsed its meaning as I never had before: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick" (pp. 476–477). I began to see myself as God saw me: spiritual, perfect, intact.
At that moment, I knew I was healed. Filled with inspiration and deep gratitude to God, I continued my prayer. I was convinced that there was nothing aside from God and His perfect goodness, and that as His reflection, this perfection applied to me right then. I felt I was proving that "the sick are not healed merely by declaring there is no sickness, but by knowing that there is none" (Science and Health, p. 447).
Then, as if a heavy coat had been removed from my shoulders, the fear and all of the symptoms left. My breathing became normal, the incessant coughing just stopped, and for the first time I slept right through the night. The next morning, when giving my gratitude to the practitioner, I realized that my normal voice had returned, too. And there were no aftereffects.
This healing—an unquestionable proof of God's care—had been permanent, and an inspiration for my family and friends.