Originally appeared online in the teen series: Trending - December 3, 2019
Transitioning from middle school to high school was a shock for me. I was not prepared for the larger workload and higher expectations. Every single night I found myself staying up past midnight to finish my homework, and this led to my biggest problem of all: fatigue.
Fatigue was affecting my performance in school, but I felt there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was working hard to get my homework done early, but the load never lightened. I even tried things like listening to classical music while I studied, getting help from teachers, and creating schedules for myself. But I still had to stay up just as late, and I was still so tired.
Since nothing I’d tried was working, I decided to ask my Christian Science Sunday School teachers if they had any ideas. I like that what I learn in Sunday School is practical, and that I can find answers and healing through prayer, even when I can’t find them anywhere else.
Tiredness can’t affect something spiritual, so it can’t affect me, since I’m spiritual.
My teachers suggested that I could pray about the fatigue, and together we looked at the spiritual definition of man in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. In Christian Science, man is a term that includes everyone, not just men, and is used to explain the real, spiritual nature of each of us. The definition reads, “The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind” (p. 591 ). We talked about how man, being “the spiritual image and likeness of God,” must reflect all the qualities of God, including strength, consistency, harmony, and so on. Also, the word spiritual was important: Tiredness can’t affect something spiritual, so it can’t affect me, since I’m spiritual.
Once I got home, I decided to take things further and look up a few other ideas in Science and Health. One that stood out to me was, “God never punishes man for doing right, for honest labor, or for deeds of kindness, though they expose him to fatigue, cold, heat, contagion” (p. 384 ). This helped me understand that since fatigue doesn’t come from God, it can’t have any power. God has all the power and supports us in whatever we have to do.
Another passage I liked came from a testimony in the chapter “Fruitage” at the end of Science and Health: “Through reading the textbook I learned that God has given us strength to do all we have to do, and that it is the things we do not have to do (the envying, strife, emulating, vain glorying, and so on) that leave in their wake fatigue and discord” (p. 683 ). I found that reading, and finding these passages on my own, really helped solidify what we’d talked about in Sunday School and enabled me to understand how free, strong, and supported I am as God’s reflection.
The next week, I really worked on keeping these ideas front and center, and I soon found that as the days turned into weeks, I wasn’t feeling tired. I was still working on school assignments just as late, but I’d had a complete healing of the fatigue. Even when I went to bed after midnight, I would still wake up feeling refreshed—as though I hadn’t stayed up late the previous night. And I found I was performing better in school, too.
Because of this healing, I now know that prayer really can help me break through any limitations in school and in life.