Healing of a stubborn and hurt heart

Many years ago, a relationship I was in ended suddenly. I felt bitterness, betrayal, and many other negative feelings toward this individual for several years. I had been focusing on what I perceived as negative traits I’d seen this person express during the time we were together. When I asked for prayerful treatment from a Christian Science practitioner, it brought some relief, but every so often I would feel a sting of pain from the past; I just felt so wronged and hurt. 

Then, more recently, a lot of different things that needed to be addressed in my life came to a head all at the same time. I had come to the conclusion that all of these things were related to the barbs I had felt in this person’s words so long ago. A practitioner and I discussed ideas from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, particularly, “Christian Science commands man to master the propensities,—to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty” (p. 405). This spoke almost directly to some of my feelings, and to the fact that I needed to deal with these feelings. I was harboring hatred toward this person for leaving me, a desire for revenge—for them to feel the way I felt—and self-deception that had convinced me I was justified in how I’d been viewing this person.

The practitioner then told me to invert the picture of how I was seeing things—this would help me see what was really true in God’s kingdom. Where I saw hurt, anger, and deceit, I needed to realize the presence of God-given peace, joy, and honesty. I needed to see this individual as God sees all of His children. This statement from Science and Health explains how doing this enabled Christ Jesus to heal, providing a perfect example for us to follow: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals” (pp. 476–477). 

When this relationship ended, I had thought of this person as selfish. However, what I most needed to do was to see them instead as a loving, caring, nurturing child of God who is on their own journey with their own goals and sense of purpose, and this I was finally able to do. 

I also realized that this breakup had been the final push for me to do something I had been wanting to do since I was a kid, which was to join the United States Coast Guard. Now I am making a positive impact on those I interact with through serving in this way. I’m grateful for the spiritual growth this experience brought about. 

Spencer Wilmarth
Goose Creek, South Carolina, US

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