A deep, persistent desire to know God

While growing up, I attended Sunday School at the Church of Christ, Scientist, where my parents were members. I came to love the ideas of Christian Science and joined that same church when I was sixteen. However, I felt unable to heal myself or others or to explain my religion when asked probing questions.

During my junior year in high school, a Sunday School friend and I represented our school at a three-day state leadership conference. During an ecumenical discussion, we were asked to talk about Christian Science. I was relieved to defer to my friend and was impressed by his ability to describe Christian Science in a clear and understandable way. But I was blindsided when he ended his remarks by saying he didn’t actually believe or practice Christian Science himself. This was discouraging: If my friend could so clearly explain Christian Science, why didn’t he believe it? And if I couldn’t articulate what I believed, wouldn’t that mean that I didn’t really understand it? Or that maybe I didn’t believe it myself?

I felt a deep, persistent desire to understand this Science and to really know God. I wanted the kind of knowing that comes from a direct, definitive experience of the divine presence in my life—giving me a foundation I could stand on even if doubts or questions arose. Every night I prayed for this knowing. It was a simple yearning, a fervent reaching of the heart for something more than concepts.

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