Healed in Costa Rica

Growing up in Christian Science, I always relied on prayer for healing and inspiration. But it was in eighth grade that I truly made it my own and really adopted this approach to healing.

Each year, the eighth grade class at my middle school goes on a trip to Costa Rica for about a week and a half, and my friends and I had been excitedly planning for months. Before the trip I also prepared spiritually with my parents, praying to understand that my well-being came from a totally spiritual source. I knew that my health and safety were assured by God, no matter where in the world I was. By the time we were ready to leave, I felt secure and confident in God’s protection and guidance, as well as in my loving support at home. It would be my first time out of the country alone, and I was ready for the adventure!

During the first half of the trip, we stayed in an ecolodge in the rainforest, where each day was filled with tree climbing, natural cooking, swimming in the river, and environmental learning. After volunteering at a local child-care facility to restore their playground, we traveled to a small city on the coast called Uvita.

I knew that my health and safety were assured by God, no matter where in the world I was.

The next day, we headed out to explore and relax on Caño Island. I was really enthusiastic to go swimming in the warm Costa Rican ocean, but as I stepped onto the sand I began to feel nauseated. I sat down on a log while my friends asked me what was wrong. I told them I just needed some space for a while, so all but one took off down the beach. As I sat in silence next to my friend in the cool shade of the palm trees, looking out into the sparkling Pacific Ocean, I was amazed at the harmony that surrounded us. God’s perfection and beauty were being expressed in each laughing tourist and every wave that tumbled onto the beach. I began to hum the tune of Hymn 148 from the Christian Science Hymnal. Although I couldn’t remember all the verses, the first came to mind:

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
(Anna L. Waring)

It was comforting to know that I was always abiding in God, heavenly Love. At first, I didn’t completely understand the second line, “No change my heart shall fear,” so I decided to break it down. Change could mean anything other than harmony and perfection—like the discomfort I seemed to be experiencing even amid all the harmony being expressed around me. The word fear, in addition to meaning “be afraid of,” can also mean to give authority and power to something. I clearly didn’t need to give any power to this belief of nausea, and it could not take away from my God-given freedom to enjoy the harmony in His kingdom. Error had no power at all to hinder my expression of pure joy.

Channing

I continued to sing, and within ten minutes, I was feeling better. Rejoining my friends, I was able to swim and enjoy the beauty of the beach, the island, and the day without limitation.

Through this healing I gained understanding and confidence in Christian Science because I felt directly connected to and protected by God. I was so grateful that I’d been able to pray for myself. This time, it hadn’t been necessary for me to rely on my parents or a Christian Science practitioner. I realized that I could demonstrate His omnipotence wherever I am: whether it be at home with my family, in a foreign country with my friends, or in any other situation that I could find myself in. I learned not to let false suggestions limit or define me, and that nothing can hinder God’s expression or perfection.

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