'A change in human belief'

Originally published in Der Christian Science Herold

For years I'd been suffering from gallstones and from the severe pains that regularly accompanied them. I had gone to see doctors when I had acute gallstone colics, to get relief from the pain through medication. Almost all of the doctors had advised an operation. But I was afraid of surgery.

Since I thought what I ate might be contributing to the gallstones, my way of dealing with this was to avoid certain foods. But the list of foods that I didn't think I should eat became longer and longer.

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Another reason for the gallstone colics, I felt, was my anger. So I made an effort to think more positively and to stay away from negative thoughts. But I didn't succeed too well. I kept encountering situations in my life that caused me to react angrily. And then right away I would have this fear: "If you react, the pain will come back!" And often it did. Then, in addition to the pain, I had to deal with feelings of guilt: "This is your own fault—because you got angry again."

But I began to realize more and more that it wasn't the food I ate, or any anger I felt, that was causing the attacks. Rather, I sensed it was the thought of them, and the fear that they might come back. It became clearer to me that it was a purely mental thing. And I began to think that the healing also had to happen mentally. My thought needed to be "operated" on. But how?

It was at this point that I remembered how Science and Health had often helped my parents. For me it was a great comfort that this book described and explained a spiritual method of healing that had cured many people of all kinds of physical and mental ailments.

I decided to study these spiritual ideas more deeply myself. Often I would exchange with a Christian Science practitioner thoughts about what I read and the insights I gained. It became very important for me to understand what God is, what role He plays in our existence, and who I am as His creation. Theoretically and practically, I learned that I had a connection to God—a God who is Love, who loves His creation, me, and doesn't punish me for anything. I became more conscious of spiritual laws that heal—laws that had existed all along, but that I mostly hadn't been aware of.

Furthermore, I became more aware that my true nature was also based on the divine creation. The idea that I was a material, sick, and depressed person was replaced with a spiritual concept of myself as whole. I had a few healings during this time through these new insights. And that showed me that I was on the right path.

One night, I again had a very bad gallstone attack, and I was depressed. I was ready to ask my husband to take me to a doctor because I didn't think I could stand the pain anymore. He encouraged me to trust God. And so I decided to call a Christian Science practitioner for prayer, because I knew that I wasn't able at that moment to pray for myself.

Lovingly, she said to me, "You're not an overburdened mortal." "Exactly," I thought, "I'm just God's beloved child." I claimed this reassurance for myself and didn't accept anything else as true. I knew that only divine Love could help me.

Within five minutes I felt such peace and calm, and such love, that any destructive thoughts I'd had were dissolved. It was like a wave pouring over my body from top to bottom, wiping away all pain. I let go of all my worries and let myself fall into the arms of this divine Love. I was trusting in this good power.

Then I fell asleep. When I woke up about two hours later without any pain, I felt deeply touched by what had happened. I realized that I had experienced in practical terms what Science and Health states in this way: "A change in human belief changes all the physical symptoms, and determines a case for better or for worse. When one's false belief is corrected, Truth sends a report of health over the body" (p. 194).

From that time on, I no longer followed any special diet. And these attacks, as well as the fear of them, have never returned. This healing happened more than eight years ago. And even if I lose my temper occasionally, I don't destructively condemn myself anymore.

Marietta Stofer
Neu-Ulm, Germany

January 10, 2005

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