A renewed practice
It was through a wonderful healing that I reached a significant turning point in my spiritual growth and recommitted myself to the path of progress defined by Christian Science—the path to wholeness, health, and salvation. The healing helped build the foundation that impelled me to enter the healing practice full time; and now, sharing the universal remedy that is Christian Science is my greatest joy.
I was suffering from symptoms of a repetitive strain injury in my right shoulder, and at times the pain was debilitating. I had dabbled in praying about the condition, but I began to think that there must be a quicker way to relieve my suffering than Christian Science. The severity of the issue seemed to blind me to a lifetime of successful reliance on prayer for healing.
I turned to massage therapy instead and found some comfort, but no true relief. I then turned to chiropractic care and again received only temporary help. On my last visit, the kind doctor told me that my left shoulder was perfect, but shook her head sadly and said, with her hand on my right shoulder, “This shoulder? I can do nothing more for you.”
Sometime after that, I was elected First Reader of my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, a position that served to quickly and wholly shake me out of the anxious feeling that my body was broken and that a solution could be found in matter. I was determined to seek permanent healing through what our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, rightly calls the “sovereign panacea” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 407).
Over the course of the next year or so, I alternately called upon two different Christian Science practitioners, both of whom helped me greatly in setting my thought on the right course. One helped me learn that I didn’t need to carry the weight of others’ decisions on my shoulders. Instead of worrying, I could obey the words of Hymn 224 and praise God more (John Ryland, Christian Science Hymnal). The other practitioner reminded me of the importance of our daily defensive work in Christian Science, which I took up with renewed commitment and earnestness. Still, the physical problem persisted and even worsened.
I found myself preparing for my Christian Science students’ association with dread. Normally, I look forward to joyfully greeting many friends, both old and new, but hugging and shaking hands were intensely painful. I was also sad that dancing with my husband was impossible. Even such a mundane activity as stretching was quite literally out of my reach. These limitations were the final straw. I vowed to call a practitioner again and this time engage with her until the healing was accomplished, even though I was worried that it would take a long time.
I prayed each day with the practitioner. My fear of the condition, which I had just about decided was something I would have to live with forever, dissolved. I became immersed in the spiritual truths that dawned on me day after day. In fact, I was so focused on maintaining uplifted thought that from time to time the practitioner would inquire about progress with my shoulder.
When I responded that I wasn’t concerned with it in the slightest, she reminded me that it is important and necessary for Truth to have an effect. I appreciated this recognition that Christian Science is not a theory that gives us happy, Pollyanna thoughts; rather, it is a powerful antidote to pain and fear. Christian Science practice improves the human condition.
The change in my thought was momentous in terms of what it did for my spiritual growth. I felt as if I was being gently cleansed of attitudes not like God, including frustration, irritability, and impatience, while growing in love and grace. I began to understand that I could not be separated from any Godlike quality. Most important, I learned to see that human will-power and a feeling of personal competency needed to be replaced by an understanding of the Holy Ghost, divine Science, the will of God; and that it is the power of the Holy Ghost that moves, governs, and animates me and all.
At the end of seven weeks, the practitioner and I simultaneously came to the conclusion that our prayers together were complete. The physical healing continued until it was entirely resolved. Now I have freedom from all pain and a renewed, natural range of motion. When I hug, dance, and stretch, I feel as if I’m raising my arms to praise God!