Between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I took time off to join an intensive performing arts program. I took many classes related to the performing arts, performed in professional shows, and taught children.
Although I loved the program, I had to learn how to balance a demanding schedule and adjust to a new environment. Initially, I struggled with feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
As a student of Christian Science, I have learned that I can turn to God when I feel like this, and after I dedicated myself to prayer for a couple of months, the joy, peace, fulfillment, and balance returned to my life. I finally felt on top of everything again. No sooner did I feel this way, though, than I was knocked back down—literally.
While I was rehearsing a dance at a Saturday morning practice, another dancer accidentally hit me forcefully in the head. This knocked me off my feet, and I felt dizzy and disoriented. Unable to continue dancing, I stepped off to the side.
At that point I found it hard to focus, comprehend, or balance, but I knew that I could still pray. There were a lot of ideas I prayed with, but the core idea was that I could never be separated from God’s loving embrace.
During the lunch break, I called a Christian Science practitioner. She shared this idea from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man” (p. 393). I particularly liked the idea of rising—that I could rise above anything that wasn’t an expression of God’s goodness. Trusting in these ideas, I attended the remainder of my practice, even though I didn’t yet feel back to normal.
The next day, I went to rehearsal again. But it was difficult for me to participate, and I was concerned that this might be a concussion. After my weekend rehearsals, I decided to take the week off from school to dedicate time to undistracted prayer.
At first, it was difficult. I felt defeated. Just when things had started to go well for me, along came another challenge! When I talked to the practitioner about this, she guided me toward this statement in Science and Health: “It requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion” (p. 97).
I was comforted by this because it helped me realize that I could feel triumphant in God, good. The good I was doing in my arts program through expressing spiritual qualities was an example of Truth lifting her voice higher. My frustration, as well as the symptoms of the head injury, would be “silenced in oblivion.” Divine Truth would triumph.
Throughout the week, whenever I felt I could not think or speak as coherently as I normally do, or felt a heaviness in my head, I continued to pray to rise above error’s “scream”—the false suggestion that I could experience anything outside of Truth’s goodness.
I also prayed with the truth that there is only one Mind, which Science and Health explains is a synonym for God. This Mind is infinite Spirit, and as Mind’s spiritual reflection, I could expect to feel mental harmony. That week, I regained more clarity, had more focused conversations, and was able to read with greater ease. A shift in my thought was taking place as I was giving my attention to God.
Although I had made significant progress, I began to feel worried about my upcoming rehearsals, since we had a show in three weeks. So I forced myself to go to a rehearsal the following Saturday.
I had a difficult time and felt I had regressed. When I called the practitioner again, she reminded me that I could only keep rising, or progressing, and that I needed to trust God with the completion of this healing.
When it came time for Sunday’s rehearsal, I wrestled with whether or not I should attend. It finally dawned on me that I had to let go of willfulness and my own limited timeline. God was uplifting me in His perfect timelessness. I had to trust God completely with this healing and understand that He was in charge.
Turning to God in prayer, I got very quiet, ready to listen. The message strongly came to me that I should stay home and have an afternoon of prayer and Christian Science study. This time, I was obedient and fully surrendered to God’s healing power.
I stopped trying to force the healing to happen and released all personal expectations. When I did this, I felt relief; peace and calmness washed over me, eliminating frustration and confusion. I finally felt a strong conviction of God’s all-power and ever-presence.
That day there was rapid progress. The heaviness I had felt in my head disappeared, and I regained complete mental clarity. That week I returned to school, free from all effects of the injury. My friends helped me learn what I had missed in practice, and I was able to participate normally in classes and rehearsals. And I performed in our show two weeks later with boundless joy and energy.
I was so grateful to learn more about what it means to set aside fear and willfulness and rise in Spirit’s, God’s, strength. We can faithfully trust in God’s care for us.
Yorba Linda, California, US
Access more great content like this
Welcome to JSH-Online, the home of the digital editions of The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald. We hope you enjoy the content that has been shared with you. To learn more about JSH-Online visit our Learn More page or Subscribe to receive full access to the entire archive of these periodicals, and to new text and audio content added daily.