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Strong sense of anxiety overcome through prayer

From the May 1, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Originally published in the April 2017 Spanish edition of The Herald of Christian Science.

In 2010, I was selected for a 15-month consultancy with the United Nations in the Dominican Republic. I was very happy for this opportunity that God was giving me in my career, and I left my country with joyful expectation. 

However, when I arrived in the Dominican Republic and started my job, I started to suffer from a strong sense of anxiety. All the joy I had initially felt vanished within a couple of days, and fear seemed to hold a huge black cloud over my thought. I was feeling very insecure regarding the work I had to do, and I strongly doubted my skills. In addition, I had also started to feel a strange sensation in my hands, which made me feel worried. 

Even on weekends I wasn’t able to find peace. My thought would fill up with fear when thinking about the many responsibilities that were awaiting me at the office on Monday. Also, the discomfort in my hands didn’t stop. 

During this time, I would frequently talk with my mom, who has been a student of Christian Science for many years, and she would tell me not to be afraid and that those fearful thoughts didn’t belong to me, because God was with me. She would also tell me that those anxious thoughts were not real. However, I felt that they were very real, and I thought I was dealing with some sort of mental challenge; my fear would increase whenever I thought this way. 

So I began to pray, and I turned to the Bible and to the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. There was a passage in the Bible that helped me a lot and would calm my thought: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). I knew that although these fearful thoughts seemed to have a strong hold on me, I could find healing because my name was “written in heaven.”

In Science and Health, I found a lot of refuge in the following passage: “Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal. Nothing unspiritual can be real, harmonious, or eternal” (p. 335). That last phrase had a strong impact on me. I understood that material sensations did not have power to persist because they are not eternal. The only realities that could be felt eternally—or anytime—were harmony, liberty, and joy. 

During this time, I had to give an important public presentation in front of a large audience. When preparing for it, I didn’t know how I would give the presentation without feeling fearful or insecure. I decided to ask a Christian Science practitioner for support. He lovingly calmed my thought and told me that I didn’t have anything to fear, that God was going to be present, and that I only had to let God be expressed in me. 

The day of the presentation I felt God’s presence, and I was able to give an excellent presentation, knowing that God was expressing Himself in me, and that I reflected God at every moment. 

After this presentation, and after having worked with the practitioner for a while, I felt there was a transformation in my thought. I felt at peace, and I no longer felt any anxiety. Also, the strange sensation in my hands disappeared completely. I feel very grateful to God for this wonderful healing I experienced. 

Gabriella Horbaty-Byrd 
Boston, Massachusetts, US

Originally published in the April 2017 Spanish edition of The Herald of Christian Science.

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