Profound results from a search for happiness
As a child, I occasionally attended a Protestant Sunday School, but I never really learned much about the nature of God or how He could help me. Later, as a young adult, I attended various churches. I read the Bible, but much of it seemed contradictory.
After marriage, my husband and I moved to California and became members of a Protestant church. Sometime later, I felt a need for spiritual counseling as I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I thought, “If there is a God, why am I not happy?” I longed to know about God and how I related to Him. So I went to the pastor of our church for help. He suggested psychological counseling, which I never attended. But I remember the pastor saying, “Bea, God has a plan for you.”
I had been searching for truth and was always in a library or bookstore. I read many books and found some interesting and helpful ideas—but I needed more!
After my husband and I divorced, I moved back to a small town in my home state. One day, while my car was being serviced, I saw some magazines on a rack. I took one—an issue of the Christian Science Sentinel—and began reading. It had a stamp on it that said, “Take me home,” so I did. I found what I was reading very interesting. I thought that if these ideas came from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I needed to get that book.
I found the address of the local Christian Science Reading Room stamped on the Sentinel. I wasn’t sure what a Reading Room was, but I decided to go. I thought it would be a regular bookstore. So when I came in, I asked about some recipe books. The attendant said, “We don’t have any of those books, but we have this book.” He handed me Science and Health.
As I began reading Science and Health, I found ideas about God that were new to me: that God is divine Love and that I am the perfect, loving reflection of God. So I decided to attend the local Church of Christ, Scientist, to find out more.
The service was a Wednesday night testimony meeting, but when it was time for testimonies, no one stood up. So after a while, I stood up and said, “This is my first time in a Christian Science church, and I’ve come to hear about healings!”
Well, the testimonies began right away—one after another. I heard about healings of diseases and challenges of everyday living, which resulted from prayer and study of the Bible and Science and Health. After the meeting, everyone came over and greeted me. I felt such a welcoming love that I thought to myself, “This is it! I don’t need to look any further.”
I went home and threw out the vitamins that I had lined up on my kitchen shelf, following a health fad at the time. The experience that night had shown me that dietary supplements didn’t hold the key to my health.
Like mother birds, the members of this church took me under their wings. They introduced me to the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson found in the Christian Science Quarterly and showed me how to mark the citations in the Bible and Science and Health for that week’s Lesson. I learned how Mrs. Eddy founded her Church based on her discovery and understanding of the divine Truth underlying Christ Jesus’ healing work.
When I decided to join the local branch church, I wanted to be healed of a smoking habit. I contacted a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me. Within two weeks, I was healed.
When I first met the practitioner, I told her that I didn’t want to smoke anymore. She said she knew that as God’s spiritual idea I had never had a desire to smoke, so such a desire could have no power over me. I was learning that I was truly a good, pure, and perfect child of God, and that I was naturally free from any offensive habits.
One evening, I realized that I had to make a choice whether I was going to accept a pattern of one step forward, two steps back when it came to smoking. That night, I had my last cigarette and never again felt the desire to smoke.
While writing a letter requesting withdrawal from membership in the Protestant church in California, I remembered that the pastor had said that God had a plan for me. I thought of this promise of Christ Jesus: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). I certainly felt that this promise was fulfilled for me as I opened up my thought to know and understand God.
I’m so very grateful to have found the truth that frees us and shows us the relation of God to man. Mary Baker Eddy states in Science and Health: “The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained” (p. 547).
Christian Science is a guiding light for me. It has helped me to follow truth and grow in my understanding of God and man through my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook. I’m extremely grateful for other healings that I’ve had, and also to have served our movement as a Christian Science nurse, embracing others through God’s healing love. And I am happy!