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From the October 26, 2009 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with H1N1 influenza, or "swine flu." I went home from the doctor's office and began to seek confidence to approach the healing through Christian Science.

Last winter, I found out about Christian Science for the first time through a boyfriend and became interested in learning more. Since then, I've been having healings through prayer, so the decision to seek a prayerful resolution this way felt right.

Throughout most of that night, I struggled with flu symptoms, although I was resting and praying to feel the fullness of God's love. But I was still afraid. So the next morning, I spent time on the phone with a Christian Science practitioner. She helped me confront fearful thoughts with the pure spiritual truth that I was God's reflection. We discussed examples and illustrations I could grab hold of and ponder.

My friends call me "Rae," and it was meaningful to hear the practitioner say that God is like the sun (the source), and we are like the rays. Just as dark clouds can't alter the rays, we can't be altered or harmed by anything unlike God, because God is good. Also, if you're in a dance studio and take a look at the dancer in the mirror, it's clear that the reflection isn't doing the work. We are God's reflection. A line from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, says, "God rests in action" (p. 519). I liked this because it showed me how God is the source of movement and action. And I could rest in the fact that God is at work.

I spent the next few hours reading from the Bible and Science and Health. The idea of God being synonymous with Love, Life, good, Truth, etc., began to take hold in my thoughts and helped me realize that sin, sickness, and death are not of God, and therefore are merely my enemies, and don't have to be accepted.

This turned me to a portion of Psalm 23 where David writes, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me" (verse 4). I realized that God leads me in paths of goodness, righteousness, peace, and joy—paths that are full of life and love. When I walk through a "valley," it is not because God has led me there, but He is still with me to guide and comfort my thoughts as I find my way through it.

I realized that the mention of "the valley of the shadow of death" shows death, and its "minions" of illness and fear to be shadows, supposed obstructions to the light, or truth about my spiritual, immortal being. But a shadow isn't real; it has no substance. It's just made by something standing in the path of the sun's rays.

I moved on to this part of the psalm: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies" (verse 5). This meant to me that a feast of love had been prepared for me, right where it looked like sickness had a hold. My life overflows with goodness as a result of divine Love's absolute goodness.

As I continued to study this psalm, I had some insights on this verse: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever" (verse 6). I'd always defined forever as the afterlife, leading into eternity. In other words "a future forever." However, I suddenly realized that forever supersedes time, and includes now. Past, present, and future are all encompassed in forever.

If this definition is true, I reasoned, I dwell in the house of the Lord now! If I truly dwell in the house of the Lord, my consciousness always dwells with His thoughts, and He is divine Mind. If my thoughts are truly stayed on God, everything unGodlike will fade away. Common beliefs about contagion, no matter how insistent, don't have to affect me, or anyone, in fact, because they have no real power or God-supported foundation.

As I turned my thoughts toward these ideas, I felt the sickness begin to lose its hold on me. It was replaced by an overwhelming sense of joy, of the unchanging presence of Truth, Life, and Love. When I felt this amazing sense of God reclaim my consciousness, the symptoms completely faded away. I got out of bed, put on my running shoes, and went out to enjoy a four-mile run by myself in a quiet residential area.

The "enemy" of fear and illness had been defeated. God had been, and still is, "my strength and song" (Ps. 118:14).

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