You are so beautiful

Growing up in a home without a father or brothers was difficult for me. I believed that not having a male around to balance out the constant competition with my sisters for the attention and approval of a single parent, as well as rivalry amongst us to be the smartest and prettiest, resulted in my having a poor self-image. 

Of all my mother’s children, I was the only one who did not inherit her curvaceous figure. As a teenager, living in a culture that placed great emphasis on the female physique, I was in despair over my misfortune. I harbored a feeling of insecurity until my adulthood, when I was forced to face it head-on after a lump developed in my breast.

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I discovered the lump right after being reunited with my husband. He and I had been legally separated for a year because of his unfaithfulness. All of my past insecurities resurfaced, along with a sense of inadequacy. The lump grew and became noticeably larger and painful. As time passed, I began to feel increasingly fatigued and weak. The fear of having cancer and dying overwhelmed me. Although I was praying about this, I thought it wise to let my mother know what I was dealing with.

I could pray to know that all good and beautiful thoughts of myself were true, and all negative thoughts were lies that God never made.

Shortly after I arrived at my mother’s house, my Christian Science teacher phoned and asked to speak to me. I do not live with my mother, so to have my teacher calling me there at that precise time was divine providence. Her very first words to me were, “You are so beautiful.” This took me by surprise, and tears filled my eyes. How did she know that I had been struggling to see my beauty in the midst of all the ugly thoughts I had been harboring about myself?

I shared with her my great concern about whether to see a doctor and get a medical diagnosis. She lovingly told me I was free to make any decision, but she encouraged me not to “make real a lie.” She said that I could immediately pray to know that all good and beautiful thoughts of myself were true, and all negative thoughts were lies that God never made and doesn’t know of me.

I began at once to lift my thoughts to God. To help me, I made a list of all my God-given qualities. If I did not yet display some of those qualities, it was a reminder that I should aspire to do so, as God only knows what is good—and that as God’s perfect idea I must also embody all that is good. I placed a list of these spiritual traits on my bathroom wall, and the more I read them aloud and really knew within myself that I am good, the happier I became. No longer weighed down by depressing thoughts, I regained my strength and vitality. 

However, I remember having to rebuke some recurring thoughts of possible death. During my two weeks of Primary class instruction in Christian Science, I had learned that Life is another name for God. I reasoned that the thought of death was not to be given a foothold, because it was not good and therefore not of God. I fought very hard mentally to live, to express God as Life. I cherished my new Godlike identity so much that I actually forgot about the lump.

Then I found I was pregnant, and my thoughts were focused on welcoming the new child. After weaning the child, I noticed that the lump was gone. Since then I have been eternally grateful to God and praising Him with the words of a Psalm: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14).

As I write this article, I am reminded of a quotation from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: “It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness” (p. 304).

This condition presented itself in 2006, and the complete healing took place in 2008. It took time and effort to root out error and plant and nurture truth. The knowledge I have gained as a student of Christian Science has helped me tremendously, and having access to the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson to support my prayers was also of great assistance in bringing about this healing.

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