I always considered myself to be a logical person. I liked knowing that doing things in a logical way will lead to my own desired outcome—a specific cause that leads to a desired effect. I thought that by being prepared, I could rely on myself to have everything that I needed. But during softball season my senior year in college, I had an experience that reminded me that relying on myself to make things happen often falls short of an answer; whereas, looking to God as my source, the real and only cause, is what’s actually effective.
One Monday afternoon, as I sat in my last class before softball practice, I was hit with a sudden, overwhelming stomach pain that made it hard to sit up straight or concentrate in class. This had never occurred before, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to participate in practice that day. I was disappointed because softball practice was the highlight of my day. And as team captain, I didn’t want to let my teammates down.
At first, I tried to figure out what had caused the pain. What had I eaten? Had I gotten enough sleep? Was I not taking good enough care of my body?
I didn’t want to let my teammates down.
I realized that I was taking care of myself. But more important, I recognized that thinking this way wasn’t productive, since it wasn’t going to solve the problem. So I stopped looking for a material cause and started to pray for myself. I thought about an idea from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God” (p. 275). I knew that this pain was not from God, since God, who is Love, causes only good. Therefore, the pain did not have any source. It was nothing more than a misperception—a belief that there was some cause other than God—and since it had no true source, the pain could be gone.
I stuck with these thoughts throughout class, but I still felt I was too unwell for practice. I asked myself what I should do. Should I go to practice, or should I find a quiet place to rest? Going to practice and supporting my team seemed like a right idea. And I knew I could, trusting God as my source—because this brings healing. But how could I possibly go about my day when I was in this much pain? As I thought back on all the healings I’d had in the past, though, I knew that healing was possible in this situation, too.
I prayed, “Father, I am here. Please allow me to do Your work.”
With confidence in God to heal, I started praying about how to go forward. Peace came over me, and an idea became clear: I should go to practice.
This message was so clear. I knew I could obey it, and that God was supporting me. I made my way to softball practice. I didn’t know if I could participate or not, but I just took the next step, and then the next. I let go of feeling like everything was up to me and focused on expressing the qualities of God, who is my Father and Mother—my true source.
When I arrived at practice, I still wasn’t feeling well. I prayed: “Father, I am here. Please allow me to do Your work.” This prayer was a release of my own sense of control over the situation and of any desire to create a certain outcome. Instead of thinking that I could power my way through practice, I felt myself yielding to God’s power and what He was expressing through me. I knew that God was supplying me with all the qualities I needed to do His work.
And then I was free! I hopped up from where I was sitting and participated fully in a great practice. This pain has never returned.
I am so grateful for this experience. It taught me the power of getting myself—my own preparation, abilities, and my focus on a certain outcome—out of the way and trusting God as my source completely.