The Thanksgiving church service that changed my life

Twenty years ago , a friend invited me to attend a Thanksgiving Day service at his local Christian Science Society. Little did I know that it would change my life.

For ten years prior to this invitation, this friend had been so supportive. When my husband no longer wanted to be married, my friend helped me navigate the divorce with encouraging words, never making a harsh, judgmental comment or suggestion. He was kind, assuring me that all was well. Over the following year, he continued demonstrating God’s pure love and care, including me in many dinners, special occasions, and holiday events with his family. The genuine and selfless care, comfort, and love I experienced was the deciding factor in my attending that Thanksgiving Day service in 2002. 

When I arrived, the church was peaceful. Beautiful worship music was playing, and members were kind and friendly. I felt so calm and surrounded by love. Just seeing the words “God is Love” (see I John 4:8) on the wall gave me a sense of warmth and security. I had been raised in another Christian denomination and had spent 45 years as a member of various other congregations. The atmosphere was much different at my friend’s church. I attended services regularly for eight months. 

I realized that I needed spiritual nourishment.

As time passed, I remarried and started attending the church my husband belonged to, which was of another denomination. I gradually drifted back into a routine of activities and attendance there, but felt that the joy and comfort and the true, spiritual meaning of the Scriptures and the Lord’s Prayer were lacking. 

For the next 18 years, my heart and soul missed what I had experienced at my friend’s Christian Science Society. I realized that I needed the spiritual nourishment it offered. So, in 2021 I made the decision to once again attend a service at that society. The same loving elements were present: peaceful music, beautiful hymns, encouraging Bible readings, and an inspiring Bible Lesson-Sermon from the Christian Science Quarterly (composed of passages from the Bible and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy). 

It had been twenty years since I had first attended, but now my heart and mind were open to hear and know the truth that God is ever-present Life and Love. My return brought a sense of God’s presence and quenched the thirst in my heart and soul. Psalms 42:1 says it well: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (New King James Version). My heart and mind were once again being nourished. On May 22, 2022, I became a member of that society. God’s timing is always perfect. Eighteen years could not diminish my longing for a greater understanding of His true nature as Life, Truth, and Love. 

I am content and joyful, and feel blessed each day to demonstrate and share Truth and unconditional love with others. 

Since my return to Christian Science a year ago, I have had a significant physical healing through prayer. Following a bad fall caused by tripping over a stool in the dark, I prayed for wisdom and strength. The loud thump of my fall woke up my husband, which was surprising, because he is normally a heavy sleeper. Seeing the blood on the floor, he wanted to call an ambulance, thinking I would need stitches. But I assured him that I was fine and that God was caring for me, and I cleaned myself up. Even with a split lip and a loose front tooth, I remained calm, knowing that all would be well. This fall occurred around midnight on a Saturday. The following morning, I emailed several church members, and asked for prayer, as I planned to attend the service in spite of my appearance. The members couldn’t have been more kind or supportive. I experienced no pain. 

A few weeks later, I had a routine dentist appointment, and the dentist warned me that a scar would form on my upper lip because I was “mature in age, female, and fair-skinned.” But I continued to pray silently during the exam. I am happy to report that my tooth is no longer loose, being seated firmly and in perfect alignment with my other teeth, and there is no scar on my upper lip! 

God does so much more than just heal our physical hurts. Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health: “Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth” (p. 505). Today, I am content and joyful, and feel blessed each day to demonstrate and share Truth and unconditional love with others. It’s good to be home.

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