ONE MORNING IN FEBRUARY 2006, while my husband and I were visiting my youngest daughter, I found I was unable to move my legs. Later in the day I lost the use of my hands, and my speech also became slurred. My daughter called a Christian Science practitioner, who came to the house. The practitioner's words were very comforting as he reassured me of this Biblical truth: "In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). I understood this to mean that my true identity was in Spirit and therefore entirely spiritual, not in a physical body. Therefore I couldn't be susceptible to material conditions. My oldest daughter, a medical nurse, an RN, came to the house and said she thought I'd had a series of strokes. Nevertheless, at no time was I afraid or in pain.
From a practical standpoint, it seemed wise for me to be where I could receive professional Christian Science care, so my family made arrangements for me to go to a nearby Christian Science nursing facility. From the moment I arrived, I felt wonderfully supported by the love and efficient skill of the Christian Science nurses. My daughter, the RN, said she felt so much love expressed there that she felt OK about leaving me. My husband, who is a Christian Scientist, was also very supportive. He said he was sure I would have a complete healing and expressed this view to other family members.
Grateful for the peace of my surroundings, I studied the Bible and Science and Health constantly. I also gained much inspiration from reading Mary Baker Eddy's other writings. The practitioner prayed daily for me, and I prayed on my own, in particular with a passage from Psalms: "Be still, and know that I am God" (46:10). This verse gave me much encouragement. God is the only communicator, it told me. Don't listen to mortal mind—the opposite of the Mind who is God—and its false beliefs of disease and incapacity. Divine Love is all and governs all. I realized that I didn't have to figure out what I didn't know, but could trust God's infinite ability. I could thereby prove what I did know: God expresses only the perfection of all that He has made—including me. Through affirming the spiritual sense of creation, I could hold my thoughts to that view of perfection.
In addition to attending to my practical needs, the Christian Science nurses often read the Christian Science Bible Lesson to me and regularly offered reassuring words of encouragement. Throughout this time, I clearly felt the presence of the Christ, the healing atmosphere of divine Love. And I know that the spiritual perspective the nurses brought to their work contributed to my healing.
After about a week, my speech had returned almost to normal, though I still couldn't walk. But I never doubted that God would fully deliver me from this challenge.
I began working with a new practitioner when the one who had been helping me had to go out of town. In addition to the many ideas we discussed, she asked me to read a testimony titled "Born Again" in Science and Health (pp. 667—669). I read this inspiring account over and over. Interestingly, it included the passage that had already so fortified my faith: "Be still, and know that I am God." As I look back on this experience, I'm grateful that my confidence in spiritual healing only increased as I persisted in mentally sticking with the facts of God's goodness and allness.
With continued prayer, after several more weeks I was out of bed and walking with a walker. By the time I went home the following week, I had regained the full use of my hands, and my speech was normal. In another week I put aside the walker and soon could move in complete freedom.
This experience taught me some valuable lessons. I saw that even though my days were packed with my activities as a teacher, artists, homemaker, church member, and so on, it was essential to first take time for the most important activity of all: putting God first and staying in tune with Him. After the weeks of reprieve from all the busyness, I'd learned to have more patience and to cherish more than ever the truths that had healed me. I'd gained new appreciation of the statement "... self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life" (Science and Health, p. 462). This had certainly proved true for me.
Friends and family members have said they've noticed a change in me. Others have heard about my healing, and this has brought new opportunities to share Christian Science.
I'm profoundly grateful for Christian Science practitioners and nurses, who are on call 24/7, and for the marvelous support of my husband. And words can't express enough my gratitude for Mary Baker Eddy's vision of the Christ that is here for us all.
CHICO, CALIFORNIA, US
This article can also be found published in the Christian Science Journal, February 2009