About six weeks after I started serving as a First Reader and two weeks after I started a new job, I noticed a lump on my breast and discoloration. I called a practitioner immediately.
Interestingly, and wonderfully, I was pretty calm; was not at all tempted by medicine. I was convinced the claim was not indicating some big personal character change needed but an attack related to the readership, which I love. Without saying anything about a problem, I asked our branch church executive board to make sure that someone was praying regularly for the platform. No one had been in any systematic way, so this changed.
Being First Reader meant that I had the privilege of doing readings on all the things I want to know more about. So I did readings on “look away from the body into Truth and Love,” on Christian Science Healing for the ages and this age, and on heredity. (My mom and grandmom passed on from breast cancer—but again surprisingly this hadn’t made too much of an impression. It seemed like a superstitious suggestion to me, but I did that reading to tell mortal mind to shut up about heredity.)
One of my great desires was to see more clearly that God does the work. I am not personally responsible. Every night, I read testimonies before bed. Funny how it seemed just about every testifier said… “all we have to do is accept what God has already done.” That led me to do a reading on childlike trust.
As I prayed more deeply some longstanding desires came back to me. Related to the recognition that God does the work is the wish to somehow unzip a personal sense of ego—to step out of my human competent self and so-called personality and really acknowledge where all good gifts and qualities come from.
The focus on “more God, less self” has also been a true help. I put it into practice many, many times in a day by turning to God with such one-minute prayers as: I know you’re all, God, and I’m so grateful; or God, you are my Father and Mother and you are parenting me all the time; or Isn’t it wonderful, God, that you’re the only power, and that disease has no power!
What was interesting about these quick prayers was that they were the opposite of the “deep dive” prayer that I usually do when I’m “in trouble.” I learned through this kind of praying that what matters most about prayer is that you are constantly focused on God. It’s the nearness, the frequent turning to God that counts.
Some months after the first lump had appeared, a second lump appeared in my other breast. But I knew the healing work and closeness to God was continuing.
The first lump just faded away. I think the healing came one day as I was driving home from work and listening to a CD of healings. By the time I got home, I felt just enveloped in love—specifically, the love of the Christian Science movement that I have experienced throughout my life. I was crying in my car in my garage over the incredible love expressed by Christian Science teachers, nurses, my Sunday School teachers the books themselves; I also felt tremendous support from my practitioner. It was as if the movement were behind me, rock solid and all-embracing.
That night or the next, the second lump began to drain. I called the nurse the next morning and she was there by noon; how grateful I was to have a Christian Science nurse come and attend to me. Thank you Mrs. Eddy, for seeing the revelation through!
I think I mentioned in an email last summer that I didn’t feel very loved by God, palpably loved. Indeed, I did a Wednesday reading on mother love, because what is the bosom but mother love? Ha, I never would have thought that God’s love for me would be felt as love from the Christian Science movement—which is so often accused of being “cold.” But that’s the love I felt, the love of the movement, the history, the steadfastness of all these dear people, past and present. It was phenomenal.
There is a bit of a P.S. to this healing. A few months ago, quite unexpectedly, I felt compelled to give this testimony at church. I kept questioning God about this because I really didn’t want to give this particular one (even though I testify on almost a weekly basis). But He was insistent, so I did. Many people told me that they were helped by it, but immediately afterward, I felt I had done the wrong thing. I was fearful that now that the healing was public, error was going to come roaring back and get me again. It was a strong sense of superstition.
I called the practitioner about this fear, and she sent me some wonderfully reassuring “forever” quotes, such as “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89). Those quotes helped, but what really sealed the healing for me was that a few weeks later one of our Bible lessons featured Jesus’ healings of women. The women’s healings seemed less important than what Jesus said to two of them after he had healed them: “Go in peace.” I felt the Christ was speaking directly to me, reassuring me: “This healing is complete. Go in peace. You don’t need to worry.” And I stopped worrying about it.
I’m absolutely fine; no recurrence and I feel confident about this healing. I plan to write it up for the periodicals, but thought sharing it with the Association would be a good first step. When I read in last week’s lesson that God raised up Christ Jesus on the third day “and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God” (Acts 10:40, 41), I jotted down a note to myself to share with the Association my healing. Association members seem to me to be witnesses chosen by God!