As a child I was diagnosed with both asthma and emphysema. My mother was a Christian Scientist, but at the time my father was not, and to honor his wishes I received medical treatment. Both conditions persisted, though, and when the symptoms were particularly troublesome, I was grateful for how my mother’s loving and strong sharing of spiritual ideas she’d learned in Christian Science eased the discomfort. One of my favorite ideas was that our real identity is actually not material; we are spiritual expressions of God, divine Love, and therefore naturally express His harmony and goodness.
After high school I went to study at a ballet boarding school in France. However, the respiratory difficulties prevented me from participating fully in the program. The school mandated that I see a doctor, who kindly prescribed a list of medications.
But I wanted to do more than just manage the symptoms, and I knew from healings I had witnessed and experienced that Christian Science could bring permanent healing. So instead of having the prescriptions filled, I contacted a member of the branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I had been attending locally and asked her for Christian Science treatment. The woman agreed to pray for me in this way, which meant using the practice of healing prayer as explained in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. This kind of prayer is grounded in understanding the true nature of God as Love and our unchanging relation to God as Love’s reflections.
As we both prayed, something I had been learning in Christian Science became clearer to me: that I was not a struggling mortal but the spiritual and whole offspring of God. As such, I could never be encumbered by an inability to function. God, divine Spirit, is ever active, present, and supremely powerful.
I thought of a time I’d been instantly healed of flu symptoms when I had prayed and had gained an insight into my safety as God’s child. So I felt confident that in this instance, too, I would be healed and that the breathing problems had never touched my real identity. Understanding that God’s power and goodness are supreme enables us to experience practical evidences of that fact in our daily lives.
This proved true when I was at the church member’s home for lunch with her and her husband and had the opportunity to walk their dachshunds. The thought came to me that I could never walk these two energetic dogs. But I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible passages: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I also remembered a statement from Science and Health referring to God as divine Mind: “Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action” (p. 283).
These ideas reminded me that freedom of movement is everyone’s natural, God-given right, and our ability to express this freedom cannot be limited. The joy of demonstrating and living this is ours always.
I was able to easily complete and even enjoy the dog walking, taking delight in the dogs’ exuberance. And after a wonderful French meal, I returned home by catching the local bus and then, without difficulty, walking back to my dorm room.
The final healing occurred about a week later. I felt a recurrence of the symptoms coming on and mentally affirmed my status of spiritual perfection. I instantly felt calm and was able to breathe freely. One moment I was struggling; the next I was completely free. And from that point on, the symptoms never returned.
I was able to return to the ballet program full time and later danced professionally in both ballet and modern dance. This was over 40 years ago, and the healing has proved permanent.
Is it any wonder that I’ve dedicated my career to dance? I believe that each day that I teach, coach, choreograph, or take a class myself is a wonderful and joyous expression of the God-given freedom I gained so many years ago and living proof of the efficacy of Christian Science.
Adapted from a testimony published in the Nov. 5, 2018, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.