The latest public health crisis, according to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s surgeon general, is what is termed ACE – or adverse childhood experience. She says that more than 60% of all adults suffer from the effects of childhood trauma, resulting from abuse, neglect, or parental mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, or divorce. Doctors report that the body gets wired by childhood stresses in ways that lead to sharply increased risk of serious disease.
However the medical community also acknowledges that loving, stable relationships can have a very positive impact and can help reverse the negative effects of difficult childhood experiences – for both children and adults. This report struck deep when I heard it, because every determining factor for ACE was present in my childhood. However, I found complete healing and have lived a life free of the predictions for those having suffered adverse childhood experiences. How is that possible?
I was introduced to Christian Science just after I turned 21. As I began to read “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, two sentences jumped off the pages – and changed my life. They were both about love – God’s love.
One reads, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (p. 13). The other says, in part, “Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven” (p. 57). These passages went deep because love was something I’d never experienced or even ever expected to experience. But I began to see that love is something that everyone, everywhere can know and feel – even me.
Through my continued study of Christian Science, I learned about a loving and nurturing God, the Love that embraces all impartially, and includes no negative elements. This God was right at hand to help and heal the effects of an adverse childhood experience. I also learned that whatever is created by divine Love, God, which includes you and me, must be spiritual and therefore all good and worthy of love. This truth of our inherent spirituality is the basis for our ability to feel and know God’s love in our lives.
Christian Science reveals that God’s love is not something that comes and goes according to the events in one’s life; His love is constantly there for us. God’s love is a fundamental fact we can turn to. It’s an actual law. It’s consistent, reliable, powerful. And it’s always present to be experienced. As we pray to understand God better, we feel the actual presence of Love, God, in our lives.
I found great solace and comfort in learning about God’s love. And I found that this love of God became evident in amazing and concrete ways. For the first time ever, I began to have relationships that were loving, caring, kind.
All this love that originated with God seemed like a fountain that poured forth healing. It cleansed me of the effects of childhood trauma, both mentally and physically. I found a life of health, purpose, and joy. It didn’t happen overnight, but I made steady progress, and freedom proved to be inevitable.
When we understand genuine love as ultimately derived from the divine, unlimited source, we can prayerfully affirm its availability for everyone. Hearts and bodies can be healed by recognizing this law of Love and its regenerating effects. So can love save a life? The answer is yes.