Healed of hopelessness

Feeling insignificant, hopeless, and worried that her future was bleak, a teen contemplated suicide. Then a conversation with a Christian Science practitioner helped her see that as God’s child, she had inherent value and purpose – a realization that brought healing and turned her experience around completely.

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High school was drawing to a close, and I was very unhappy. I didn’t have any real goals or plans beyond graduation. Feeling depressed, I even contemplated suicide.

I had grown up attending Christian Science Sunday School, but I had stopped going. The future seemed bleak, and I felt hopeless. At the same time, a growth appeared on one finger. I tried several over-the-counter remedies, and while the growth would sometimes shrink after an application, it always came back.

My family saw my struggles, and my mom eventually asked me if I’d be willing to talk to a Christian Science practitioner – someone who helps others find healing through prayer.

“Just this once,” she encouraged me.

So, very reluctantly, I agreed to do it.

I met the practitioner in her office, and when she asked what was troubling me, I held up my finger. To my surprise, she waved it aside and said, “No, what’s really bothering you?”

I hesitated for a minute, then proceeded to lay out my whole bleak outlook. I told her that I didn’t feel like I mattered. That I felt like one insignificant speck in a sea of a million people. I told her my life felt hopeless, and then the tears started to flow.

She listened patiently, and when I’d finished telling her everything that was wrong, she reminded me what I’d learned in Sunday School: that I was God’s perfect work. We talked about divine Principle, another name for God – that it is expressed in all of His creation, including me, as perfect harmony and purpose. We also read aloud Hymn 51 from the Christian Science Hymnal, which says in part:

Man is the noblest work of God,
His beauty, power and grace,
Immortal; perfect as his Mind
Reflected face to face.

God could not make imperfect man
His model infinite.
(Mary Alice Dayton)

Right there in that practitioner’s office, I began to see my value as God’s expression, man – the beloved child of God – and my inseparability from God’s goodness. I realized that He really was providing everything I needed – joy, love, peace, and purpose.

We prayed together, and for the first time in a long while, I was able to look away from a hopeless, limited sense of existence and toward God as my true creator and Father-Mother, revealing all the possibilities inherent in my true, spiritual nature. God’s love felt so real to me.

The practitioner said she would continue to pray for me, and I left. As I walked away, I felt as though a dark, oppressive cloud had moved out of my life. I felt so free.

But that wasn’t the end of the healing. The growth that had seemed so permanent began to shrink and then disappeared completely within a day or two.

Then, my school counselor told me about a job posting in the career department that she thought would be a good match for my business skills. I applied for the job and soon began working at a local investment company, where I learned a lot and stayed for several years. I gained confidence and felt valued.

Best of all, the thoughts of depression and suicide left and never returned. I felt hopeful again and was convinced that I was in God’s loving care – which gave me a totally different outlook on my life and the future.

This was a turning point in my practice of Christian Science. This healing changed my life, and after that, it was impossible not to recognize the value of Christian Science and to put it into practice to overcome other problems as they arose in my later teen years and beyond. It also felt natural to join both The Mother Church and a branch Church of Christ, Scientist.

I can say now that I truly feel God’s love and presence in my life, and that since this healing, hope has never again felt out of reach.

Originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel’s online TeenConnect section, March 30, 2021.

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