Spiritual clarity ends addiction

Yearning to break free of a smoking addiction, a woman turned to God for help – and found permanent freedom.

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Decades ago in college I became addicted to smoking cigarettes. I thought the habit would fall away after graduation when it no longer seemed trendy, but I found I was hooked.

After graduation, I was newly married, teaching school, and attending a large, active branch Church of Christ, Scientist, in Texas. I loved that church, attended regularly, and occasionally stood up and shared my gratitude for the healings I’d had in Christian Science.

I had witnessed many healings over the years, one of which was especially significant. When I was seven years old, my mother was healed of multiple sclerosis after reading “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. She was bedridden at the time, and a friend had given her this copy of the Christian Science textbook after Mom had returned from the hospital. One day, I remember, she just got out of bed and started walking. We left the church we had been attending and started going to a Christian Science church. I loved the Sunday School.

Even after I later took up smoking, I continued to go to church and regularly studied the Bible and Science and Health.

One Sunday after the service, a member invited me to join the church and handed me a membership application. I thanked him. I truly loved church and had a great desire to join but felt I shouldn’t fill out the application until I had overcome the smoking addiction. The main thing was, I didn’t feel free. I didn’t yet feel the joy and satisfaction that come with an understanding of God and of myself as God’s beloved child – as a spiritual idea, free from the pull of material desires and attractions.

It was summertime, and since I was not teaching school, I was able to spend time in the Christian Science Reading Room, studying and praying. I wanted so much to quit smoking. But I had failed again and again. It was deeply frustrating.

One day, I sat down in my living room. There was a sunbeam shining in the room. I remember reaching out in sincere communion with God, my Father-Mother. His angel message came loud and clear to stop trying to quit. I was sure that was a thought from God, and with it, I felt free. I realized that my desire to join the church was right, and left no place in my heart for the desire for something material or harmful. Right then and there, the pull to smoke melted away, and the addiction has never returned. I have since enjoyed many years serving my Father-Mother God in countless ways, including through church membership.

Originally published as a testimony in the July 4, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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