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From doubt to faith

God became real – a power and presence I could turn to.

Statistics vary, but most studies agree that somewhere between 12 and 15 percent of people on this planet say they don't believe in God or at least doubt the existence of a Supreme Being who has anything to do with their everyday affairs. Many of the other 85-88 percent may believe that God exists, but they don't necessarily know why.

I can understand these sentiments. Years ago, unhappily married with two young children, weak from a difficult surgical procedure, and deeply depressed, I searched for a way to get my life back on track. Nothing helped. One night, in desperation, I prayed, "God, if you are there, and I doubt that you are, you'd better do something because I can't do anything more."

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I drifted off to sleep in tears and awoke with joy and inspiration that I hadn't felt for a long time. I had a renewed conviction that a divine Presence did exist and had the power to lift me out of darkness and distress when nothing else could.

For several months, I felt a connection with this Presence. But the closeness I'd felt faded. I hadn't yet grasped how to turn to the Divine for guidance in every instance.

A few years later, I learned about Christian Science. The explanation of God and the Science that governs His creation, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy and given to the world in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," made sense to me. A God who is not a distant, supernatural, humanlike being in the heavens, but infinite Spirit filling all space – always as near as our own thought. A God who not only loves us all unconditionally and impartially, but is Love itself – the source of all goodness.

God became real to me – a power and presence I could turn to anytime, in any circumstance. And, best of all, I could prove for myself the reality of God's existence as well as the reality of my own spiritual nature through healing, including being freed from smoking, moral issues, chronic depression, and suicidal tendencies, as well as a variety of physical ailments.

One healing was particularly significant to me. While preparing for a family trip, I locked my hand in the car door. Instantly I affirmed out loud the scientific statement of being that I knew by heart from Science and Health. It begins: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." And it concludes: "Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual" (p. 468). This not only quieted my thought, but freed me from pain and fear.

As my son was coming with the keys, I kept affirming that because God is Spirit and perfect, I am spiritual and perfect, so no part of my being could be crushed. And I prayed to understand that as a spiritual being, reflecting the intelligence of divine Mind, in divine reality I couldn't have done such a stupid thing as lock my hand in the car door.

My son unlocked the door several minutes later, and I had a glimpse of my hand – not pretty. Sticking to what I knew to be true, I continued getting ready for the trip, paying no more attention to my hand.

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A few hours later, there was not even a mark on it. While I was in awe to be freed so quickly and totally, I was even more impressed by the fact that my real being must be spiritual, not material, or this quick healing couldn't have occurred.

Through this healing, and many others I've had over the 30-plus years since, my faith and understanding in the reality of God and His perfect spiritual creation continues to blossom.

I am as sure of God's existence as I am of our own. Spiritual experiences can reveal to each of us the very essence of God in our lives. We all have an unseverable connection with the Divine.