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"THE ILLUMINATED PATHWAY"
From the month of February, 1911, until July of the same year, I was a most miserable woman, sick and helpless, dragging myself from chair to chair, and with great difficulty could reach the hammock on the porch, where I would lie for hours, grateful if I were only left undisturbed. My right arm caused me inexpressible suffering, as though a myriad of fine electric wires were burning my flesh; the agony compelled an almost incessant change from one position of the arm to another until, worn out, I sought relief in tears. My husband is a physician, and when I appealed to him he pityingly advised me to have patience, as my suffering was due to my condition; then when I asked why I had not suffered similarly upon previous occasions, he replied, "Well, you are no longer young."
Two days after the departure of my husband for Europe a severe hemorrhage took place, and I sent for a woman physician in my immediate neighborhood; but alas, she could only advise an operation. I next consulted a professor conceded to be the greatest authority on the diseases of women in the City of New York; it took him only a few minutes to announce an abnormal growth and to urge a hasty operation. I pleaded with him to consider all the symptoms, but of no avail; he insisted that it was positively as he had said. I consulted two other experts, and they likewise advised an operation. Finally, in desperation, I went to a friend of my husband, the head surgeon of a prominent hospital. "Yes, a tumor," was his verdict; "a tumor, and not an ordinary tumor, but a most dangerous one, and one which requires the most difficult operation." He also advised that "an operation be performed at once." That day I made my will, resigned to my fate and ready to die.
All my life I had loved God and Christ, but I had no faith; the ways of God then seemed to me so mysterious, and yet they are marvelously simple. Who would have dared to broach Christian Science to me if I had not been as helpless and hopeless as I then believed myself to be? But our Father sent a messenger to me that day. The day when I received the final blow, a true, loving Christian Scientist came to me, and I said, "Have you any Christian Science literature?" I then mentally interposed, "I would like to read some of that nonsense." "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" was handed to me, and although my mood was not a receptive one, yet as I casually glanced through it my heart stood still, and a ray of light and hope shimmered faintly through the lines. "Take me to a practitioner," I asked, and at once arrangements were made. After the first treatment I did some strenuous work with that helpless hand, such as I had never done before, and after three treatments my arm was free from any ailment, as well as ever before.
As I read Science and Health, my awakening sense began to perceive the illuminated pathway. Daily I would repose for hours with the book before me; I comforted my wounded and stained heart with the rays of Love and Truth and gained peace. I threw myself on the altar of spiritual purity and let the truth dispel all darkness. In less than a week I felt as young and strong as a girl of eighteen; I daily attended to neglected duties; two days and nights I watched with an ailing friend, traveling the distance in two hours, with frequent change of cars. I was at that time living in New York City.
On Oct. 10, when I quietly returned home in the evening, the children and the maid were asleep; I hurried upstairs to my apartment, and there, without pain or ache, I gently assisted into the world a beautiful babe. I wondered at what had happened! Was it possible that the physicians had wanted to operate on a woman under such conditions? And here I had been delivered painlessly, when upon all previous occasions I had been attended by not less than three physicians, with an anesthetic and instruments, and now, now I was alone; no, not alone, for He, the loving Father of all, was with me. I attended to the child properly, and on the second day I went downstairs and telephoned the news to my friends. I also assisted with all the household duties, such as were necessary in a big family with one maid.
In addition to the healing here mentioned, I had been a miserable sleeper for twenty-eight years, using different drugs and changing climate continually; but still there was no health, and no sleep without drugs. During the week after the birth of my child I awoke one morning with the realization that I had slept three nights in succession without using drugs, and thanks to our Father in heaven, since then I can sleep whenever I want to sleep and can be awake for as many hours as necessary without fatigue.
The child as well as myself has the best of health, for which I never cease to be thankful.
Wilhelmina G. Wittigschlager
Christian Science Sentinel, March 22, 1913
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