My Healing Journey

May 2012

Rev. Shirley Bowman

Shirley Bowman speaks on healing, power of prayer, and Let Go, Let God

Before answering the call to ministry, Shirley was a registered nurse. She is now an ordained Unity minister and co-founder, with her husband Rev. Sam Bowman, of Unity Inner Active, an alternative Unity ministry.

Four years ago, I underwent what I thought would be routine surgery to remove my gallbladder. I left the hospital feeling queasy, tired and weak. At home, I collapsed on the sofa, convinced a short nap would revive me. I awoke to severe nausea and fatigue. My anxious husband called the surgeon, who advised him to increase my medications, but that didn’t alleviate the symptoms. My husband urged me to go back to the hospital, but I resisted. “Don’t worry,” I said. “Just give me a couple of days and I’ll be fine. I’m a nurse; I can take care of myself.”

The next day I didn’t have enough strength to walk. My husband and a friend helped me to the car and took me back to the hospital.

In the emergency room, the doctor informed us my kidneys had shut down. That’s when I realized my condition was serious. Left untreated, kidney failure can be fatal. I was ready to stop resisting, or so I thought.

The emergency room nurse started an intravenous drip, then began to insert a nasogastric tube to relieve my nausea. Partway through the procedure, I began to choke. I couldn’t breathe. I panicked. Although I barely had enough strength to raise my arms, I tried to push the nurse away.

In the midst of this struggle, I sensed a comforting presence near me. It was like a radiant golden ball of peaceful, soothing energy. From within, I heard the voice of my beloved deceased brother Russell, who told me to stop resisting. At the same time, I sensed the presence of my dear departed sister Sharon, who said, “Don’t worry; you’re going to be all right. We’re here for you.”

In that moment, my mind and heart flooded with profound love and infinite peace. I knew at a visceral level that regardless of appearances, we are always healed, whole and perfect. In that moment, I knew that even if I died, I would be okay. Yet I was also certain I would be healed. My whole body went limp as I finally stopped resisting and surrendered to God—completely and unconditionally.

Healing was not immediate. At first my condition deteriorated; my prognosis was in doubt. Laboratory tests confirmed I had peritonitis, a potentially lethal infection. Forty percent of those who develop this infection die from it. There were days when my family and friends thought I wasn’t going to live. But I knew in my heart I would be among the 60 percent who survive.

I prayed and meditated every day. I sent love and appreciation to every cell of my body. I admit there were times when I felt sorry for myself—I had a few pity parties—but throughout my illness and lengthy convalescence, my faith in God never wavered.

It took six months for my innate health and wholeness to manifest completely in my body. Yet I believe my healing was assured from that moment in the emergency room when I stopped resisting and surrendered to God—the moment when I realized we are always healed, whole and perfect. Nothing can change that, not even death.

I now have a greater understanding of what it means to let go and let God. I know that if I want my circumstances or condition to improve, I must stop resisting and accept what is.

Resistance simply prolongs the agony and can even make things worse. When we accept what is and trust in Spirit, we co-create the change we want to see. When we surrender to the Presence and Power of God moving in, through and as us, we experience inner peace and Divine Love—we experience wholeness.

Today I appreciate my health, and I celebrate each new day. I give thanks for my miraculous healing journey.