This I Believe

Wells, Jacqueline

  • Julie Bishop (born Jacqueline Wells) describes her belief in the efficacy of prayer, and recounts a childhood experience in which she asked God to help her learn how to ice skate.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Julie Bishop is a motion picture actress. Her story is not that of the poor girl who made good in the movies or of the girl who went into pictures in spite of the opposition of her family. The daughter of a prominent banker and oil man in her home town of Dallas, Texas, Julie was offered every encouragement by her family in her choice of an acting career. She added the indispensable qualities of talent and determination to fulfill her ambitions. Here is her creed.
It’s difficult for me to properly express what I believe most strongly, because what I believe, I… it’s not something I’ve created myself. It’s been expressed many times by those far more articulate than I. I believe in the abundant goodness of God and the unfailing power of prayer. I believe that there’s never a moment when that power can’t be drawn upon to strengthen us and to bless us.
I’ve learned from experience that it’s only when I stray from this deep-rooted conviction that fears and doubts invade my consciousness. Then I feel enveloped in the bewilderment which comes when I trust material thinking more than spiritual knowing.
My problems seem insurmountable, and confusion overtakes me. It takes a conscious, positive reiteration of what I believe to restore the calmness, in which I turn back to the simple truths which never fail. Then things appear to sort themselves out almost miraculously, without apparent effort on my part. There isn’t any more confusion, and this positive evidence isn’t limited merely to my mental serenity.
Once when I was very young, I went ice-skating with some friends. They were all good skaters, and naturally they went gliding away. I found myself alone balancing uncertainly on my skates in the entrance to the rink.
I’d never had on any kind of skates before, so I hadn’t the vaguest idea of how to achieve my balance on these ice skates. I was timid and frightfully self-conscious because with every two or three steps, I would land flat on the ice. My friends weren’t heartless, but they certainly found it a chore to take turns in escorting me unsteadily around the rink. It turned me into a mountain of helpless, agonized embarrassment.
Suddenly, when I’d begged to be left alone for a moment, it occurred to me that surely if there were any truth in the things I’d been learning in Sunday school, now was the time to put them into practice. I declared again and again that I wasn’t alone at all but that my hand was in God’s.
His benevolent power was there to balance, strengthen, to sustain, and to guide me. It wouldn’t be possible for me to lack grace, coordination, or confidence, because I was supported by God’s infinite love.
I took my first unfaltering glide as I prayed that my reliance upon these truths, which had come to me so clearly, wouldn’t desert me. My heart was full of faith, and I knew that in a heart full of faith, there just couldn’t be any room for fear. I skated that afternoon, not fancy figure skating, of course, but with steady, confident, joyous glides. And I didn’t fall again, not once. I’ve never forgotten the incident, because it was my first childhood experience in proving that God’s help is always at hand when we need it, and call for it, and believe we will receive it.
Since then, my life has been filled with proof of His loving care, in little things and in big things.
I believe that prayer, sincere selfless prayer, which doesn’t outline but leaves all to God’s infinite wisdom, is answered. I believe there is an abundance of all good things for each of us. The good is here now, not waiting in store for us later, but here now for us to receive. And I believe that in proportion to our faith, to our continual awareness of the availability of this divine power, we shall be able to receive it, possess it, and share it.
That was Julie Bishop, a motion picture actress with a long string of credits and a simple honest faith.