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Planted in a new path

From the July 23, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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After 29 rewarding years of working for the same legal firm, in the spring of 2008 it became clear to me that I needed to “repot”—expand my opportunities in a new position. While I was deeply grateful for the professional growth I had gained over many years in a warm, family-like atmosphere, the business I was working at had been downsizing, and when the economic recession of 2008–2009 hit, the existing legal staff could no longer be fully supported. 

It was daunting to think of restarting my career, since I saw myself as an already mature attorney with expertise in only one legal area. I knew that the kind of work I did, and that I genuinely enjoyed doing, was research and writing—not the general practice of law or legal work in a particular subject, such as personal injury, business, or insurance. It seemed unlikely that I could find a suitable position with a salary close to what I was making. And as I undertook the process of preparing a résumé and searching the Web for possible positions in my area, I knew that the other attorneys on the staff were doing the same thing. 

I prayed continuously about this situation and called a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful support. I will always be grateful that when I voiced my doubts to her, she replied, “If you argue against your own value, that’s what you get.” She helped me see that since I am known of the Father, He must provide everything needed for me to prosper and excel. She told me that since my hand was in God’s, I didn’t need to believe that I could be anything less than an idea of God—whole, complete, and unlimited.

The practitioner often quoted one of my favorite statements from Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, by Mary Baker Eddy: “When a hungry heart petitions the divine Father-Mother God for bread, it is not given a stone,—but more grace, obedience, and love. If this heart, humble and trustful, faithfully asks divine Love to feed it with the bread of heaven, health, holiness, it will be conformed to a fitness to receive the answer to its desire; then will flow into it the ‘river of His pleasure,’ the tributary of divine Love, and great growth in Christian Science will follow,—even that joy which finds one’s own in another’s good” (p. 127). To be willing to pray with these truths became very important.

This was not an easy time for me. I daily had to face down fearful thoughts about transitioning to a new job and challenge the possibility that they could have any rightful existence in the kingdom of God, Love. I read most of the Bible verses that include the word afraid, writing down those that inspired me and enabled me to release fear and trust God. At times I would awake in the middle of the night, disturbed over the entire situation and concerned about supporting my family. I would read an article from the Sentinel or The Christian Science Journal or study the Christian Science weekly Bible Lesson, making ideas and passages from them the basis of prayer. I always felt peaceful as a result of these prayers and returned to sleep, refreshed for a new day.

I didn't need to believe that I could be anything less than an idea of God.

By December 2008, the legal staff’s working hours were reduced by 50 percent. This accelerated my efforts to locate another position. One of the other lawyers found a position that month, one that truly suited her capacities and talents. I was so happy for her, knowing that she, too, had been praying deeply for a change of position that would meet her own and her family’s personal and economic needs. I was also grateful for her practical advice to focus intensely on the job search and quickly take advantage of every opportunity that arose. It helped me to become even more earnest in my efforts. 

I continued in prayer and listened for God to reveal the right steps to take. As I was ceasing my job search on the Internet one night in January 2009, it occurred to me to look at a particular employment website of the law school I had attended so many decades ago. I had looked at it now and then over the past months, but most jobs listed were summer jobs for law students or positions intended for recent graduates, so I hadn’t visited it in some time.

I looked at it again, and in front of me was an intriguing position posted that day. When I read its description, it seemed like the type of legal work I’d enjoy. The position was for a federal agency in an area of law I was unfamiliar with, but I liked the idea that I would be doing research and writing for administrative law judges. I had thought for years that being an attorney for a judge would be most interesting, and I had submitted my résumé for a court attorney position before.

Working quickly, I adapted my cover letter to submit it with my résumé for the position. Early Tuesday morning, I faxed them both over to the office. Wednesday I received a call for an interview that Friday morning. I prayed to simply trust and know that, however the interview went, my life was secure in God’s care, and God—not people—was governing at all times. So if this was to be a place for me, it would unfold, and if not, infinite Mind would surely show me another. I might mention that despite having sent out my résumé for a number of available positions over the months, this was the first interview I had been called for.  

I had the interview and was impressed by the kindness, sincerity, and professionalism of the people interviewing me. I was so happy when I was offered the position that same afternoon. As I learned the features of the office and the job, it became clear that it was perfect. Not only was this a research and writing position, but the business processes in the office seemed to mesh neatly with similar ones followed in the work I had been doing. The qualities and skills that I had been seeking to utilize more fully were just what were needed for this position. I was awed by the power of divine Love to prepare such a place for me, even in the midst of an economic recession.

It is now over three years later. The position has proved to suit my talents and capabilities well. It was a great challenge to take on another field of the law and learn it, but I found it an invigorating new adventure. Many days I walk into my office saying mentally, “Thank you, thank you, thank you” to God for this position. And, as evidence that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28), the remaining legal staff at my former firm were happy to stay there and carry on that particular line of work.

As I have perused my prayer journal to recall the details related above, I have realized more that no matter how inadequate one feels for the task at hand, simply going forward and praying to scientifically reverse fears and false suggestions is doing much and does lead, step by step, to fruition. All the listening for God’s voice I had been doing, often while supported by a practitioner, led me to hear the angel ideas that comforted and guided me each step of the way. I feel so grateful that I have had divine Science, as revealed in the teachings of Mrs. Eddy, to guide and inspire me through my life.

Dorothy H. Thomson lives in Davis, California.

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