In January 1991, I went on a business trip to Japan, and before going back to the States I had a clear spiritual intuition that I was to return to Japan and live there with my family. Soon after I arrived in the States, the real estate market crashed and my real estate company went through hard times. There were days I received no phone calls nor had any potential clients.
As weeks went by, I had great mental struggles but tried to pray daily and wait for God’s guidance. With the loving help of a Christian Science practitioner, I held on to the spiritual fact that I was employed by God and He was the true source of supply. After all, I reasoned, in God’s economy there is an abundance of ideas and progression, not stagnation.
I read this passage in the book of Matthew: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (6:28–30). I knew right then that I had to trust God with my business and finances.
One day it occurred to me to call the Japanese Embassy and see if they had any jobs available in Japan. I discovered there were some which required Japanese as a language. My husband had spent time in Japan during his college years and knew some Japanese, so I encouraged him to apply. He was over the age limit, but we knew we could go forward with God’s direction despite the obstacles. A few weeks later my husband was accepted for the job, and he moved to Japan. Our children and I were to join him there a month later.
Before my husband left, he put his business up for sale, found a buyer, and negotiated the sale with a closing date two days before I was to move to Japan with our three children. I was left responsible for running his business until then, but I had very little knowledge of the workings of the business. I also had to find and hire a property manager to rent and manage our home in our absence.
One week before our scheduled flight to Japan, the property manager told me a horror story about how bad the economy was and that we would have a really hard time renting our house. That same day I got a disturbing telephone call from my husband in Japan saying that there were no apartments available for us in the rural town he had been assigned to. On top of that, a few days later news came from our attorney, who was handling the sale of our business, that the buyer had suddenly pulled out of the transaction.
In God’s economy there is an abundance of ideas and progression, not stagnation.
Everything I had expected to happen fell apart. I had an overwhelming feeling of responsibility, fear, and aloneness. In shock, I sat on the floor of our empty house and asked God for direction. It was then that I realized I needed to eliminate fear and turn wholeheartedly to God. I called a Christian Science practitioner, who reassured me that God was right there with me, directing my every move. Mary Baker Eddy confirms that on page 254 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path.”
The very first words on the first page of Science and Health state, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (p. vii). According to the dictionary, sustain means to maintain, support, hold, provide, supply, aid, and comfort. I affirmed that there was no power stopping God’s direction and unfoldment, and that we could go forward with courage, trusting that God was supplying all action and intelligence in this new adventure.
During that time I was also reading an article titled “God’s Law of Adjustment” by Adam H. Dickey (The Christian Science Journal, January 1916). It states, “There is a law of God that is applicable to every conceivable phase of human experience, and no situation or condition can present itself to mortal thought which is outside of the direct influence of this infinite law.” It adds, “We are not responsible for the carrying out of this law.”
Reflecting on these passages, I was able to let go of a personal sense of responsibility and began to see that our home was a spiritual idea, not a material thing. I affirmed that our house reflected the spiritual qualities of love, comfort, peace, beauty. I saw that there was someone out there who needed what our home offered, and this home needed that someone.
I applied the same line of reasoning to the sale of our business, knowing that nothing could stop a right idea that would bless us and also the potential buyers. I then affirmed that God was our real estate agent and that there would be a place prepared for us in Japan to meet our needs, and we would meet the needs of a landlord who had a place for rent. It was all up to God, as He sustains all of us and is the source of everyone’s supply.
The next day, I received a call from our attorney, who said that the buyers would reconsider if we would slightly adjust the sales price in the contract. It seemed like a reasonable request, and it was accepted. Then, on that same day, I was outside gardening when a man drove by and parked his car in front of our house. He asked me if I would rent the house to him, as he had two expensive antique cars that he’d like to store in our garage. He was an executive in one of the major corporations in our city, so his financial status was excellent.
Lastly, I got a call from my husband telling me that his Japanese employer was going to put us in a brand new house because there were simply no apartments available. It turned out to be a beautiful house at the foot of a mountain overlooking the Japan Sea. The neighborhood presented us with many wonderful experiences and friendships.
Who would have thought that this would all unfold in such a way that could bless so many people and meet so many needs? Truly, “whatever blesses one bless all” (Science and Health, p. 206). I am so grateful to God for His care of all of us, His children. When we turn to God, we can know that He will help us every step of the way and never take us halfway.
Kathy Bird lives in Yokohama, Japan.