My husband and I struggled financially the first few years of our marriage. No matter how hard we worked or how many jobs we held, there was just never enough money to meet our expenses. We cut back more and more on spending as we attempted to live more frugally, but to no avail.
At one point my husband was feeling discouraged and tired of hearing me say that we didn’t have enough money. He asked me just how much money I considered to be enough to meet our needs on a steady basis. I really didn’t know and couldn’t answer him. But I pondered the question, looking for an answer. “How much is enough?” I asked myself.
One day shortly after that, as I was praying I heard, “Enough!” It startled me because it came out of the blue and was so clear it was almost as if someone had spoken. And I heard it in two ways. The first was as if it were almost a rebuke—as when a parent reprimands a complaining child and says, “OK, enough already!” But I also heard it as a very gentle, comforting message from God, saying, “You have more than enough.”
I was instantly reminded of a statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, where she writes, “The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!” (p. 520). I had my answer! In that moment I caught a glimpse of the fact that divine Love is ever present and completely available to us—also, that God, who is infinite Love itself, is all we ever really need, and in fact already have, as our eternal Father-Mother.
I shared this inspiration with my husband. We were so grateful to realize that there could be no gaps, holes, or shortages in the allness of God. We saw clearly for the first time that the love of our Father-Mother God is our income. Science and Health makes this comforting statement: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494). We both knew this statement very well, but had to ask if we had ever really trusted it and put our complete trust in God. This was a big step forward as we determined to stop trying to figure out how we could help ourselves and turned wholeheartedly to God, divine Love, who was already meeting each of our needs. Our real job was to just accept all the good that was already pouring forth from Love.
Right away, as we did this and acknowledged the divine law of God operating in our lives, the fear of insufficiency just disappeared. And shortly after that, so did the money woes as new and wonderful opportunities opened up to us that also provided additional income. For instance, I began teaching watercolor classes at a local nature center, and my husband started working at a farm part time—activities we loved and would have done even if we hadn’t been paid to do them.
One of my favorite Bible texts is from Second Corinthians and reads, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (9:8). From that point on we no longer limped along day after day, just making do and getting by—we actually thrived.
More recently, the time arrived when my husband began to think about retirement. We had been carefully listening for God’s direction as we contemplated this change. My husband had hoped to work for three more years because of the added income that his retirement package would contain, but felt very strongly led to take this step now. Our earlier experience had taught us to not let money motivate our life decisions. Having found our motivation this time to be spiritually based and sound, we decided he should retire. We resisted all concern that our income would be reduced, stagnant, or insufficient to meet our needs. We also acknowledged that “progress is the law of God,” as we’re told in Science and Health (p. 233), trusting that we would continue to advance and grow rather than decline and fail. Retirement didn’t mean going backward.
The day we made the decision that my husband should retire was a Wednesday, and shortly after this I tuned in to the online Wednesday testimony meeting from The Mother Church. How overjoyed I was when the meeting began with Hymn 391 from the Christian Science Hymnal, which asks, “Why search the future … ?” (Charles H. Barlow). All the readings at the service that afternoon sent a clear message that now was the time to experience God’s wonderful goodness and provision. My husband had just told his boss that he had decided to retire, so it was comforting to hear this message.
The very next morning my husband was getting ready to go to his company’s human resources office to submit his paperwork to retire. But just as he was about to leave, he felt strongly prompted to check the emails on his phone one more time, even though he had just done so a few minutes earlier. It was then that he saw an email from his company offering a buyout package to all who qualified—which he did! Needless to say, he did not put in his paperwork until after he had applied for the buyout package. The amount offered would more than make up for the extra three years he had initially felt he would need to work.
God’s loving guidance and care, right down to the smallest detail, were so clearly evident that we knew this retirement was the right step to take. How deeply grateful we were for this unfolding that we never could have foreseen. And how much deeper is our gratitude to our Father-Mother God for the clear guidance and tender nurturing He gives us. To know that we can always count on Him and move forward is the greatest of blessings!
Mystic, Connecticut, US