Finding financial freedom
After many years of wishing to run my own business, I was finally in a position to embark on an exciting new venture to secure my family’s financial future. Following what I felt was good advice, I purchased several properties in the Northeast of England, where I reside, with the intention of renting them. Leading up to this, there had been so much publicity about bad landlords, and I was determined to be a good one.
For the first several years all appeared to be going well. I was on track not only to being profitable but also to providing some local families with decent homes. My plan was coming together, and the picture looked rosy.
Then, in 2007 the world began to feel the effects of the credit crunch. I watched property prices in the United Kingdom tumble right before my eyes. I was left owing significantly more on my mortgages than the properties were worth. Our family home was now in jeopardy, and this was going to impact my retirement plans, which I had worked on for over thirty years. Feelings of failure, stupidity, gullibility, injustice, frustration, and helplessness washed over me. I felt like giving up.
In a moment of desperation, it occurred to me that gambling might be the solution. Everywhere you turned in the UK, there were advertisements on the television, radio, and internet with “experts” promising that it was easy money. But I quickly realized that the suggestion that I could gain something of value by chance, without any effort, was a temptation and should be rejected. Christ Jesus said in a prayer he taught his disciples, the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). Again and again he encouraged them to trust in God to meet their every need.
This was one thing I could do, and needed to do, since I knew that God’s solution would be better than anything I could come up with on my own. I began to study the weekly Bible Lessons from the Christian Science Quarterly with fresh impetus.
God’s children are always in His loving embrace, safe and secure at all times.
A Bible passage that frequently appears in these Lessons is, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). I began to lean on God more and more and to attend my local branch Church of Christ, Scientist, regularly. This was vital in strengthening my understanding of my relationship to our Father-Mother God and learning to trust Him. Daily I prayed to God for wisdom and guidance. Regarding our human needs, Christ Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Whilst ensuring I did all I could to run my business as effectively and efficiently as possible, I prayed for an understanding of that kingdom, studying day by day and gaining a better understanding through the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings of our dear Father’s love for us, His children, and of all the good He has for us, here and now. This included my family, as I felt they should not have to suffer because of my choices or from the financial market forces. I reasoned that God’s children are always in His loving embrace, safe and secure at all times, and that therefore, the view of me as a struggling human with huge debts in no way represented the spiritual reality.
Over a period of several years there were many challenges with my properties, including aggressive tenants and the need for roof replacements, as well as major structural repairs resulting from what appeared to be the effects of climate change. Each one was resolved through prayer and by gaining a better understanding of what substance really is. Mrs. Eddy writes on page 468 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance.” She also says on the same page, referencing three other synonyms for God found in the Christian Science textbook, “Truth, Life, and Love are substance . . .” I had thought money, or other forms of matter, was substance. No wonder things went awry. I had been way off the mark!
I began to see that Truth, Life, and Love are true substance because they are spiritual, indestructible, and eternal, whereas whatever is material, being changeable, limited, and capable of discord and decay, is not substance.
During this time, I was working as a manager for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. What an opportunity for me to grow and demonstrate, moment by moment, that God is the only substance, and that as God’s children, we reflect the substance of Spirit—of Life, Truth, and Love. I endeavored to express that Love and Truth more in my life by showing greater kindness, consideration, and support when dealing with my staff, the management team, and external contractors, and by ensuring that people were compensated monetarily or otherwise justly.
As my life unfolded, I was led to see that the only reality is what we discern through spiritual sense, not what appears to us through the physical senses. Daily I lifted my thoughts to God and knew that divine Mind, the only Mind, was governing my every move. Mind was guiding, uplifting, and purifying my life to do God’s will, and nothing could hinder or interfere with the full fruition of His plan for His beloved child.
Whilst on this upward journey, I had healings of migraines, swollen feet, a back injury, vertigo, and relationship problems, to name a few. In some cases, I received treatment through prayer from a Christian Science practitioner, who prayed for me till the healing was complete.
Although the investment problem and my personal debt took several years to resolve, I am now debt-free. All my creditors have been paid back in full and my credit worthiness is unsullied. My retirement is back on track, and our family is still in our home. I have left the NHS for ventures new.
Through this experience I’ve learned some valuable lessons. Perhaps most important is the lesson that no problem, however big or small, is ours alone to resolve or too difficult for God.