The demise of my marriage, birth of my second child without husband, loss of job, and subsequent loss of home and car, had left me feeling helpless and desperate. When I read these words in Science and Health, "Trials are proofs of God's care" (p. 66), I felt that if God were truly my Father, He wouldn't allow me to go through trials at all.
You can imagine my surprise at the response, as if a clear voice rang out in my head, "He doesn't!" "Then why am I suffering so?" I questioned back. "You're not!" was the reply. It was as if there were two distinct viewpoints arguing in my head. I knew that only one could be correct. I read elsewhere in Science and Health, "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony" (p. 390). I needed something a lot more tangible than right understanding, I thought. I needed a miracle.
My children and I overcame homelessness and fear.
I knew enough about Christian Science to know that I didn't have to believe that life could be subject to a series of "bad breaks." Although I felt helpless at that moment, I could be certain that God was not helpless, nor had He ever been. I acknowledged, somewhat reluctantly at first, the logical consequence of that statement, that I could not be helpless, since I reflected God, good. Gradually things began to change. I moved several times during this period, but I always found myself living near a branch Church of Christ, Scientist.
Although this was a time of great tribulation for me, I visited the Christian Science Reading Room regularly, studying and praying earnestly. One hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 207) that I found extremely helpful was "Mother's Evening Prayer," with words by Mary Baker Eddy. It starts out:
O gentle presence, peace and joy
O Life divine, that owns each
Thou Love that guards the nestling's
Keep Thou my child on upward
The perception I had of raising my children alone lessened as I learned that they belonged to God and that being a "single parent" was actually a misnomer because I was never "single" in the sense of being truly alone. God is always with me, as well as with my children. I saw tangible proofs of His loving, tender parenting to them, and declared my own direct kinship to God as my true Father-Mother, also. I learned to trust, listen to God, and be more loving as well.
With the help of treatment from Christian Science practitioners, my children and I overcame homelessness, lack, uncertainty, and fear. I saw childhood ailments pass over them without harm, impact, or loss. We all went through a year where none of us caught cold or flu. Then we continued through another year without any symptom of those conditions. I could see the effects of Christian Science working in myself and my family. I experienced healings of severe anxiety, insomnia, vertigo, depression, and many other illnesses. While I was cooking one evening, I had an immediate healing of serious burns on my arms, chest, and torso. Long-standing family relationship difficulties faded and were replaced with loving support. Harmony became the norm and not the exception in my household.
The "trials" I had been so fearful of were only a false sense that I could ever be outside of God's care or guidance. When trials make us rely on God, this reliance brings tangible proof of His infallible presence and power in our lives.
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
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