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For too long, in the early days of my marriage, I allowed selfish thinking to handle me. I had moved to Arizona to marry my husband. He was initially planning on moving to California, but found what he was looking for in Tucson and established a business there.
After arriving on the Sonoran Desert, I thought I had landed on the moon. I had never been past the Mississippi River. And after our wedding, I became extremely depressed. I constantly complained and asked my husband why he hadn’t traveled all the way to California. I thought being near the ocean would solve my problems. The situation was so bad that I returned to Florida for a while, where I had been working for two years, convinced that I couldn’t live on the desert for the rest of my life.
When I returned to Tucson, I realized I had to turn to Truth to solve my problem. I had known my husband for a long time, and I was grateful he was patient with me. In working things out, I found this in a sermon by Mary Baker Eddy: “If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy.” She continues, “You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea” (Christian Healing, p. 10).
I had to know that, in truth, I was always in my right place, secure and content in God. I was learning step by step that joy is spiritual and is my rightful heritage as a child of God. I strove to express joy and verbalize gratitude, not complaints.
My husband was interested in art and signed both of us up for an art class. The artist teaching the class was famous for his desert scenes. This class helped open my thought to consider the beauty of where I was living. But more important, as my thinking changed through the understanding of Christian Science, so did my view of my new surroundings.
I began to see not just the brown color of the desert, but a rainbow of colors. I could feel the light of Truth operating, and I started to enjoy the beauty around me—the mighty mountains, glorious sunsets, and bright blue skies. As the Psalmist said, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (119:18).
My thinking, and therefore my experiences, kept progressing. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy we read, “Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony” (p. 324). I was learning to “leave the false landmarks” and love my new home because I saw the spiritual beauty it expressed.
I was asked to be a tour guide for a corporate destination company. I enjoyed learning and sharing with visitors the history and stories about our city and state. I knew I was healed of the depression and unhappiness when I told the people on my tour bus that I thought every man should wear a Stetson hat, own a horse and truck, and know how to dance the two-step.
Sometimes in the human experience we encounter changes and disappointments, but they lead us to new paths, where we learn that “the loveliness of Love is all around” (Violet Hay, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 64). We exchange limited material concepts for spiritual facts. This experience truly taught me that “home and heaven are within thee” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 278, adapt. © CSBD).
And yes, eventually my husband took our family to California for vacation time by the ocean.
Tucson, Arizona, US
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