The perfect relationship?
Originally appeared online in the teen series: Turning Point - September 3, 2020
I was really thrilled with my boyfriend, and deeply in love. My parents weren’t so thrilled about him. He was older than I was. And there were the drugs; we smoked marijuana and took THC, and then later used harder drugs and alcohol. However, he also had a spiritual leaning and loved nature; I loved that we had those things in common.
Looking back, I can see that my mom was afraid, and that she was worried about me. Unfortunately, at the time, her opposition only made me dig in my heels. Her words of concern about my boyfriend seemed so hypocritical, since she’d taught me that all of God’s children are good because we reflect God’s goodness. So why, I wondered, wasn’t she seeing the good in my boyfriend?
A year later, though, I discovered that my boyfriend was cheating on me, and hiding a shadier character that he indulged when I wasn’t around. Disappointed and heartbroken, I started turning to God, praying for us both. I prayed to know that God gave both of us an irresistible love of good, and that this was the only attraction, since in reality, good is the only power. I began attending the Christian Science Sunday School again and had a wonderful Sunday School teacher in whom I felt comfortable confiding, and who loved and supported me. The cheating stopped, our affections were renewed, but the drug use continued.
Every time I prayed about the future of our relationship, I felt like I was getting the message to end it.
One day, after several weeks of praying and gaining more clarity, I told my boyfriend that the life we were living was not the life I wanted to live. I was relieved and happy when he said it wasn’t what he wanted either. That very day, I stopped the drug use and never drank again. It was a major turning point in my life.
My boyfriend and I started attending church, and later, we both joined the church and felt good about the lifestyle changes we were making. It was a happy time of rediscovering our innocence and the true joy of feeling God’s ever-present love.
However, every time I prayed about the future of our relationship, I felt like I was getting the message to end it. I didn’t hear a voice telling me this, but I did feel God’s love, and this contrasted with the growing discord I felt with my boyfriend. I also never felt the deep peace that I’d felt at other times when God gave me comforting answers to other problems I’d prayed about. I tried everything I could to wrap God around my plan of ongoing romance. Didn’t I deserve love? As it turns out, I did—but God, the all-knowing Mind that is Love, was already providing something better for me than my best plans for myself.
As I became more attuned to God and His love and direction, I started to recognize a pattern of emotional abuse in my relationship with my boyfriend, which always left me off balance and fearful. We had frequent disagreements, and I realized I wasn’t really happy.
I prayed for strength and courage and finally ended the relationship. It was devastating at first, but in those dark places of loneliness, I discovered, we do find God right there with us. I often shouted into the night that God loved me. That I was precious and not alone. And God spoke with and comforted me, and I really got to know God on an intimate, peace-filled, and joyful level. I will always be grateful for this wilderness time of finding my closeness with God.
In the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy provides a spiritual definition of wilderness that begins, “Loneliness; doubt; darkness.” But it also includes a brighter promise: “the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence” (p. 597 ). This promise proved true for me. As I let go of what I’d thought was the perfect relationship and an important source of love in my life, I learned much more about the infinitude of God’s love and that it really does meet our needs.
As I let go of what I’d thought was an important source of love in my life, I learned much more about the infinitude of God’s love and that it really does meet our needs.
God’s love inspired me to turn outward, and avenues of service opened up to me. I taught Sunday School, worked as a counselor at a camp for Christian Scientists, and later became a wilderness survival instructor and environmental educator. I met a wonderful man who shared my love of the outdoors and Christian Science. He later became my husband. And my former boyfriend and I remained on friendly terms; he even wrote me a note once telling me he would always be indebted to me for my efforts on his behalf.
Many of the Bible’s healing accounts involve trials and difficult journeys, so our lives may not always be smooth and problem-free. But the Bible also includes the promise that we will always find God in the midst of these wilderness experiences, and that the blessings we gain from this discovery far outweigh anything we give up along the way.
I never expected things with my boyfriend to end the way they did. But I’m forever grateful for the way that relationship set me on a journey to find God and my perfect relation to Him. God truly does love us the way we have always yearned to be loved!