Years ago, soon after my husband and I had separated, I moved from our house (which we owned) into a flat (which I had to rent) with our two young children. Since I had three jobs, one of which was a well-paying job at a company, I wasn’t concerned about finances. But one month later, suddenly all of the staff were retrenched because the company had gone broke. It closed four days later. The salary they had been paying me was nearly 80 percent of my weekly income.
As a graphic artist I also did a little freelance work, but at that time I had no extra work or any money owed to me. My monthly rent was due in five days’ time, but I had only $23 left in the bank.
My situation was drastic. As I always do when the path ahead is uncertain, I turned to God and humbly asked for guidance with the full expectation of an answer. Immediately, these words from the Christian Science textbook came to thought: “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 3).
I had been waiting for my next paycheck to buy beds and other furniture, so the kids and I were sleeping on the floor on folded-up bubble wrap or sponge foam. We had only one chair, a small table, and a washing machine. Despite it all, I decided to take a gratitude inventory. First, I was grateful for happy, healthy children, a roof over my head, plenty of food in the pantry, and a full tank of petrol. Although we had few material things, I was also grateful for the mental freedom I felt, and for the atmosphere that was conducive to spiritual growth.
My monthly rent was due in five days’ time but I had only $23 left in the bank.
During this mental inventory, I acknowledged that because God is my loving Father-Mother, my divine Parent, my needs are always supplied. For a long time, I had also been seeing God as my real employer. Whatever I was humanly doing, I was actually “working for God” and my most important “job” was to express the qualities of God, such as truthfulness, intelligence, integrity, creativity, kindness— which we have from our Father-Mother by reflection. I reminded myself of that fact and reaffirmed that I could never be out of this job.
Within minutes of asking God for direction, and praying in this way, the phone rang. Someone I’d never heard of said he’d been told to call me for a quote on some design and illustration work. He said, “I have a little job which I need by Friday. Could you possibly come over to discuss it?” It was Monday morning and I’d just finished my lunch. So, I went immediately to meet with him.
It turned out to be a huge job! I was to draw up elevations of house designs from floor plans, then add in gardens and backgrounds. I can draw lots of things, but buildings with technically correct perspective was not my forte. However, I felt this opportunity was coming from God, and I knew from previous experience that divine Love doesn’t place us in the wrong place, or in a position we can’t fulfill. So I said, “Yes I can do it!” I felt full of confidence because I knew I could trust God to take me all the way.
I found this to be the case. When my client asked for a quote for the work, I had no idea how long it would take and what I should charge. So, prayerfully (and not a little desperately), I reached out to God once again for an answer, knowing the truth of these words from Science and Health: “Divine Love corrects and governs man” (p. 6), and remembering that the same God, the same Spirit, the same universal, divine Mind that gave Moses the words to convince thousands of people to leave their enslaved lives behind in Egypt and follow him into the unknown desert, was there that moment with me and would certainly give me a simple quote!
Despite it all, I decided to take a gratitude inventory.
I was about to say to him $950 but, oddly enough, heard my voice say $815. In a matter of seconds he agreed and said he’d pay me cash on delivery of the job so I could pay my rent on time. Shortly after I arrived home, a graphic artist friend rang me and offered to draw up the basic angles for me to get me started as perspective drawing was his forte. My every need was being met. My relief was immense!
Four days later (and after only 11 hours sleep!), I delivered the work and the client was so pleased that he became one of my best customers for the next five years. He told me that he’d had a much lower quote for the work from someone else, but something told him that I was the right person for the job. I knew that “something” was the “still small voice” of God which speaks to every listening heart and met my need just as fully as it did my client’s.
This experience proved to be a constant reminder that I could trust divine Love’s care, support, and perfect timing. Since I brought my children up on my own, there were many other opportunities over the next 15 years to prove God’s supply for all our needs. Each time the feeling of imminent lack, and the worry about how I would manage financially, was erased by faith that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). In fact, when things went wrong, I looked forward to seeing what brilliant divine solution would emerge because I knew that God already had the answer. And I was never disappointed.
In the years since, I have often pondered this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, in a compilation of her writings: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 307). What a beautiful promise for us all.