What can I do when everything’s falling apart?

Q: What can I do when I feel like everything’s falling apart?

A: Just before I graduated from high school, my mom passed away. My sadness was still deep that fall when I went away to college. But I clung to a Bible promise I’d learned in the Christian Science Sunday School: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). At first those were just words to me. But as I hung on to them, I began to see how God really does help us. I realized that because God is both All and our Father-Mother, we can never be outside of God’s fathering, mothering love. This was reassuring, since I was really missing the loving care my mom had provided, and I soon found that this trust in God was practical as well. 

I began to notice that whenever I needed “mothering”—comfort, counsel, guidance, encouragement—it was always there for me in some way. Sometimes in those moments, I just knew what Mom would say. One time words from a total stranger were exactly what I needed. Often I’d simply feel a mental hug or a prod (whichever was needed) straight from God. Since then, I’ve never been without a conscious sense of Love’s mothering. And when a friend’s mom passed away not long after, I was ready and able to help her with what I’d learned.

I began to see how God really does help us.

Later during college, I felt like things were falling apart again when my “soul-mate” (or so I thought) broke up with me. I was heartbroken. “God, if You’re here and if You’re Love, You’ll bring him back” was my constant prayer. But when that failed, it began to sink in that my “prayers” had actually been my own willfulness, and willfulness wasn’t going to get me out of the pain I was feeling.  

Echoing in my thoughts since the breakup had been Jesus’ words, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). I hadn’t wanted to hear them before, but now the message finally sank in. That’s when I asked myself: Who am I to think my plan is better than my Maker’s? 

From that moment on, assured that God’s will for His children is always good, I trusted God to show me how His goodness remained no matter what. That nothing could interrupt it. Nothing could take it from me. And God did show me. 

Right away, my days were brighter. The heartbreak vanished. Before long, a much more solid relationship developed—and it was full of joy. And I was even able to help another friend when I walked into her room just as she was attempting suicide after reading a break-up letter her own boyfriend had left for her.

Jesus said we’d have troubles, but by teaching us about all that God is, he did equip us well to meet them.

These difficult experiences taught me two things. First, to trust God’s constant help at every moment and to acknowledge each evidence of it. And second, to hug all humanity in what I’d learned and be ready to share it. No wonder Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, put it this way: “Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ ” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 444). That’s exactly what I learned and exactly how I learned it.

Even Jesus faced challenges, and that’s why he didn’t promise us that life would be a rose garden. In fact, he said we’d have troubles (see John 16:33), but by teaching us about all that God is, he did equip us well to meet them. And we can. From my own “falling apart” moments, both past and present, I can tell you this: If you know anything at all about God—His hereness, nowness, goodness, almightiness—don’t give up on it! Keep it. Hug it. Hold it. You’ll need it, and you’ll have it. It will help you right when and where everything seems to be falling apart. 

Remember, step by step. Just begin. 

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