I felt so alone. It wasn’t just that I was living part-time in a foreign country. Or that I had no church to attend, and no like-minded people nearby. Mostly, it was that my marriage was falling apart, and I had no family support.
I was desperately unhappy. Yet I was also aware of how, at one time during her life, Mary Baker Eddy had faced similar circumstances: geographic isolation, a second marriage that left her both physically and emotionally alone.
I could relate. Many times I thought of how Mary coped: She never gave up looking for solutions. Mary was not physically strong, but even with all the challenges in her life, she found strength from relying on God. The strength to go forward, to never give up. These thoughts about her life and her perseverance kept me going. When I found myself getting down, they gave me strength to be persistent in Truth. Mary’s life showed me that there was always a solution and a way forward. God had opened the way for her; He could do the same for me. The fact that Mary ended up divorcing her second husband was also some comfort. I saw that divorce didn’t make me a failure, and that, humbly listening, I could trust that if it was the best way forward, I didn’t have to fear it. During this period, I also kept reading Mary’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which grew out of her Bible study and her prayer. I wanted to get a better understanding and a better sense of God as Love. Mary knew Love. She had felt its healing power, and she took the time to explain how that power was there for each of us. I knew that the ideas in Science and Health were potent because they grew out of her deep study and communion with God—but also because she had demonstrated them in her own life. She demonstrated Love—time after time.
I wanted to understand more, so I read the book daily and it became like a best friend. I was coming to feel that God did not intend that life should be miserable and joyless. In fact, I was coming to feel more of a closeness to God—more of a sense of His loving companionship and care. I knew that there had to be right outcome to my circumstances if I was steadfast. Little by little, Love gave me the courage to move forward. Though I did end up getting divorced, I was able to remain on good terms with my ex-husband.
Mary Baker Eddy’s life showed me that, rather than being an obstacle or a dead-end, all challenges herald a way forward. I found that way, as Mary did, as I came to know God’s love for me. She was never alone, and as it turned out, neither was I.
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