Coming home again
While on a walk with my dog on conservation land, I came across a tree that a beaver was working on to make his home. It had a large trunk that the beaver was patiently and persistently chewing to get the tree to fall. Once the tree fell, he would be able to get to the branch needed for his home. It was obviously a lot of work, but he would do it to make his home. Very inspiring to see such devotion and persistence at work.
Home has always been special to me. But it's not always been a well-grounded place. My childhood home was often filled with tension, dishonesty, and inharmony. There was alcoholism and abuse.
But then, in my late teens, I came home, so to speak, when I started studying Christian Science. I began to attend church services and was parented, or guided, by the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. I started to know myself as God's child, a sweet daughter never outside the love of God's care.
Several years later I married, and over the years had four children. I continued to be guided in the raising of our own children by daily study of the Bible and Science and Health. Although very busy, finally home was generally a happy place, and I was doing the very best I could to protect my children from some of the hardships I'd endured.
Then one day pretty much unexpectedly, my husband left us and moved far away. It felt as though a wrecking ball had been taken to my home. A feeling of hopelessness nearly consumed my waking moments. I'd never felt such anger before. Yet, knowing that my children follow my example, I didn't want to teach them to hate or be indifferent.
I had come to know God over the years as a shepherd, a loving parent, a good friend. And so I turned to my loving parent day and night for guidance and help. When the children were in school, I would sit at the kitchen table with my Bible and Science and Health, and I would let the truths in these books literally teach me how to behave, what to do. One statement that was particularly helpful was this question in Science and Health: "Are we really grateful for the good already received?" (p. 3).
On a walk one day, I wouldn't let myself go back in the house until I'd dropped just a bit of the baggage I'd left the house with. That time gratitude saved me. A list of things to be grateful for didn't flow like a river, but finally I was able to be so grateful for God, even in the midst of the darkness. Gratitude calmed my fears, opened doors, and would not let me spiral downward.
A trust in God to care for each need eventually replaced great fear of where we would live and what we would do. And of course the more peaceful I was, the more the children felt at home, too. God, divine Love, guided me through the legal process of the divorce as well.
The 91st Psalm was especially helpful. I read it almost every day. The promise in the first verse, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," was home. This is where I lived. This is where my children lived, and yes, their father, too.
That verse read like this to my broken heart: "My dear daughter, you and your children are Mine. I have created you and made you good. Stay right here under My wings, My infinite love, and I will care for all your needs. Let My will be done, and only good will follow."
The next verse is "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." Our home, refuge, could be established only on God's foundation. Trusting God was home.
This sounds rather neat and tidy 12 years later. Yet it was hard work to keep my thought with God rather than on the injustice of it all. But like the beaver, I persisted and built a stronger sense of home for my children and me, and it continues to be a well-grounded refuge for our family.