When my husband passed on late last fall, the temptation was to get rid of everything and move into a studio apartment in a sheltered community. We were married 10 days after I graduated from college, and I'd never lived on my own. We'd met in high school, and he had been my best friend for over 50 years. We had often joked that it took both of us to make a whole person since we each brought different strengths and skills to our marriage.
At first I felt I'd lost everything. It was as though my life had ended, since our lives and activities had been so intertwined for so many years. But as I prayed, I saw that although our life together had come to an end, my husband, as God's child, was continuing his life's journey, embraced in the love of his Father-Mother God. And this love was also embracing me.
The Godlike qualities that my husband expressed – honor, generosity, kindness, joy, and unconditional love – were still with me. I was not alone, because my Father-Mother God was right there with me, and I knew that as I prayed and listened, God would tell me what I needed to know and do. My confidence that God was caring for me and watching over me during the day and at night – when the house seemed very empty – continued to grow.
For example, gradually, with my daughter's help, I found ways to celebrate and honor my husband's love of tennis by sharing his books, rackets, and equipment. An opportunity opened up to "recycle" many of his tennis trophies when the local tennis association held a tournament in his memory.
We had moved to this small community when we retired several years ago. We had neither family nor friends in the area, but I have captured more than a glimpse of what Mary Baker Eddy must have seen in the line in the Lord's Prayer that reads: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Her spiritual sense of this statement is: "And Love is reflected in love" ("Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 17). The love of God is expressed everywhere I go in lots of hugs and small kindnesses.
Science and Health also states, "Trials are proofs of God's care" (p. 66). This sentence used to bother me because I knew that God doesn't send us trials, and He certainly doesn't send us trials to prove that He cares for us. The last few months have proved to me, though, that when we have "trials" or situations that seem very trying, we can count on the fact that God is right there, caring for us. We can never find ourselves in a situation where we are outside God's care or beyond His help, since God is everywhere.
There have been so many proofs of God's care, including finding ways to take care of tasks my husband usually handled – from small repairs to locating the perfect people to paint and caulk the windows.
The assurance that God is right there, embracing and guiding me, has been palpable. The third verse of one of my favorite hymns reads:
O longing hearts that wait on God Through all the world so wide; He knows the angels that you need, And sends them to your side, To comfort, guard and guide. (Violet Hay, "Christian Science Hymnal," No. 9)
This is a truth anyone can rely on – anytime, anywhere. No matter what the circumstances, the love of God is there embracing us, protecting us, providing for every need.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18