It was a season of decisions and adjustments. The house I rented was sold, so I had to move. The man I was dating proposed marriage, and we became engaged. This was to be a second, later-in-life marriage for both of us. I had some of my furniture moved into his house, the rest put in his garage and in a storage unit. Then I rented a furnished cottage in the village where my fiancé lived.
Everything was falling nicely into place, or so I thought. The prospects for my future seemed secure, and I was confident I was on a path with my hand in God's. And indeed I was, but God's plan for me, I found, didn't jibe with my plan for me. One day, before we had set a wedding date, my fiancé sat me down, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "I'm going to withdraw my proposal of marriage."
Although he followed up with a reason that I could accept, I was shocked. In a daze, I considered what my next step might be. My future, which before had looked so picture-perfect, now seemed bleak indeed. Shaken, I confided in a friend, who encouraged me to listen to my Father-Mother-God for guidance. She recommended a statement from a favorite author of ours, Mary Baker Eddy. Although written more than a century ago, its message was as timely for me as it was for those who had read it when it was first penned: "Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," pp. 149-150).
I stayed with the idea of Love, a biblical term for God, being "there before me," and I felt ready to receive Love's "tender lesson." I remembered the Apostle Paul's words as recorded in the book of Acts: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (17:28). I couldn't be separated from God, who created me as one of His loved children. I was calmed and reassured by the ideas expressed in those two quotations.
In the days that followed, my now former fiancé was most solicitous of my well-being and offered to be of help in making this new adjustment. The weather was warm enough for me to move into my unheated cabin on a lake nearby, so with his assistance that's what I did, planning to spend the summer months there before deciding what I would do next. I can honestly say that after the initial shock, I never felt deserted or betrayed, only the warmth of being watched over by a higher power as the next steps I should take became evident.
When suggestions of what lay ahead with regard to relocating all my worldly possessions threatened to overwhelm me, I turned away from that scene and quietly gave thanks for the help of kind friends and what I knew ultimately was the wisdom of my fiancé in making the break.
I had been in my cabin for only a month when a friend urged me to call a realtor in a neighboring town. After I'd looked at the first rental she showed me, a second-floor apartment that had just become available, I knew it was the place for me. I signed a lease that day.
I could now see that Love had indeed been before me, leading me gently, step by step, providing me with comfort and companionship during that transitional period, and guiding me forward into a new experience.
And the "tender lesson" I learned? That God would never let me down. He works on our behalf even when we're not aware of it. Knowing that He bestows upon His children all good from His limitless bounty instills confidence in His plan for us, even when that plan takes us in an unexpected direction. Although we may be forced to make unforeseen adjustments – as I did – we can yield to His guidance, confident that our willingness to follow will lead to a brighter day.