ARE you feeling alone? Do you think your happiness depends on the existence of another person--wife, husband, child, parent, or friend? It's great to be happy with family and friends, but what happens if they are no longer around? Would God want any of his children to be unhappy? Genuine happiness comes from God and never has its source in people or things. But this doesn't mean we need to feel lonely.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love.
Although I had many loving friends, when both my husband and another much loved family member passed away within a short span of time, I felt overwhelmed with grief. I felt I was entering the vacuum of which Mrs. Eddy spoke, as I was certainly feeling very solitary. I often wept, and a heavy sense of loss hung over me like a dark cloud. I even began to think that I would never be happy again unless I remarried.
Being a student of Christian Science, I had been healed often enough to know that I could be healed of this depression also. I began to pray earnestly--talking to God as a friend and a loving, interested Father-Mother. I didn't talk to Him aloud, as that was not necessary, but every time the temptation came to cry or be unhappy, I prayed to know that God was with me and that I could never be alone. I remembered that Paul told the Athenians in the book of Acts: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being. This promise assured me that I could never be alone, for my heavenly Father-Mother God was always with me.
Bible stories were an inspiration, as well. If Daniel had thought he was alone in the lions' den, the lions would surely have eaten him. And if Christ Jesus had not been sure that God was sustaining him when he was in the wilderness forty days with nothing to eat, he certainly would have starved. This assured me that God was with me, just as he had been with the ancient prophets.
Through continued daily study and prayer, I realized that all mankind is my family because we are all God's children. My thought expanded to see everyone as included in God's universal family--my family. I found myself smiling at more people, and receiving warm and wonderful smiles in return. I met interesting people and had worthwhile conversation on many topics.
Opportunities began appearing truly to feel the same wonderful happiness I had felt when I was with my much-loved individual family. My horizons broadened as I joined theater, dancing, poetry, and writers' groups and loved every member as a family member. Even in retirement years I am finding worthwhile employment with the schools in my community. Now, I embrace not only adults in my enlarged sense of family but children as well.
No, I never remarried, but I did find the happiness I thought I had lost. I realized that the patience, love, understanding, and unselfishness that had been fundamental to my happy marriage had never left, because these qualities come from God.
Now when my friends ask, "How can you go places alone? I can truthfully answer, "I never feel alone--I feel the world is my family. Most of all, I know my Father-Mother God is always with me.