My husband and I, our two young children, and our dachshund puppy, Shatzie, hit the road in an orange VW camper. We weren't sure where we would end up. My husband was without work, and we had no place to live.
We were afraid and uncertain as we headed west from North Carolina, where my husband's military career had suddenly ended. Jobs were scarce, and his education was in a field of work too specialized for the current job market.
With very little money, a gas credit card, and no job prospects, we relied on prayer to guide us as we went from city to city. As we journeyed, we read encouraging passages to each other from the Bible and from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper. This was a particularly helpful passage from Science and Health: "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God" (pg. 254).
This world is governed by divine Principle, we reasoned. We were not in charge. We couldn't make life happen. We prayed to be receptive, to really listen.
Something causes the stars to stay where they are and the earth to continue rotating. The ocean waves are governed by intelligence, and the flowers show forth a beauty that speaks of love. Nature points to a spiritual presence we were coming to understand as God, a name for the sum total of all good. We were trusting that this same intelligence would govern our lives also.
We had two lovely little children to care for, with hearts and minds full of ideas and hopes. An intelligent Creator, capable of creating so much good, certainly gives each of His children a way and a place in which to express the qualities He so beautifully bestows on them. This thought removed the pressure we were feeling about how we would provide for our children.
Reasoning and praying along these lines, we asked, "Is this where You want us, Father?" when we entered each new city. If we didn't hear an answer, we moved on.
Our search lasted about a month. At night we slept at rest stops, gas stations, parks, and in new friends' driveways. We were learning to listen spiritually and to trust. Our peace and hope grew with each new day. The family time we spent together was close and happy. Doubt and fear melted mile by mile.
When we finally reached the West Coast, we called family members in another state to tell them of our progress. A tenant in a rental home they owned had unexpectedly decided to move, and they said we could live there rent-free until we found work. We were able to sell some things to hold us over, and my husband retrained and began a new career.
As a result of our prayer and study, the things we learned on the road blossomed into a new home and job. The limits and walls tumbled down. All of our needs were met. We felt like cherished guests of God, loved and cared for.
That journey ended 32 years ago. Our children are now grown and are taking journeys with their children. Prayer is often their guide also.
My husband retired recently, and again there are some major life changes ahead. Prayer is still supporting and guiding us today, as we continue learning and listening, as our Father-Mother God shows us the way.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake....
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalms 23: 1-3, 5, 6