It was going to be the perfect visit. My girlfriend and I curled up on either end of our living room sofa, each with a cup of tea, in anticipation of some needed girl talk.
We'd both recently come through some difficult times. Intuitively we knew that the thread of love we felt for each other was perfect for mending some of our ragged edges.
As we started talking, I was taken aback by a flood of tears, regrets, and fear of the future, which poured out of my dear friend. She always seemed so positive on the outside, but just under the surface, she was suffering, and I hadn't realized it.
Our cozy visit turned into some soul-searching prayer time.
Her recently dissolved marriage had been a mess. She said she'd never felt loved. He'd been unfaithful. She was lonely and fearful that she would never meet anyone she could trust or who would love her. Nothing she had imagined her life would be had come true. She was full of despair and sadness.
Both my friend and I study a book that is based on the Bible, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who also had to deal with challenging relationships. Healing of relationship problems is covered in her writings, and there's an entire chapter devoted to marriage.
I've used the ideas in this book when relationships have not been fulfilling, and I've found many practical healing ideas. My friend has also used the ideas in this book to solve many problems. So it was natural that our thoughts took a turn from the problems she was facing to some spiritual solutions.
"Science and Health" explains one of the accounts of creation in the Bible in a wonderfully practical way. The first chapter of Genesis states: "male and female created he them." I used to think that the "male and female" in this account of creation were two different individuals. But now I see the idea as how we are each created spiritually complete. We each express both male and female qualities. In this higher idea, we find an unlimited spiritual identity, not a fragmented nature trapped within the limits of gender.
As my friend and I started to think and talk about the qualities of a husband, we saw that protection, love, support, tenderness, and faithfulness are everywhere. They're available for each of us to express. A husband couldn't bring qualities into my friend's life any more than he could bring God into her life. God is already everywhere, so all of God's husbanding qualities are already present.
We concluded that my friend's husband wasn't "out there" waiting to be found. She began to see that all the wonderful qualities of a good husband were actually within reach of her right where she sat. So we started acknowledging those qualities and claiming their presence.
Looking to someone else for completeness can be disappointing. No one person is capable of providing what a spiritual sense of completeness can give. We can actually miss wonderful opportunities to love by outlining just exactly what we "want" in another.
As our list of husband qualities grew, the fear and want melted. Joy replaced sadness as we united our thoughts with the beautiful qualities we were discovering.
Healing was taking place, and peace was the result. Within the year, my friend met a wonderful man, and they were married. She feels deeply grateful for their relationship. But instead of looking at her husband as her "other half," she feels they're both sharing their completeness.
Her spiritualized thinking took form as a wonderful marriage. Whether she had married or remained single, though, wasn't as important as the joy she had found.
That forever spiritual union with God can never be lost, and it will grow more beautiful as more of it is discovered.