If the pieces don't fit

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

When I felt that the time was right for me to attend graduate school, I found a school in Cincinnati that offered me financial aid and a teaching position.

But there were significant arrangements to make, such as where my daughter and I would live and where she would attend elementary school. I researched schools for my daughter and found just the right one.

Or so I thought.

I visited Cincinnati to find a place to live and to look over the school I'd chosen for my daughter. Near it was a wonderful area to live – safe, family-oriented, with a nice park. But I couldn't find a suitable apartment. Also, this area of the city was far from the university I would attend. I couldn't figure out how to transport my daughter to and from school and also attend my own classes.

No matter how much I tried, I couldn't seem to make all the pieces fit: a suitable home, a good school for my daughter, and a workable commute to school. After a week of trying so hard on my own to make everything work, I stopped rushing around and prayed.

First, I affirmed that, even if I couldn't quite see it, God had the complete answer. I felt He'd provided this school for me and prompted me to apply, so I knew He must have all the other pieces worked out, too. He doesn't provide halfway provisions. Think of the loaves and fishes, I said to myself. Think of the coin in the fish's mouth. Think of these words of Jesus: "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?... for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:31-33).

Those ideas were encouraging. I also affirmed, as Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, wrote, "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind..." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 60). So I knew that in turning to God, seeking His right ideas, I would have His infinite resources in my experience.

That word "infinite" really struck me. As I thought about my search for a grad school, an elementary school for my daughter, and a home, I wondered if I hadn't been more interested in doing what seemed best to me than in listening to God for direction. Maybe I wasn't seeking the kingdom of God, but my own version of what that might look like.

So I really focused on listening. I had only a few more days to find a place to live and finalize plans for my daughter's school. That evening in the paper, an ad for an apartment leapt off the page. But this couldn't be right, I thought. It cost too much and was in the city, not in the "safe" suburbs, close to my daughter's new school.

But I felt prompted to call about it. The landlord listened to my needs and said that although that apartment had already been rented, he had the "perfect" place for us.

And it was. But there's more. First, the landlord had a daughter, who was my daughter's age, who would be attending a school three minutes from our new apartment. The landlord's wife accompanied me to the new school – which my daughter did attend. She could not have been happier or prospered more than she did the years she spent there.

But there's still more. The apartment was in a turn-of-the-century home and had a huge garden in the back, complete with a pond. I had never gardened and knew nothing about flowers. However, caring for this garden opened up a whole new experience for me that I've continued to enjoy for over 15 years. I even went back to school and received my Master Gardener's certificate in addition to my graduate degree.

Truly, God's blessings are infinite, and as Jesus said, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

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