Overcoming stress during a family’s extended stay
Whether across the globe or on our very doorstep, problems can sometimes seem overwhelming. But whether or not someone is personally present to help, God’s healing care is there for all to feel and express.
For much of my life, I’ve been known as a rescuer. Animals, people – if there was a need, I felt impelled to step in to meet it. But a catalyst moment occurred when one day, completely unexpectedly, my husband and I found our adult son and his two children, both under 3 years old, standing on our doorstep asking to move in with us. The needed room rearrangements, supplies, meals, and schedule changes appeared somewhat overwhelming.
Exhaustion soon started to set in. That’s when I began to think more deeply about what my role really was. Was rescuing this family entirely on my shoulders? Was it up to me to shepherd them through these deep waters?
Questions like these led me to prayer. As I prayed, the freeing idea came that it wasn’t me at the center of things – it was God, divine Love. And I felt a conviction that what God knew about these dear relatives – the truth of their being – would show all of us the way forward.
What is this truth of being? Through Christian Science, I’ve learned that it’s not based on a surface view of things. Instead, it’s the spiritual understanding of each individual as created and governed by the loving, faithful Father-Mother God, who ensures the continuity of all that’s needed for a full and harmonious life. God’s creation is spiritual and under the eternal, loving care of the Divine.
In my own life, I’ve seen that calling upon God in prayer – bearing witness to what God sees, knows, and forever maintains about each of Her, His, children – actually enables our rescue or healing in a jeopardous circumstance.
This liberating idea became my foundation as I cared for this family, and the exhaustion and burden I was feeling soon dissipated.
When we’re used to playing the role of rescuer, it can be tempting to think that success is dependent upon our own good ideas. But as I continued to pray about how best to help my son and grandchildren, I began to see that one idea was the most important: the spiritual idea of creation, which, as the Bible tells us, is very good, like its creator.
I began to see that nothing could tear down the true, spiritual sense of family, which is defined and maintained by God, our divine Parent. Home is never dependent upon a physical location but is a deep feeling of security that God provides, wherever an individual or family might be. I felt a conviction that God forever loves and cares for not only my grandchildren, but also their parents – and my husband and me!
After four months in our home, my son and his children found a new living situation that, to me, has been clear evidence of the eternal fathering and mothering of God, the divine Principle of unfailing and reliable good.
This divine, shepherding influence is, in fact, always present; no one is without it. It is the Christ, the truth of being Christ Jesus lived and demonstrated in healing. And as the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, explains: “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ – a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime …” (p. xi).
Although I still love to help and “mother,” I’m learning that our good, our help, and our hope are ultimately found in divine Principle. Sometimes we see the operation of this Principle as a divine impulsion to be supportive and loving. But whether or not a person is present to help, Principle’s healing care can always be felt. And each of us can be an active witness in prayer to the presence of this divine influence, which provides a way out of trouble or distress.
Adapted from an article published in the March 30, 2020, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.