Struggling to find a house that would accommodate both her budget and her large family, a woman turned to God for inspiration and guidance. The idea that God is “forever near” – wherever we may be – turned the way she was thinking about the situation around, and a happy resolution ensued.

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After years of being happy to rent a home, my husband and I decided to move our family of seven and buy our first home near my parents. This started a rather arduous process of traveling about 190 miles, sometimes several times a month, looking at properties to buy.

The first house we learned about seemed perfect but was way over the price we could afford, so I put the information about it away in a drawer (this was before the internet, so property details arrived by post). As information about various other properties continued to arrive, we found that none of the houses within our budget could accommodate our large family. After six months of searching, we hadn’t found a house yet. It all began to seem impossible.

In difficult situations I’ve often found it helpful to turn to God for help. In this case, I’d been praying with the 91st Psalm in the Bible, which talks about our shelter, dwelling, safety, and guidance found in God. The textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, describes God as “incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” (p. 465).

This inspired me to think about the idea of home as more than a building. I made a list of the qualities I felt reflected our home in God, and then thought about those qualities in relation to those synonyms describing God’s nature. For instance, I considered that security and safety are included in God as Principle; joy within the house is an expression of divine Soul; kindness and warmth, evidence of the presence of God as Love; and so on.

Yet although this was spiritually uplifting, we still didn’t have a house. I called my mum, who was a Christian Science practitioner (someone who prays for people seeking help with any sort of issue, whether it is health, relationships, or moving house), and asked her to pray with me.

Mum knew I was rather scared to move from our quiet village and sensed that I was still mentally clinging to the home we were in. She helped me see that the ideas I’d been praying with were not just true about one particular home or place. God-given security, joy, and peace are everyone’s to feel and experience, everywhere.

I thought of a hymn I’d often found helpful over the years in bringing up our family. The last verse really helped build my trust in God to lead us forward. It goes:

In Thy house securely dwelling,
Where Thy children live to bless,
Seeing only Thy creation,
We can share Thy happiness,
Share Thy joy and spend it freely.
Loyal hearts can feel no fear;
We Thy children know Thee, Father,
Love and Life forever near.
(Elizabeth C. Adams, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 58, © CSBD)

The realization that God, divine Love and Life, is “forever near” – wherever we are – was the clincher for me. It moved my thought forward, past the fear of an uncertain future.

And you know what happened soon after this change of thought? Through the letter box came another mailing about the very first house, which had seemed so perfect but too expensive. The price had dropped hugely.

When my husband got home from work, we all got in the car and drove to the property. It was perfect for us. Another family was looking at this house that same day, but we were thrilled when the owner accepted our offer, even though it was slightly less than the new price she had sought.

I also prayed to know that the other family would find a place that was right for them. As it happened, years later my son met one of the children from that family, and they became good friends. The family had found a beautiful house of their own.

Though some of our children have their own homes now, my husband and I still live in this house with some of our family. It certainly has been a home where we have “live[d] to bless,” sharing so much happiness. And not just with our own family, but with others, too. For instance, this home later became a refuge for my son’s friend when his family moved away from the area.

Each of us, wherever we are, can turn to God to guide us and feel the spiritual peace and joy that God bestows on all.

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