It was a very difficult time in my life. My husband, my dearest earthly friend, had unexpectedly passed on. On a daily basis, I struggled to stay above water, so to speak. I also felt great sadness for my three children, who were very close to their dad. He wouldn’t be there anymore with his quirky humor, with the special bond he had with each of them. We were always laughing when he was with us. But now, as grateful as I was for the immense outpouring of love family, friends, and church members showered on me and my children during this time, life seemed dreary and empty for all of us.
I felt my faith was really being tested. I had been a student of Christian Science since college, and I had experienced many beautiful healings, both for myself and my family – including the healing of eczema, fever, severe head pain, and earache, to name a few. But navigating this grief, I felt like “a stranger in a strange land,” as a Bible verse says (Exodus 2:22).
Seeking healing, I turned to God with my whole heart and soul. I thought of Jesus’ beautiful teaching, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). J.B. Phillips’ translation of this verse reads, “How happy are those who know what sorrow means for they will be given courage and comfort!” (“The New Testament in Modern English”).
I certainly knew what sorrow meant, and this verse brought an inner assurance that I would have the courage to go forward, find comfort, and feel God’s pure love for me. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, encourages, “Divine Love is never so near as when all earthly joys seem most afar” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 290).
I was increasingly feeling God’s nearness. It was like a tiny bright light shining in the darkness. And the light was getting a little brighter all the time. I felt a confidence that God was guiding me forward. I had found full-time employment that enabled me to meet the family’s everyday needs. I was active in my church.
But sometimes I would still feel a lonely ache in my heart and just start sobbing. One day, more than a year after my husband’s passing, I wondered if I would ever feel truly happy and peaceful again. I called a dear friend and asked her if she would pray for me. She lovingly agreed and encouraged me to consider the idea “I love my life.”
To be honest, I wasn’t so sure I loved my life. But this became a healing prayer for me, a little song of gratitude that made it hard not to smile. It wasn’t a mantra to mindlessly repeat, but an idea to ponder and understand. It led to a growing realization that God is infinite Life, the source of infinite good in everyone’s life.
My friend also gave me a different way to think about being “alone”: as “all one with God.” This was a beautiful concept. I was one with God. And my husband, though not here with me humanly, was also one with God. No one can ever be separated from our creator, Life itself, who created us as the spiritual image of the Divine. In an address to members of her church in 1899, Mary Baker Eddy said, “Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part” (Miscellany, p. 131).
I realized, “Of course I love my life. My real life is in God.” As I came to more fully glimpse this spiritual reality, gradually and gratefully I was healed of the sorrow and grief. Through God’s ever-present love, I faced what had once seemed insurmountable and had come out of it spiritually renewed.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand,” reads a Bible verse (Romans 13:12). Each of us can experience how the light of God’s love dissolves the darkness of sorrow, bringing the dawn of a new day. With this comes the renewing of a joy and peace that no one can take away.