“God had been graciously preparing me during many years…”
– Mary Baker Eddy
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes that “God had been graciously preparing” her for many years for her discovery of spiritual healing. How did God “graciously prepare” Mary Baker Eddy? Well, let’s see… she lost a beloved brother at a young age; she was widowed shortly after she married her first husband; she was separated from her only son when he was just four years-old, and he was taken across the continent and raised by others; she was challenged with chronic health problems; and endured a failed marriage… for starters.
I’m grateful to say that nine years ago God “graciously prepared” me, too, for future challenges that I couldn’t foresee at the time. Nine years ago I began my journey through a massive depression. At the time I was going through the depression I didn’t see an end to it – I feared I would spend the rest of my life in mental agony. I felt hopeless, helpless, guilty, and fearful. I contemplated ending my life, lost my appetite, and felt like I’d lost myself, too. My struggles turned me to God, Love, in a way I’d never before turned to God. I clung to Love like a drowning man clings to a board on a stormy sea. In time, I learned not to battle the waves, but to surf on top of them. I learned that if I could love I had a reason to live. I learned I could be happy even when I was sad. I learned to focus on now and move from moment-to-moment, step-by-step. And when, in a year, I came out the other side into the light, I recognized my own strength, and the tender love God has for me, and for all Her creation. I came out of the depression with a fearlessness that I hadn’t had going into it. I felt reborn.
The other day I realized that I needed that experience in my life – it helped prepared me for the challenges my world is facing right now. At the time it seemed like the worst thing I’d ever experienced. Now, looking back, I realize it was a wonderful blessing.
Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart…
– Psalms 10: 17
(Click here to behold a way cool rendition of Godspell’s Prepare Ye the Way that I found on youtube. This’ll get you in the Christmas spirit. 🙂 )