A giant crack had opened up in the core of my foundation and everything was being sucked in…at least that’s how it felt to me. Up to that point, my life had been easy. I was married to a professor and we lived what might be called a charmed life, both of us young, athletic, educated, and vibrant. Our home just north of San Diego overlooked a small, tranquil lake and we had an active social life. I was able to devote my time to a cause I believed in: volunteering with a nonprofit that took in unwanted pets and re-homed them. Until the nonprofit hired an Educational Director, I functioned as the education department, and I poured my heart into it.  Having been a teacher for many years, much of my time there was spent compiling a teaching manual that incorporated humane animal treatment with middle school language arts. They hired me after I’d completed the manual.  I loved my work and my life.


I hadn’t pursued a spiritual path, though I’d come to realize a few years before that God, in whatever form that meant, exists. Perhaps I didn’t feel an immediate need for anything deeper. But when things changed so dramatically for me, I suddenly felt very vulnerable and alone.


Not knowing how to manage the ups and downs of a marriage relationship, my husband and I decided to separate. He found an apartment, and I couldn’t afford to keep our home on the little lake. When we decided to actually go through with the divorce, I too started looking for another place to stay. Our home went on the market to be sold. Some friends had just remodeled their third floor and said I could rent it, but they decided not go through with it just two days before I was to move in. Where was I to go?


My job at the animal care center collapsed at the same time. A lawyer friend had told me I should get a copyright on the teaching manual I’d put together, and since I finished it before I was hired, I could indeed do that. Unfortunately, the director was furious that I’d gotten a copyright before they did and, barely able to contain his anger, he fired me. 


So, I had no marriage, no home, and no job . . . all at once. Money was suddenly very tight. I desperately needed a friend to repay $7 that I’d lent her a few months before. In her comfortable situation, repaying $7 didn’t seem like a big deal, but it certainly would have meant a lot to me.


Desperation was seeping in, but surprisingly so was something else. . .a feeling that eventually everything would be all right. It was as if God were whispering in the back recesses of my mind that this was a learning time, a growing time, and one to remember. This assurance filled my soul, pushing out the desperation, and giving me the confidence to put one foot in front of the other without becoming overwhelmed by my situation. I knew that eventually, even though things would be different, I would be okay. Throughout life’s twists and turns, even now, that quiet assurance has continued to fill me. 

—Anne A