Our married life was tumultuous. For years, my husband and I lived in a whirlwind of extremely difficult events. We both acted in ways that were unkind, inconsiderate, and self-absorbed. When we finally divorced, the usual emotions of resentment, anger, and regret ran rampant.
I was praying the best I knew how, but for a long time I felt that prayer was getting me nowhere. Because we had a young son, we acted like a family in some ways and spent a lot of time together—celebrating holidays and birthdays, and attending many weekend activities. Outwardly we were kind and courteous to one another, but inwardly I nursed criticisms and resentments.
For a while, this bothered me. It seemed hypocritical to feel one way and act another. But Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Because we refused to turn the divorce into a war, a deep peace was very slowly taking over. It occurred to me that it was more a case of living a prayer for harmony than of being hypocritical. I found support for this stance in the chapter on prayer in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. For instance, she writes: “The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer” (p. 4); and “Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving that enables us to enter” (p. 10). I was striving to live in a kind way, refusing to give in to the tug of destructive emotions. I didn’t have much control over how I felt, but I had control over how I spoke and acted.