How much more should we seek to apprehend the spiritual ideas of God, than to dwell on the objects of sense! To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual.

— Mary Baker Eddy

When I returned from my road trip a week and a half ago, I found myself waking up every morning — and sometimes in the middle of the night — confused and disoriented, unable to recognize where I was, what time it was, or even what day it was. I didn’t recognize Ron. I didn’t recognize my bedroom. I didn’t know what town I was in. Familiar objects suddenly looked completely foreign. Once, I woke up in the night and caught myself squinting at a framed poster on our bedroom wall, trying to make out the words printed on it, as if I’d never seen it before — even though it’s been hanging there for at least two years.

I would recover after a minute or two, but those moments of confusion were extremely annoying, and I was starting to be a little alarmed by them. Ron suggested that I’d simply been on the road too long and needed time to get back to normal after so many nights in strange beds, but that didn’t really make sense. I travel all the time. I’ve always been comfortable on the road. I’ve never had trouble figuring out where I am when I wake up. And I’ve never had trouble slipping right back into my normal routines when I return from a trip.

Maybe that’s the problem, I thought. Always before, I’ve had normal routines to slip back into. This time around, I’d not only been away from home for over two weeks, but I was between jobs — meaning I had no work schedule to help establish my sense of time — and I couldn’t even take my customary trip to the Rock Cafe to celebrate my safe homecoming with a big bowl of chili, because the Rock had burned down while I was away.

It seemed as if all the mental landmarks that had anchored me in space and time were gone, and I felt lost, adrift, unable to grab onto anything that could help me get my bearings.

I knew I needed to turn away from matter and look to Spirit to find my real anchor, but I’d been trying for several days, and I just hadn’t made much headway. 

It all came crashing down on me Saturday afternoon, when I found myself in bed with three different physical claims — including a severe headache — and too depressed to move. I felt as if every healing I’d ever experienced had somehow come undone all at once, and I couldn’t even muster the energy to crawl to the phone and call a practitioner.

Scared and sinking fast, I reached out through the pain with the only prayer I could manage: Father … please … help me. I know You’re the only real anchor, but I’m not seeing it. Help me to understand.

Several ideas came to thought, but I don’t remember the details now. I just remember a quiet sense of peace, a sudden darkness (I know we don’t normally associate darkness with healing, but when the claim involves a headache, darkness is a welcome blessing), and a deep, restful sleep. When I awoke several hours later, all the pain was gone — and the confusion had vanished with it. I opened my eyes to a comfortable bedroom full of familiar objects that I recognized immediately. 

Thank God.