It Is Well
I sat across the table from my counselor as she gently reminded me of the old hymn, It Is Well With my Soul. I grew up hearing and occasionally singing this hymn in church, but never really paid close attention to the words. Have you ever done that? Known the words, even sing the words, but never have them pierce your heart and go straight to your soul? Well, that’s exactly what happened as my counselor recited the first few lines to me.
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Source: LyricFind | Songwriters: Philip Paul Bliss/Christopher C. C. Stafford
I’m not sure about you, but anytime I’m going through a challenging time, I find myself focusing more on the end, rather than the present. I fix my gaze on when the challenge is overcome, when the pain is gone, when the turmoil is peaceful. However, as I walk this very treacherous path, alongside my Mom, I keep being reminded of a quote she has hanging on the wall of her office, by Louis L’Amour:
The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for. ~ Louis L’Amour
I’ve always been a fast paced, “get ‘er done” girl, working around the clock to complete a task, focused on the finish line and not so much the process. This often causes mistakes along the way, but I’ve always embraced those mistakes as “par for the course”, corrected them and moved on. Yet, this season is not like that. I can’t hurry this season, I can’t rush to the finish line, in order to move on to the next challenge. I must be fully present. Fully surrendered to the current task at hand. This my friend, is quite the challenge for me. I’m a fixer by nature, and knowing I can’t fix my Mom, or the journey we are on, makes it difficult for me to settle into this awkward place of stillness and presence. I’m not used to this stillness, quiet, loneliness, brokenness and pain. I fight it, and I fight it hard, but the truth is, God has brought me here for such a time as this and I will be in this blessed, difficult, painful season for as long as He deems necessary to teach me to bask in the quiet of His presence.
Friend, it’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to rush through the painful parts of our journey, in order to get to the new chapter; the chapter full of sunshine and rainbows. However, the truth is, there is no sunshine or rainbows without the rain! We must go through the valley’s to even understand what mountains lie ahead! For it’s in these valley’s that God is working the most in our hearts. It’s in the valley’s where we cry out to Him, He hears our cry’s and answers them with tender loving reminders of how much He truly cares for us! He cares for us enough to allow the painful times into our lives, to strengthen us. Without the strength of the Holy Spirit, which only comes through deep challenges, we would crumble! We serve a merciful God and though He doesn’t always choose to remove the challenge, calm the storm, or eliminate the pain, He never lets any of it go to waste! It is always for His glory that He walks beside us, and even carries us through the darkest of valley’s.
So yes, this journey is hard. It’s tedious, painful, and down right the hardest thing I have yet to endure, #butGod… God has brought me through seasons of pain that seemed this great at that time. Had I not endured those times and grown through them, I would not be strong enough for this valley I’m walking now. God truly is teaching me; whether peace is flowing like a river, or sorrows billowing before me, my soul is safe in His arms.
It truly is well with my soul.
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