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It Is Well With My Soul

It is well with my soul – this hymn has been vibrating in my heart over the past few days, on long walks, as I unload the dishwasher, now, as I sit on my bed, surrounded by laundry. Even in uncertain times (though aren’t most times uncertain?), even when I don’t have any of the answers and there are more questions than I can count, it’s there, this stillness, this peace.

It is well with my soul.

My faith has always been a mystery to me, an acceptance of things that cannot be seen or eloquently explained, but simply and undoubtedly is. It’s my roots, nourishing me, holding me firm, dug down deep and hidden in the earth. The world only knows me by my bark, by the leaves that I grow, the fruit that I bear.

I thought of this on a walk yesterday, turning the corner and pressing onward up a sunshine bathed hill, I thought of love and faith and peace so much so that my heart slipped into prayer without even realizing it. The words were indiscernible, it was an inaudible outpouring. It is well with my soul, riding on every exhale.

There are times it can feel as though I’ve read the most marvelous story, a book with an ending narrative so resoundingly powerful and exquisite that it overshadows every subplot or twist between its’ pages. Subplots, like these strange days – or side stories that read like fan fiction, colorfully created tangents that can distract and entertain for a time, but were ultimately never a part of the plot at all.

The resoundingly powerful and exquisite ending remains, unchanged by anyone or anything. This is where my roots are planted.

It is well with my soul.

This slip of a moment we’re living in, though it feels so large and untangled and messy right now, is only just a beat, a passing sigh in the storyline of this world. There are questions and seekers and tangential trains of thought, and there should be, humans are curious, humans are relational, humans are a product of thousands of years of history that has shaped each one of us uniquely and individually – but there shouldn’t need to be fear, for being human. For having questions, or for not having questions. For living in a time when all of the answers are not black and white and the space for multi-faceted understandings of the world around us grows wider and wider, because, these are complex times and God designed us as complex, multi-faceted beings.

What conquers fear? Love.

And, love comforts.

Love is kind. Love is patient.

Love perseveres.

Should we stand on the front lines against oppression and abuse? Yes. One thousand times over.

Should we stand up for those who cannot? And feed those who cannot feed themselves? And give what we can to those who need it – clothing, comfort, a place to be safe, medicine for their illness, shoulders for their grief? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes.

This is the commandment. This is love.

Should we stand firmly and loudly and through computer screens and the clacking of keyboards against one another for anything less? Over very human and relatable and understandable reactions to this time that we’re living in? I’m asking, honestly, but, also perhaps rhetorically, because I can’t help but feel that the answer could very well be no (and I don’t want to enter into any sort of debate whatsoever).

In the end, how well we loved will matter far more than how well we debated.

And, exhale.

It is well with my soul.

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Writer, Photographer, Wife, Mother to four rambunctious and amazing children.

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