{It is Well} 3.27.2017

This hymn gets me nearly every single time and we just so happened sang a piece of it in church yesterday with a newer song that has recently come out. I remember growing up singing this in the Southern Baptist Church with just a piano and an organ, so when I hear it as an adult at more contemporary churches I get a flood of memories, emotion and warmth in my soul.

I remember being so very homesick while living in Sioux City last year. I hadn’t been home in a few months and didn’t know when I’d go back and that was the longest stretch I had made away from my family so far in my lifetime. I missed driving on familiar roads to familiar places, I missed my grandparents homes, I missed eating at my Mamaw’s every Sunday after church, I missed swinging on my parents back porch and visiting my Deddy’s boat shop and going to work with my favorite people at my favorite doctors office. I was sick for my comfort zone. Shoot, I honestly still get homesick and miss all those things plus some.

I was standing midway in the aisle at CrossPointe singing my heart out [this was out of my comfort zone, being a “Back Row Baptist” growing up] and can still remember the feeling that overcame me as tears welled up in my eyes. Heat and tingling from my fingertips inching up into my shoulders and face to each strand of hair on my head like pings of emotion raging to be set free; I did not want to cry in front of all these people I barely knew, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. That day my heart softened in a way the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes… and from that point on I have really held “It is well” as a daily song of praise.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.

Oh what an amazing song of how we should live out our faith in Jesus! To live through every situation and circumstance and trial and tragedy and know in our hearts that it is well. I want to have faith like the songwriter had when he went through this trying time in his life.

Have you heard the heart-breaking story behind this 1800s hymn? Long story short Horatio G. Spafford, a Chicago lawyer had a wife and 5 children and they were planning to move across the Atlantic to Europe. Their son had recently passed away from pneumonia and the great Chicago fire broke out impacting Mr. Spafford’s business. His wife, Anna, and their four daughters went on ahead, while Mr. Spafford decided to stay in Chicago for a few more days to finish up business. During Mrs. Spafford and their daughter’s journey, the ship collided with another ship and sunk with the four daughters leaving only his wife to spare.

Horatio followed after as planned but along the way the captain called to inform him “this is where we believe your daughters were lost.” Paraphrased of course. He found the goodness of his Heavenly Father during the midst of trials and tragedy and it has been told that he wrote this song along on his trip across the ocean. What a true honor to God to have such faith and dedication and trust that no matter what comes our way, big or small, it can be well in our soul.

I know personally I’ve not dealt with such immense tragedy as the Spaffords, but this song. This song puts worries and lies and sadness and pain at ease! They found peace like a river when they should have had no peace! That’s God, y’all. He can take all we are going through and no matter the circumstance, we can have peace.

He took my homesick feelings and helped me defeat the lies that Satan was planting in my heart that my family didn’t love me or miss me or care that I was not in Mississippi and that I was doing a horrible job raising our kids and we made terribly bad decisions regarding living in a camper and not giving our family structure and I was a horrible full time wife and I would never be happy anywhere we moved and my food was bland almost inedible most nights. I had lies coming at me from every which way! You want to know the worst part? I believed them! Thankfully I had begun restoration through Jesus and was able to overcome most of my troubles.

That’s where finding a good church comes in. Friends, if yall don’t have a church that is going to give you a Message from the Lord every Sunday, a church that has people hug your neck every single time you walk in those doors, a church that invites you to every event even if they know you probably won’t remember make it but they love you enough to remind you and tell you to come… then you need to get up and go find your church!

I’ve been to several churches trying to find a place to fit in, but it’s not me or my family that has to fit in! The Church family has to want growth and want new faces and want to love on people through morning greetings and bible studies and small group and coffee dates and potluck dinners. I’ve been on both sides of feeling welcome and un-welcome and let me tell you, when you find a family to call your Church you will know it! You’ll know when you go somewhere if they’re going to open their arms up wide and say “Welcome Home!” Even after they know we might not be in town for long, I still have made great long-lasting relationships.

Another huge deal about finding a church, while I’m here talking about it, is make sure your children enjoy themselves!! I have left amazing services feeling refreshed and energized by Jesus and Cooper will innocently tell me, “Mama, nobody talked to me. I don’t want to go back, please let’s don’t go back there.” Oh my heart. If other children can’t find one thing to say to my spunky, bright-eyed, handsome, very friendly boy to make him feel welcomed then we can’t go back. There’s no point in me going back if the other children haven’t been raised to befriend their peers and include newbies. Thankfully, we have found churches that Cooper is so excited to get to his class and he even remembers what he learns! He’s engaged in his lessons and that makes my heart so happy! Miller is getting excited about church classes, as well. Every time we drive by our church over here in Louisiana, he points and says “my kwass” and he runs full speed ahead across the parking lot with his little camo and orange backpack when he sees the doors. O is still a work in progress, but he loves the snacks lol. People. Our children are the next generation of Christian believers and we have got to stand firm against this world to raise a generation that He wants us to raise! I know this is so cliche but Our Children ARE the Future!

Back to my story, my heart strings have been played by this song and will sing it forever in my mind, you’ll catch me humming it, singing like a broken record to the boys at bedtime and any time I feel discouraged. There is a calm in me that I couldn’t have without Jesus and I know that the circumstances I face in this life are not my final arrangements.

For now, I’m thankful I have peace and comfort in the exact place we are standing. We also sing Count Your Blessings often, because I can’t tell you how blessed we are after all we’ve been through in the past few years! Lots of changes and uncertainties and we’re just blessed. Being uprooted and having numerous uncertainties in life makes it really hard to not just dwell in the negativity, but I have a Jesus who will give me strength and joy to overcome! I know I’m going to work towards being more faithful in my Jesus and I know that I’ll probably reference this post quite often when I’m feeling down and out! Xo.

{Flower wreath borrowed from Google. Thank you to whomever shared it on the internet! You’re a very talented person!}

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