Tuesday, July 11, 2017
It Is Well With My Soul
For the past few years my life has been a mess. Through a series of failures and misplaced actions, we've lost everything we had built - our business, our incomes, our retirements, my husband's health, all gone with the capricious winds of fate. But fate has a Master, just as we all do, and while I don't usually open a window into my soul, for some reason tonight I feel a calling to put where I am inside into the ether.
One hundred and forty-four years ago Horatio Spafford placed his children on a ship headed for Europe and never saw them again. The ship sank and only his wife was saved. This after another child had already died at a young age. Upon arriving in Wales after her rescue, Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, "Saved alone. What shall I do?"
That pretty much describes where I have been these past few years. Saved, alone, doing what I thought I had to in order for all the balls to remain in the air. It's only now I can look back and see the wreckage with a clear head and an acceptance of my Lord's hand in things beyond my grasp. If not for the faith I have carried since childhood my personal ship would have sunk in rough waters a long time ago.
Faith in something greater than ones self is hard. Faith in yourself is even harder, especially after fortunes change. More than one I have joking compared my journey to that of Job, but I now know for a fact every person's experience with trials is different. Regardless of religion. belief in a greater being gives hope that tomorrow will be brighter, that not all days are worth hiding from.
I confess I have no confidence in my ability to change anything that is happening to us right now. Rugs are pulled out from under me with frightening regularity and my lack of coordination has brought about more than one face plant. But I get back up and I keep going because somewhere out there lies the answer, not within myself or within the walls of my house.
I am by nature an introvert, which makes some of these disappointments seem large and menacing, and in reality some of them are. But even though I work at a low paying, crappy hours job, it helps pay the bills. And even though all I can see in all directions is unending turmoils, I take a deep breath and being to function on the second part of that cable: "What shall I do?"
As Horatio Spafford raced to meet his distraught wife, the ship he was on passed directly over the spot where his young daughters now lay entombed. During that passage he penned the now famous Christian hymn, "It is Well With My Soul". The line which sticks in my head day after day as I listen to people gripe about things which are completely trivial is this: "Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well with my soul'".
Because at last I understand that I am where I am for a reason. Multiple reasons but the most important is because that is where my Higher Power, whose name is God, wants me to be. I fulfill a purpose, even though I have no clue what it is, and that is all I need to know right now. There are still immovable mountains ahead of us, and perhaps that is no other employment avenues have opened themselves to me. I don't know and that's okay.
Now, don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I'm not angry, and sad, and about a million other variations on the four basic emotions. I'm totally angry at the way things worked out, but what hand could I have played that would have worked out better? That also doesn't mean there aren't things I wish I had done differently. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. But for the first time in almost two years I no longer feel the Sword of Damocles hanging over my neck. It probably still is, but I have faith things will work out in the end.
That, I think is the key to faith: the believe it will all work out in the end.
If you've made it thought this, thank you. I know people are not all the same about religion, but I consider faith as more than a part of religion. Faith is a basic staple of life. Food, Water, Shelter, Faith. With these four man can create anything. I believe it.
As for the Spaffords, they were reunited and went on to have three more children. In 1881 they moved from Chicago to Jerusalem, where they are buried.