The first year of Bethany’s anniversary was fast approaching. I had told myself a million times I was ready, I was better, I was healed. Grief has a funny way of knocking you down and blindsiding your emotions in ways you never really see coming. I had become all too good at playing the game of telling everyone I was perfectly content and at peace with God’s decision.
The fate of my emotional state held true when I stood in church that Sunday Morning. We had begun singing the song, It is Well With my soul. As the music softly played, Bro. Andy asked the most profound question. He said:
“Can you sing the words and mean it? I mean, TRULY mean it. Can you stand here today and truly mean that It is well in your soul. If not, don’t sing. Make peace with God, right here, right now, until you can without a shadow of a doubt sing, It IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.”
My body began to tremble as my hands clung tighter to the pew. Tears streamed down my face as my mouth felt bolted shut. I felt as though I was sobbing without control as my heart cried out to Jesus.
Oh, how I wanted it to be Well with my Soul. I wanted to release the hurt and anger I was holding on too. I wanted to fall to my knees and beg my Savior to give my little girl back and to take back the last year of my life. I wanted to wake up from the nightmare I had endured. The only problem was it was no nightmare; it was my reality. My little girl had died. She was NOT going to come back.
My hands gripped tighter to the pew and I wanted to run as far away as I could…
And then, like only my Savior can do. My tears faded away and my mouth began to sing. A peace flooded over me and I honestly knew I would be ok. I ached for my little girl in a way I never dreamed was possible and yet, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, It is well with my soul.
Sometimes my heart begins to race as Bethany’s birthday approaches. Some years I am fine, and others, not so much. As I sat in church this past Sunday, I could feel my emotions rolling back and forth like an out of control rollercoaster. As we stood to sing the invitation, I look up to see the words, It is Well With my Soul. Tears began to roll down my face without control. I quickly found myself facedown at the alter crying out to God. I miss her. I loved her.
My heart will always long for my sweet girl. With every passing year I will wonder what she would have looked like or could have been, but I will never doubt for one second that my Savior has not carried me through the Storm. He has taught me what it means to dance in the rain and see the light through the darkness. He has taught me that no matter what may come, no matter my lot, when sorrows like sea billows roll, it is Well with my Soul! Praise God, It is Well with My Soul!
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7.