It Is Well
I have a sign that hangs right outside my bedroom. It’s the first thing I see every morning and it’s the last thing I see every evening. I first saw the quote when my husband, Joel was enduring chemo for the second time. We were desperate for hope and desperate for a happy ending to our nightmare. The quote spoke to me so deeply that I contacted a local artist and had her put it on a canvas. I purposefully hung it in a place where we would pass it daily. It is still there to this day. It reads:
“May your joys be as deep as the ocean. Your sorrows as light as its foam.”
As dire as things seemed for us, we held on to this quote. We hoped we were enduring our worst, yet our deepest joys as a family were yet to be.
I remember the day Joel died, walking to my room and seeing that canvas. I honestly wanted to take it and throw it through a window. What was once a source of hope had now turned into what felt like a mockery. It may as well have read that our “sorrows will be as deep as the ocean” for that was certainly how life felt in that moment.
Many times in the months that followed I wanted to take that stupid sign down. It’s not that I no longer believed life could be what the quote suggested, but the path of our life was not unfolding that way. Joy can still be a part of our future but the sorrow of our past is deep and is vast. Recently I realized I hadn’t taken it down yet because I was waiting for the perfect proclamation to take its place. It took my heart awhile to find it.
Songs always touch my heart in ways that normal words can’t. They penetrate. They pierce. When I heard a recent worship song for the first time, I wept. Most days I can’t even sing along, I just sit quietly on my bed as the tears flow and I nod my head in affirmation to its truth. This song is a mixture of new and old. The new:
So let go, my soul, and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name.
And there it was, the messy truth. Not glossed over in canvas form and hopeful clichés. The waves. The wind. They come. For some worse than others, but they always come in some shape or form. Yet, He is there, in control of the storms that leave us feeling tossed about and deeply afraid.
The old portion of the song is from a famous hymn. This is where my heart found its truth:
It is well with my soul. It is well; it is well, with my soul.
No matter where my life continues to take me-it is well.
No matter what that looks like-it is well.
No matter what that feels like-it is well.
No matter how deep my joys are-it is well.
No matter how deep my sorrows are-it is well.
He is with me. He is in control. He holds my world in His hands.
The moments of sunshine. The moments of storms. The joy. The mourning. Every bit of it. Because He is with me, I fall under whom He is.
He is good, so it is well.
Later this week I will bid farewell to the canvas that has graced our wall for the past two years.
I have found one to take the spot it once possessed. In its place will rest a new sign. Only this one will never have to be removed. No matter what is to come.
It is, and will forever remain, our family’s proclamation.
It reads this:
It is Well.