“It is Well”

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul."

The writer of this poem, Horatio Spafford, suffered incredible losses. Four daughters perished in a sunken ship; his wife survived. When joining her, he wrote four verses after the ship passed the spot where his daughters died (ages 12, 7, 4, and 18 months). It was 1873 and 3 years later, Phillip Bliss made it music. Three more children were born in later years; one died. It was then that Horatio decided (after years of personal and financial disasters) to depart from “worldly” success to pursue one thing-a deep spiritual relationship with his creator. Hosting prayer meetings in his home, Horatio engaged in philanthropic work despite others’ religious affiliations. Four days before his 60th birthday, Horatio died of malaria (1888). This song will forever be my favorite.

Since I last wrote much has happened. I’ve completed two radiation treatments (external for bones and the first internal one). A trip to the E.R. was made after waking up in excruciating pain one day. I have new medicine. It is well with my soul.

My sons and their families have made their moves. They are all within a day’s drive. We’re all in the same time zone! It is well with my soul.

Some days my stomach can’t handle food and I still find ways to give myself nutrition. It is well with my soul.

There are days when I wake up in tears. But then I think of all my blessings and the wonderful family, friends, and faith I have. My tears turn to joy. It is well with my soul.

The T.V. shares devastating news and ads for things I really don’t need, and watch how the world wants us to conform to the “latest and greatest”. I smile because I don’t need it. It is well with my soul.

The doctor’s office is filled with others who are suffering and receiving treatments. I SEE THEM. My heart is with them. It is well with my soul.

Cars are passing me and drivers are texting. My family and friends travel these same roads with distracted people. It is well with my soul.

Lines are drawn by politics, race, gender, and values. It is well with my soul.

Up the road a child may be hungry, a neighbor needs a hello, and my yard needs tending. Let’s do something. It is well with my soul.

“And Lord haste the day, when the 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.”

Wikipedia. (2022, October 18). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Spafford.

Have you heard of NET yet?

Saturday night was mind-boggling (spirit-boggling?). That morning I woke up WITHOUT pain. Prayers paralyzed it I know. A benefit was held for me by my community and organized by a dear group of friends. The vast amount of love gathered in this place completely shattered any “shouldn’t’s” I had. Friends and family reminded me to receive. Have you ever had your breath taken away? Has something POSITIVE been so staggering that it takes you days to digest? My writing projects are “thank you’s” to each family and friend that has stunned me with their staggering well-wishes, donations, time, prayers, and support. The line of love lifted my spirit and gave me strength. The family members that could not make it were with us in spirit. Those friends who sent me well wishes and blessings from other places were felt. It was completely surreal. When asked if I might sing about a month or so ago I was unsure. The power provided was providential (not luck, but divine). The lights were bright and I couldn’t see the audience. The spirit moved and the words came to me as if I was sitting in a small church listening to my grandma and others sing harmony around me. I thought of each grandparent and family member, walking in the woods, standing on the highest mountain, and a group hug with my Savior, my kids, and my grandkids. Aren’t group hugs the best?

Yes, there are a lot of thank you’s to write. As a matter of fact, I want to spend the rest of my life just saying “thank you”. Thank you to my kids and grandkids, my parents, my family, and my friends,…thank you, God, for loving us and giving grace. Whether I have a day (you and I are not promised today), a month, or YEARS,…I know how it ends. It is well with my soul.

Thank you Larry, Justin, and Lori Sifford for allowing me the opportunity to make music with you. A special thank you to the Comedy Jamboree for the wonderful laughs, too.

Have faith 💚

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