it is well with my soul.
i recently had this phrase imprinted on my left forearm with permanent ink. sometimes a tattoo just does a person good (sometimes it does not). it’s my second tattoo, probably won’t be my last and it serves as a my daily reminder. it is good therapy if you ever deal with commitment issues or love the challenges of change. a tattoo forces a commitment and it won’t ever change. i guess it could change as your body changes, but that is a different topic i suppose. anyway, sometimes we need that daily reminder that we are well, no matter what trials and hard times we face. you might not be great. you might not be amazing. life is not always fantastic, but you are well.
there is a song, a hymn actually, that contains this famous line. it was written by horatio spafford in the late 1800’s after he had just found out that four of his children had died when the boat they were aboard sank. in the midst of his greatest despair, he wrote that it was well with his soul. if that doesn’t inspire you, please, please tell me what will.
i’ve had a couple very close friends of mine go through some family tragedies this year that you wouldn’t wish upon anyone. tragedy is such that it strikes you when you least expect it and have had no preparations ready emotionally to handle it. in these moments, you can expect a person to crumble and fall. i cannot imagine myself in their shoes, i can only guess that i would be walking around like a zombie and pushing old ladies and babies out of my way, because well, i could. but what i found was amazing. they were okay. i know i wouldn’t have been okay dealing with what they had been dealing with, something so raw and very public. it was one of those situations where you desire to be the inspiring friend, the one that lends the shoulder to cry on and you find yourself asking, “how are they doing so well?” you see them smiling, shaking hands and giving hugs and you wonder if they are the ones being consoled or doing the consoling.
it’s because we are always okay on some level.
this year i’ve learned a lot about some of my friends and how much i admire their strength. i’ve witnessed how much courage they showed in making it through the toughest trials they may ever go through. i’ve seen good and bad. i’ve seen lives lost and new life enter. what i’ve learned is that life needs perspective on the best and worst days. somedays i just need to take a moment to look down to my forearm and read.
it is well with my soul.