"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."
I have always loved this hymn and I love this quiet, reflective version by Daniel Martin Moore. I was listening to it the other day and it made me think about specific moments when it really was well with my soul. Whether that means I was just happy and at peace or I had peace knowing things were going to be all right.
1. As a child, sitting between my grandparents at church and hearing them sing 'It Is Well With My Soul'. My grandparents attended a Church of Christ denomination. There was no music played, but the congregation would sing harmony on all of the hymns. This song always reminds me of sitting in between my grandparents every Sunday and hearing my grandma sing soprano and my grandpa sing bass. Even as a small child, I felt it was well.
2. A recent Friday night when my 7-year old son fell asleep in my lap, like he did when he was a baby. It was well in my soul.
3. The moment when I finally catch my breath after hysterical laughter. It is a brief moment, but it is well.
4. One morning in July 2013 around 7:00a.m. - I was sitting on the deck of a rental house in Hot Springs, NC. I was gazing at a beautiful mountain view, sipping coffee, listening to the Avett Brothers, and using needle and thread on a sketchbook while the rest of the house slept. It was very well.
5. A creative project that excites me and is turning out better than I imagined. That progress, along with excitement, some good music, and maybe a beer. It is well. For sure.
6. Sitting on my best friend's kitchen counter as a teenager, after picking homegrown tomatoes from her mother's garden. We sat directly on the counter with the cleaned tomatoes, some salt, and ate them like apples. I remember that moment vividly - white counter tops, red tomato juice, bare feet, and a total mess. It was well with my soul because it was so simple and innocent during a time when many teenagers struggle with being those things. It is an image I conjure up sometimes when I want to feel that peace and simplicity again.
7. A couple of days after I lost my second pregnancy and my parents came to visit. Jay was back at work and my other two children (at the time) were at daycare, so I was home alone. I was devastated. My mom sat on one couch, my dad sat next to me on the other couch, and I sat with my head on his shoulder. We sat there in silence and in sadness, but, even in that moment, I was well. I was sad, but I knew I was going to be well.
8. Any night when Jay and I go to bed at the same time and I lie my head on his stomach while he puts his arm around me. We watch television or read before drifting to sleep. It is always well with my soul on those nights.
9. The first moment when I held each of my babies after their births. Definitely well.
10. Those rare moments when I recognize that I am wholly and unequivocally present in the moment - whether it's ordinary or extraordinary. Those moments when past and future don't matter; it is well with my soul.