“It is (NOT) well with my soul.”
Ever been there?
Been in the middle of a situation where everyone is singing praises and your vulnerability with God screams “I’m not okay”, “This is not okay”, “Nothing about ___________ (<fill in the blank) is well with my soul”.
We love to hear people share stories of purpose from pain, but here’s the gray area in their story…they said those lines too. They had moments where they wanted to run from purpose, where their story felt anything but beautiful, and brokenness felt like their identity and made it hard to sing “It is well with my soul”.
So what exactly do these lyrics even mean?
They were written by a successful man over a century ago who lost his fortune in a fire, then watched his four-year old son die from a fever. After this, he sent his wife and daughters to England for a vacation and he would join the girls soon after. The ship sunk with 200 on board losing their lives. His wife survived and wrote to her husband the words “Saved alone. What shall I do?”.
This guy knew the deep pit of “it is (NOT) well with my soul”, and yet the message from his lyrics still anthem from our lips today.
It means “it is well with my soul” that God won’t leave me here alone. “It is well with my soul” that more is happening that my eyes can’t see.
Your situation does NOT need to be okay with your soul, especially if it is a toxic or traumatic situation. What is “well with my soul” is that God won’t leave your side through it.
You have permission to be honest in your prayers and proclaim “this situation is NOT well with my soul”, but “your presence God, and your ability to hold me alongside this, that is well with my soul” even if mountains need to move in this situation.
“For whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul”.
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