It is well with my soul.
To be honest, this is more of a statement of faith than a declaration at this moment. This is a difficult season for me. So much transition has taken place over the past year, and so much is still happening. Most of the changes are good. Really good even. But some are hard and I'm struggling. Sometimes I feel like I'm sprinting to keep up with life as it rushes by, and I just can't keep up. Like someone who is running alongside a train that won't stop. Last week was particularly hard. I felt like I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. One night I saw the words, "It is well with my soul" on some artwork as I scrolled through Instagram. I can't really describe what happened in that moment, but it was like everything froze and I stared at those words and had to ask myself, "Is it? Is it well with my soul?" I knew the answer. I did not have peace. I've been struggling to stay afloat and becoming exhausted with the pace of life right now. Since that night, I keep seeing those words. In an email from a jewelry maker, they were inscribed on a necklace pendant. Going through random scrap papers in my stash, a page torn from a hymn book happened to be this very song. More Instagram sightings with these words. I'm taking notice.
So I am going to declare it. Maybe not from a standpoint of total peace quite yet, but as a statement of desperate faith. This is a hard season. I'm not good at juggling all that I have going on, and I can't make time stand still so I can catch up. But I can cling to God and know that He is near, believing that He knows my heart and He knows what He's doing. This is a season, and this too shall pass. I believe He must have a purpose and is probably strengthening my faith or my character though it. The best thing I can do is stay rooted in Him. I can ask Him to make a way for things to change, and for His joy to be my strength for as long as it continues as is.
Another thing I can do is focus my thoughts on what is positive. When I decided to journal this phrase in my Bible, I chose Philippians 4: 4-7 as the Scripture to go with it. My journaling Bible is ESV, but I really love the New Living Translation. It says, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-- rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
It's no coincidence that the very next verses give us instruction on where to focus our thoughts: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
When we focus on how difficult things are, it's really hard to have peace. But when we turn our focus to truth, fixing our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, lovely and admirable... choosing to be thankful... then we can enjoy peace. Our circumstances may not change, but our level of peace sure will.
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul.