"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal." - Isaiah 26: 3-4
As I listened to the Worship Team warm up for the service last Sunday, I realized tears were running down my cheeks. The familiar melody of "It Is Well With My Soul" and the absolute truth in it's lyrics touched something inside me that I'd all but given up for dead lately.
"When peace like a river attendeth my way...."
Peace was far from what I'd been experiencing lately. Our lives had been turned upside down since we'd returned from a long awaited and desperately needed vacation three weeks ago. My Mother had been hospitalized the day Mark and I landed in Fiji on our vacation of a lifetime. What was supposed to be a simple blood transfusion for her became a nightmare of infection, illness and a bombshell diagnosis of Leukemia.
I learned of her hospitalization in an e-mail from home. And as if that wasn't enough to take in, the very next e-mail I read delivered the deeply painful news that a promotion I'd received at work was being revoked. A policy error of someone who was in my organization had made it invalid.
I was blindsided, hurt and crushed by the news.
"when sorrows like sea billows roll".......indeed.
The emotional rollercoaster I experienced over the weeks between those e-mails and last Sunday morning was crazier and wilder than just about any other I'd known before. Even our daughter was struggling with a scary issue at school and it has seemed to me that every area of my life was just spinning out of control.
And it was - out of my control.
What's worse was that my heart was like a brick inside my chest.
Hard, cold, heavy and painful.
I wanted to cry, but couldn't.
I wanted to pray, but had no words.
I wanted to scream at God, but was apathetic to the point of not even caring to try.
I just kept taking it. Stuffing it down. Putting one foot in front of the other and trying to go on in my own strength.
Tired. Broken. Stunned.
In truth, just paying lip service to the faith that I knew was there to sustain me.
"whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say........"
Just what was it that I'd been taught to say? I mean, I know Christians face some really hard things.
This stuff should all come easy to me, right?
I'm the one people come to for answers.
I'm one of the ones people look to for wisdom found in the word of God.
Well, where was all that wisdom now??
When I needed it?
When I was drowning?
When I needed to feel more than ever the amazing, all encompassing love of the God who'd created me?
Where was He?
"It is well, it is well, with my soul."
No, it was NOT well with my soul!
I was angry and hurt and tired.
So very tired.
And as I cried last Sunday, I realized that God wasn't gone missing. He was there. Right there with me. And He was just waiting for me to lay all of this messy burden I'd been holding on to like a security blanket right at His feet.
"Just lay it down Robin." He whispered.
"I've got you. I've got it all under control, but you have to LET GO.
Let me carry this for you beloved. You need to trust me."
The relief I felt in those moments was overwhelming. I felt like a balloon that had suddenly deflated.
And I realized that in laying it all down, it WAS well with my soul.
Trusting God to, well,.... to be GOD.
To let Him do what He does best.....love me. Comfort me. Sustain me. And hold me while I cried.
He led me to the verses in Isaiah that I've shared with you here, and I've carried them in my heart all this week.
And it's been well with my soul this week.
My circumstances haven't changed much, but I remembered who my God is; and He is greater than all my circumstances. He has lifted me up and held me tightly to Him, walking each step with me and cleaning up the broken mess in my heart.
I don't know what the week ahead will bring - but I do know this - it will be well with my soul because I won't forget to trust in the Lord eternal, the Lord who is my rock.
With a Courageous Heart,