Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (don't write about the song) (04/02/15)
- TITLE: The Secret Place
By Pauline Carruthers
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‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the quiet waters,
He restores my soul.’ (Psalm 23)
Four years ago my twin grandsons were born ten weeks before time; tiny, frail and fragile. Cocooned in technology, ventilators assisting tiny undeveloped lungs. I worried, mind buzzing with unforeseen possibilities, heart aching with compassion and love. Fear of the unknown, crashing over me like waves. Grieving ahead of time. But my Saviour assured me that whatever happened, so long as I held onto the faith He had given and continued to trust Him, ‘it would be well with my soul’.
A week later my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Two years to live. Shock, disbelief, panic, mind seeking oblivion. But underneath it all there was an underlying peace and certainty that our Saviour would travel the road ahead of us. My heart might break, but as long as I trusted Him, sheltered beneath the shadow of His wings, ‘it would be well with my soul’.
There were times when I wondered, ‘Where is my soul?’ That mysterious, hidden part of me that we speak about but can never see. It is who I am. It is me, resting in that secret place at the very core of my being. Immaterial, immortal, yet part of me.
Tiny boys, a strangulated hernia, septicaemia. New and beautiful lives hanging in the balance. Prayers wrung from the depths. Wrapped in peace and cushioned in love. Heart, though aching, striving to believe that ‘it could be well with my soul’.
Granddads pride and joy. Second birthday approaching. Two healthy little boys climbing all over his failing body. Face shining with love, weary arms reaching out to hold each one; longing for more time with them. My heart inwardly yearning for a few more days. Party planned. Just seven days to go. He didn’t make it. But between his home call and Thanksgiving service, we celebrated with family and friends, this gift of two perfect precious boys - granddads pride and joy. I told my grieving heart that ‘it would be well with my soul’. Because my Saviour promised it would be.
I needed to put our house on the market. It took almost two years to sell, with planning permission for change of use refused twice before a successful appeal and completion of sale. Our dream of retirement by the sea became only my dream, but I needed to see it through to fulfil what we had planned. I found myself striving to transfer my belief that ‘it was well with my soul’, from mind to heart.
“Do not strive”, He said. “Just believe and let it happen. Just be. Hold tightly to the faith I have given you and continue to trust Me for your future. For I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I sit at the window in my new apartment, gazing out to sea. I feel alone. I miss him. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. And still I watch. The sea is rough, pounding waves matching the pain in my heart. Yet there is beauty and I can’t help but thank Him for this lovely place. Time stretches ahead of me and I know He still has a plan for the rest of my life, and it has already begun. I know ‘it will be well with my soul’.
My Saviour has settled me in a new church. New friends have come from nowhere. There are many broken hearts missing a loved one and He has given me the love and compassion to share their grief and the grace to minister understanding and empathy into hurting hearts.
I walk along the cliffs, watching a sunset so stunningly beautiful that it makes me cry, with that unhindered joy that bubbles up from the depths of the soul. A regal, red and golden orb, casting a fiery glow that reflects and spreads its fiery glory over the crystal rippling waves of a quiet sea.
And I believe that deep down in that secret place, ’it is well with my soul’.
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