I wore it like a talisman all those long days and nights that went by impossibly quick slow that last week of last year into the first days of a new beginning.
Jennifer, who was my roommate at Allume, and shares more than just a corner of this big internet with me, offered them up as gifts to us when we first spilled our luggage and our hearts onto beds in that hotel room in Greenville back in October.
It is well with my soul.
It takes courage to offer up those words. It takes courage to make a little piece of yourself and hope others love it and buy it so you can pay the bills but share it so you can know it means something.
The first time I choked on those words I was a senior in high school sitting in a church pew of First Baptist holding a hymnal with shaking hands and mourning the death of a girl I used to run the side streets of town with for cross country practice, a girl I’d known for as long as I could remember, a girl who should have gone on to live a longer life than just nineteen short years. It wasn’t well with my soul then.
But I grew up and I opened my heart more to faith and I saw the peace that passes understanding on so many whose souls were well.
And I want that. A well soul.
I’m 34 years old today and it’s taken me this long to learn and become well with the idea that I am not well. I am broken and scarred and flawed and made in the image of God. And everyday I get to choose to live in grace and forgiveness and joy so that all will be well–
or I get to choose not.
And let me tell you those days of choosing not, those days of choosing despair and self-deprecation and dilemma over delight, those days will eat through your soul and leave you with nothing.
So, everyday I’m trying and somedays, I wear my necklace because I need that little tangible reminder that
IT. IS. WELL. WITH. MY. SOUL.
Since it’s my birthday, Jen is letting me give one of these beauties away to you! And since she’s super kind, she’s offering up another one as well, so today’s giveaway will have two winners, which is perfect because she and I share hotel rooms and mom fears and coffee love and husbands who are recovered from perimyocarditis (how crazy is that?!?) and first names (yep, mine’s Jennifer) AND February birthdays. I tell you, no one but God could have crafted together a bonding like ours.
If the It Is Well piece doesn’t speak to you like it does me, perhaps you’d like this one?
It reminds me so much of Jennifer because she does seek to Glorify God in all she does whether it’s handcrafting these beautiful wooden necklaces (read about the process here) or designing prints and art to bring a little nautical joy to your home or blogging about ending the slavery of women.
If you’d love to win one of these, here’s the super fun widget from Rafflecopter. Enter as many times as you want and give me a birthday gift? Share this post even if you’re not interested in winning. Thanks so much!
And if you are yourself or know an expectant mother, send them over here to enter the giveaway for a free newborn session to honor my own baby girl’s birthday.