"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul."
So begins my favorite hymn.
I love to sing and will often sing along to whatever is on the radio. Yet several years ago I started to become really conflicted in worship while singing. So much that I would often not be able to sing certain songs without crying or even to the point where I could not sing the words. How can I stand there and sing "It is well with my soul," when it was not.
Sometimes singing turned into prayers--"Please, make it well with my soul."
Of course I was embarrassed to share this, so I often tried to hide it. Accepting the inner prompting of "what would others think?" as a negative. Hiding me.
What I have come to realize though is that often this is not exclusive to worship. Settling for accepting "what would others think," often leads to false happiness and dead dreams. Accepting the world we live in defined by self imposed boundaries often at the expense of ourselves.
God has designed each of us so intricately unique, so why should we become a cookie cutter image of someone else?
"One of the greatest joys in life is finding out who God made you to be, with all your personality quirks and loving it. Often when we arrive at adulthood, get married or settle into a career, we abandon parts of who we are. You might be a high-heeled girl or a flip-flop woman. Too often as we grow, we conform too much. Part of conformity is necessary to meet job requirements. Where we lose the wonder of who we are, though, is when we conform to be just like others because we are afraid to be different." (Shelia Walsh)
It is not about be bold or daring, self absorbed or vain, but finding true peace in seeing yourself as you are. Loving yourself so that you can in turn love others. Letting go of what you think the world needs and embracing your God given passions and desires and becoming alive.
It is a journey and I am choosing to grab on for the ride of my life. Moving closer and closer to the me that God made me to be. Accepting the bumps along the way, seeking forgiveness, crying out in despair, letting go, loving, discovering truth. Constantly resting in the peace that comes from understanding whatever my lot, it is undoubtedly well with my soul.