All is not well with my soul. This is a phrase I say far too often to my husband. It seems to mostly surface when I’m not living the way God intended.
My Aunt died last week. I grew up spending carefree summers with her and my cousin, who was also one of my dearest friends growing up. I hadn’t spoken to either of them in about 14 years.
My family on my dad’s side completely fell apart all those years ago. That’s a story for another day, but I’ll leave it at this: my grandmother died, my father decided he no longer wanted to be a part of his children’s or grandchildren’s lives, and that entire half of my family tree went through the wood chipper.
The whole situation devastated me. It took years for me to come to grips with losing so many family members at once. So when my mom called a couple of weeks ago with the news of my Aunt’s illness and the fact she was asking to see me, I said no without any thought or consideration.
As the days passed, my heart grew softer and I realized just how much I would love to see my family and have them back in my life. I decided when my Aunt left the hospital, we would all get together and celebrate in a beautiful much needed reunion.
My Aunt never recovered and a week later, I finally reunited with her. She laid lifeless in a shiny silver casket. I stood beside her with overwhelming guilt over the lost years and those precious moments I could have spent with her in the hospital as she requested.
I hugged my cousins and confessed my apologies for not going to her side as my sweet mother did. My mom was so broken by my father, yet she chose to stand beside his family in their darkest hour. That is pure wellness in one’s soul.
I’m incredibly thankful to have my cousins back in my life, even the bittersweet introduction of their grown children. I always imagined we would raise our kids alongside each other in the small town we spent so much time together in our own childhoods. Our broken family and my many moves trying to find home made that dream impossible.
But we are connected now and that’s the beauty I will focus on. We will move forward and keep in touch, holding tight to the joy of getting to know each other all over again.
Here’s the moral of this story: If we are not right with our people, our soul is not well. God’s plan for our lives is connection, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.
~Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIRV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
~Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
~John 13:34-35 (NIV)
With a little more peace in my family, I’m stepping closer to saying the most aspiring mantra of all. It is well with my soul.
I know to complete this journey, I must eventually forgive my dad. My heart holds deep wounds from my relationship with him over the years, but I don’t want to stand next to his coffin someday thinking what if…
Today I will be thankful for the people who rejoined my life. Today it will be well enough with my soul.
Is it well with your soul? Do you have someone you cut ties with and really need to see again? Make peace. Start with just one person. A phone call. A letter. Even a quick, simple Facebook message.
Move forward with grace and love. Open up the lines of communication and make it well with your soul again…
Check out this adorable shirt gifted to me from Brenna at Elly and Grace! It makes me smile big when I look in the mirror knowing I’m getting there one step at a time.
Brenna sent me two shirts and a phone case so I can testify to the high quality of her products. Visit EllyandGrace.com to browse her uplifting and joy inducing collection. You can see my much loved, Queen Esther inspired phone case on Instagram.