riding the wave to, “it IS WELL”

It’s here.

 Today is William’s birthday.  Today he would have been 18 years old.  18 years!  A milestone.

The would, should and could have’s are great this year.


It has been a particularly difficult year for us dealing with the ups and downs of adoption, the heart ache of family illness and tragedy of much loss.  This year, I have struggled in the waves the Lord has set me upon as He refines me, loves me and rescues me over and over and over again.

I have my Peter moments when I am all faith and float to a leisurely walk brimming the water as I shuffle my feet in the tides.  And then I am human. . .I am frail; and when the connection to my saviors eyes is broken. . .I not only sink. . .I nearly drown.

Tomorrow we celebrate William’s graduation from this life into the next.

We will grieve the loss of our precious son.  And we will start our day begging the Lord Jesus to keep us above the tidal wave.  Eighteen years is but a second for a bereaved parent.  He is thought of daily.  He is missed.  Our oldest son misses his little brother.  The constant void he faces throughout life is not unnoticed by us.  William’s siblings younger than him that never met him talk as though they know him.  “Let’s make a birthday cake, mom!”  They can’t wait to meet him in Heaven.


HEAVEN. . .is a very real place for our children.  We talk a lot about what it will be like, what the Bible tells us about it. . .we talk about the people we will see again or meet for the very first time.  Our children talk about Heaven as though it is their Home, their birthplace they once knew.  They are not scared to go there.  They long to see Jesus.  And I am jealous at times of their strong faith and love for Christ.

It is by the great grace of God that my children love their savior and long to serve him.  In my many years of parenting and failings. . .God has held them tight.  We pray nightly that the Lord will hold their hearts and keep them close.  And He answers.


Was it really well with my soul when I sat grave side and sang the words through tears?

The big question this year. . .just where is my “It is Well with my soul.”  We sang this at William’s funeral.  Was it really well with my soul that I watched my little boy suffocate and fall limp in my arms?  Was it really well with my soul that we had to remove him from life support?  Was it really well with my soul that we had to choose a casket instead of a crib?  Was it really well with my soul when I sat grave side and sang the words through tears?

I came across “It is Well” by Bethel music this week.  And it became very clear that the little meaningless speed bumps I was enduring throughout the day were NOT well with my soul.  And I had to examine why losing my son seemed well with my soul, but my daily tragedies were not.  What was the difference?

The difference is that I sang “It is Well” at the funeral.  I sang it in the shower.  I sang it in the car.  I hummed it at night as I cried to sleep.  I sang it as a prayer to God to help me believe it.  Our tragedies become God’s triumph when we hand it to Him and beg for trust, faith in our unbelief, and the peace that passes ALL understanding that leads us to actually ride the waves to our “it is Well” and mean it.

To sing those words and actually thank the Lord for a life given and taken is only of God.  I am not a strong woman. I am not a supernatural human being.  I am a broken sinner that was saved and rescued by Jesus’ blood; and when I am drowning in the waves. . .He reaches down and pulls me to safety.  He looks me in the eyes and says. . .It IS well. . .It IS good. . .It IS my will and it is my perfect plan for you.

Then and ONLY then can I say, “It is Well” for me.

Take a moment and listen to this. . .it is repetitive. . .pray to God to make your tragedies well with your soul so that God receives every bit of Glory he deserves.  Fall at the feet of Jesus and sing this out loud, in your head. . .hum the tune.

“Through it all, through it all. . .my eyes are on you. . .and it is well. . .with me. . .”


Happy Birthday sweet William. . .I see your eyes. . .I smell your curly red hair. . .I hear your sweet soft voice. . .

when it’s hard to say, I’m sorry. . .


Sizzling bacon behind me, toast jumping off the island in protest, and an empty jar of Miracle Whip started my day today.  Too late for breakfast, we dove into brunch.

We’ve been back to school now for three weeks and although the routine is settling in, the heart has been slow to follow.  The excitement is now over, and we are pretty much ready for our next break already.

We have children in many various life stages right now and along with certain stages comes attitude adjustments.  For both the children and myself.

While sitting at the kitchen table waiting for their meals, the children were finishing up on their morning school work.  One of the little ones had a request.  The actual request slips my mind now.  But nevertheless, I said NO.


Behind my back, she made a face.  “Mom, she just sassed you when you weren’t looking.” I looked up to stare into a pair of baby browns staring right at me.

In an unusual soft and calm voice, I asked, “why would you do that?”  “That really hurts my feelings.”  The baby browns began to water and eventually bowed at the table.  She put down her pencil and ran to her room.

I praise God that my children truly have soft hearts and would never want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Especially their momma’s.  But they are sinfully human. . .

After a few minutes, my daughter emerged from her bedroom, with a little blanket over her head as she made her way to the living room sofa.

Embarrassed, ashamed, and full of remorse, my little girl was trying to hide herself from my presence.  I immediately recognized the behavior as my very own towards God.

So many times when I know I’m doing wrong, living wrong, acting wrong or just in a complete funk and have taken it out on God. . .I find it easier to put that blanket over my head and run from my Lord in disbelief, sorrow, and shame.  How in the world do I say “I’m sorry” to God when I’ve wronged Him.  How can He love me when I’ve taken a closed fist and shaken it so many times when struggles come my way.

Often, instead of falling to my knees in repentance, I “cover my head” and try to run far away.  It is so hard for me to receive his love and accept that this Heavenly Father still loves me greatly in spite of my constant failings and let downs.  His grace covers all.

I know that in my head. . .but those 12 inches or so to the heart can take forever.


As a mom, I don’t want my children running from me in embarrassment or shame.  I don’t want to see them sad or upset.  Which is why, when I find my little girl sitting on the sofa with a blanket covering her head, my heart breaks and I go to her. . .hug her and simply want to hear those evidentiary words of remorse. . .”I’m sorry.”  I want her to know I don’t love her any less.  As a matter of fact. . .my love grows.

The Lord doesn’t NEED us to say sorry for Him.  Remorse and repentance . . .turning from our self destructive ways and following the good Shepherd, seeing His forgiveness and growing in Grace are the reasons to say, “sorry.”

Perhaps I can understand why I tend to run from my Lord in shame instead of turning from my own pride to say, “I’m sorry Lord.”  “I’m so sorry Father for straying, for being upset and angry.”  In those moments when I struggle to look up and accept his great gift of grace. . .

He meets me and sits beside me in the pit.  He holds me and I feel his love;

and he makes it possible for me to say, “I’m so sorry.”

His yolk is easy. . .His burden light. . .and His mercies are new every single morning.  He is my Father.  See, it always goes back the the behavior of a loving father.

“He is conscious of every circumstance I encounter.  He attends me with care and concern because I belong to Him.  

And this will continue through eternity.  What an assurance!

-A Shepherds Looks at Psalm 23