The words "it is well with my soul" are tattooed on my arm. All lowercase. In script that's fading a little now. Because I don't wear a lot of sunscreen and I love being outside. And I'm terrified of needles. Less terrified, more like I get nauseous and dizzy and pass-out. I did that when I got my tattoo, but it was worth it.
I've birthed four children and I still say childbirth isn't the worst thing. It's the needles. I would never consider an epidural because I'd rather bear the pain of natural childbirth over the thought of a needle in my spine.
But I have a tattoo of these words because they are so important to me.
If you don't know the story behind this hymn, you should definitely give it a read. The man who penned these words originally lost a whole lot more than I did. Although I do not believe grief can be compared, I do know he understood grief. And he wrote these words. He must have believed them to have shared them.
Or at least he believed them at some point. Maybe he was like me. I believe these words in my soul, but there are days I do not feel them. I know the truth, but sometimes my heart aches so deep that clinging to truth feels heavy and hard and unattainable. So I permanently penned these words on my arm to remind myself at the end of the day, at the end of the valley, at the end of all days, it truly is well.
But that doesn't mean it always feels well.
Lowercase, because I'm weak. Because I didn't have the strength to be bold about it. Because I am small.
Even on my weakest days, my smallest moments, my biggest doubts, I know that even the tiniest amount of faith, the smallest crevice of my heart saying "it is well" is enough.
And even when it doesn't feel well. Even when I ask myself if this is really how I feel, what I believe, how I live my life, I know it is because...
I still get up out of bed every morning.
I still find joy.
I still feed my body and nourish my soul.
I still take one step at a time moving forward.
And each day is one day closer. Sometimes that's what makes it well.