2017, brave, gratitude, grief, suffering

Even so

This month 12 years ago I saw my friend Katy for the last time. She was in town for the holidays and doing some fundraising for the organization she worked for in Phoenix. During her time at home with lots of people vying for her time, we found a morning for the two of us to get together. I picked her up and we went to Perkins (which is no longer there!) for breakfast and time to catch up. I took her back home and we sat in her family room…neither of us ready to say goodbye. A few weeks later she called to tell me the tumors were back. We said, “I love you” because there was nothing else to say.

Just a month later, I was sitting in a pew in her home church for her funeral – a funeral she helped plan. Together we all did our best to sing “It Is Well” – a song she chose. Ever since then I listen to this song when I miss her or need a reminder of her calm, loving spirit. However, it was only recently that I noticed two small words.

I follow Fancy That House Design on Instagram and a few months ago she posted this:


For the first time I recognized the words that come before “It is well with my soul.”

Even so.

I suspect Katy was aware of these two tiny, yet powerful words.
Brain surgery and chemo, even so…
Vomiting and other horrible side effects, even so…
The last time for everything, even so…

Yes, it was well with her soul when she died, but I think the words that come before it are especially important: Even so, it is well with my soul.

Since seeing that image on Instagram I’ve been pondering these two little words. When she posted it again a few weeks ago, I knew I needed it for myself. I wanted that reminder in my house, in my kitchen, in my heart.


There is plenty for me to be sad about, but, even so, it is well with my soul. I recognize that I’m probably pushing some of my feelings aside. I realize I’m probably not dealing with the full effects of this new reality. However, I’ve decided I have the rest of my life to work through this – why do it all right now?! 😉

Despite the pain and heartbreak and loss, I can say for certain: It is well with my soul.
When I watch my husband brush each niece’s hair after their baths, even so…
When I see another pregnancy announcement, even so…
When friendships are fading as I wait for new ones to appear, even so…
When I feel those small chubby hands grab my hand, even so…
When I consider the unknown of what will come, even so…

I don’t have to be smiley and laughing in order to say it is well with my soul. Fleeting moments and flashy emotions are not part of my soul work. I can be (and have been!) a blubbery mess and still be able to say with certainty: it is well with my soul.

Katy keeps finding ways to teach me. I miss her and yet I know she’s not far away.


It’s with a grateful heart I can say on this Thanksgiving Eve…
Even so, it is well with my soul.


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