Thanks for your email Carole

Someone that I don’t know emailed this to me today through Facebook.

So lovely. So thoughtful. So generous. It made me cry. So I’m sharing.

Everyone should share tears… and then laughter also. xxx

Bondi. Just because it is superbly gorgeous.

Dear Jo,

I don’t know you at all, or what you believe, but I’ve been thinking about you after you blogged about losing your grandma, a post my friend forwarded to me because she loved your writing, and so I wanted to share this with you.

There’s an old hymn “It is Well with my Soul” which always gets me through those tough times. I’ve included the back story for you, and the lyrics.

I am hoping that it brings you some comfort…  Carole x

The hymn “It is Well with My Soul” becomes closest to heart for one undergoing grief.

Written by a Presbyterian laywer Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) and composed by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876).

Spafford was born on October 20, 1828 in North Troy, New York. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures. Sometime in 1871, a fire in Chicago heavily devastated the city, and months before that , Spafford had invested hugely in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. The disaster greatly wiped out his holdings. Before the fire, Spafford also experienced the loss of his son.

Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe for him and his family. He wanted a rest for his wife and four daughters, and also to assist Moody and Sankey in one of their evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was not meant to travel with his family. The day in November they were due to depart, Spafford had a last minute business transaction and had to stay behind in Chicago. Nevertheless, he still sent his wife and four daughters to travel as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre, expecting to follow in a few days. On November 22, the ship laden with his wife and daughters was struck by the Lockhearn, an English vessel, and sank in few minutes.

After the survivors were finally landed somewhere at Cardiff, Wales, Spafford’s wife cabled her husband with two simple words, “Saved alone.” Shortly after, Spafford left by ship on his way where his beloved four daughters had drowned, and pen at hand, wrote this most poignant text so significantly descriptive of his own personal grief – “When sorrows like sea billows roll…” The hymn “It is Well with My Soul” was born.

Philip P. Bliss, the hymn composer, was a prolific writer of gospel songs. He was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford’s text that he shortly wrote the music for it. Shortly after writing ‘It is Well With My Soul,’ Bliss died in a tragic train accident.

On reflection, it is divinely amazing that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford, yet, able to say with such convincing clarity, “It is well with my soul.” It is an enormous challenge to embrace the significance of this hymn.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot You have taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul
You are the rock on which I stand
By Your grace it is well
My hope is sure in Christ my Saviour
It is well with my soul

I didn’t actually know this story, although I do know the hymn. I’m not religious, but this is a powerful story.

Being able to lift yourself out of such horrendous circumstances and declare that you’re ok, and in fact, ‘WELL’, is a very inspiring thing. The soul can be well in the midst of the worst that life can throw at it.

Life IS beautiful.

Perspective is essential.

It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born.”  W.P.

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