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It Is Well With My Soul:

Finding Calm In Your Storm

It Is Well With My Soul In The Middle of The Storms of Life.

I grew up singing “It Is Well With My Soul.” My grandma would stand next to me,  hold the hymnal and look at me with a glance that said, “I love you, don’t you love this?”

I will carry this story with me always. It’s a love story. I wasn’t aware it was going to prepare me to walk through fire. 

The classic hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul” is one I’ve always loved, but seizures take the illusion of control away from you and I was on a path where things didn’t always seem well.

It was clear from my youth I needed others. Every time I heard the words, “but Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed his own blood for my soul”  I felt seen.  I knew my soul was just as helpless as my body. 

That was before I met Grant, the man I was going to marry. I first saw him in the third grade, so he didn’t really notice me. But, 14 years changes so much.

Dating …

Finally … we started dating and we had a conversation about music. But, we had no idea the impact one song could have.  Many of the couples we knew had songs. It was a thing.

If you were together you had a song. But, we didn’t. Neither one of us can remember why it seemed important nor why this is the song that came to us.

In one conversation we decided together our song would be “It Is Well With My Soul.” We had no idea the impact of this decision. Looking back, it feels like God himself reached down and gave it to us. 

Grant proposed.  The Shelby Street walking bridge in downtown Nashville was beautiful that night and a violin player stood by ready to shine. As he declared his love, I heard our song: “It Is Well With My Soul.” 

The story I’d heard growing up:

I remember hearing the story of Horatio Spafford, the man who wrote the song and thinking it was sad, but I had no specific connection to it. 

He had been a successful lawyer who invested in Chicagoland property that was damaged in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. His business was hit by the economic downturn of 1873 so, he planned to go to England with his family. But, there was a last minute change of plan and he sent them ahead while he attended to business. 

As their ship crossed the Atlantic it sank rapidly after a collision with the Loch Earn and his four daughters died. Spafford’s wife, Anna, lived and sent him a telegram that has become famous. It read: “Saved alone.”

As Spafford traveled to meet his wife he wrote “It Is Well” as the ship passed near where his daughters died. The tune was originally called Ville du Havre for the name of the vessel that had carried them. As I heard those stories I could not have imagined how they would impact me.

Our Chicago:

As it happened, my husband and I would move to Chicago after we married. We would walk in the places built back from that fire. We invested in Chicagoland property thinking we’d sell in two years.

Unbeknownst to us, the financial crisis of 2008 was about to hit. We were about to be collateral damage. And, we were going to need to leave the lives we knew behind. With nothing to speak of we traveled back to Colorado, where we grew up. 

We entered one of the most difficult seasons of our lives there. We lost our firstborn son and came to terms with what it was to lose ourselves. In the middle of deep loss this song became an anchor. These were no longer words on a page or something chosen. It felt like it belonged to us.


Now, we sing this song each night with our kids before we go to bed:

When Peace Like A River, Attendeth My Way

When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll; 

Whatever My Lot, Thou Hast Taught Me To Say

It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul

It Is Well, It Is Well, 

With My Soul, With My Soul

It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul

I still love it as much today as I did back then. Now, I’m watching my children learn what it means to have an anchor for their soul that provides peace in the midst of great storms.

2023 was the 150th anniversary of “It Is Well With My Soul.” To read more and see the original lyrics in full go here:

There are quite a few versions out there too. Here is one of my current favorites:

Photo Above By: Ben Wicks

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