I sat silently after dinner, waiting to hear the inspiring words of the special guest speaker. Of course, unlike most of the ladies in attendance, I’d never even heard of her. How embarrassing; just another glaring example of how far out of my league I was, reinforcing my uncertainty and overall sense of inferiority. Who was I to think I belonged there with those ladies?
Thank goodness things began right on schedule; I still had to drive home at the end of the evening. After a brief introduction, Jennifer Rothschild took the stage… I was mesmerized from word one; her manner reminded me of my uncle Buster… Luckily, she told her story, gave her testimony of how she came to be in this place; at the young age of fifteen, Mrs. Rothschild learned she was losing her sight.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
The voice of an angel filled the air… As the melody washed over me, tears began to stream down my face; I felt a soothing light shine in the darkness of my anguished heart.
The hymn “It is Well With My Soul” was the first song she played by ear on her piano following her diagnosis. Through being able to do so, she felt peace, and knew it would be okay… She is the steward of something she received, not something she achieved; Mrs. Rothschild uses her blindness to publicly speak of that which was privately affirmed. She said it is how you surrender that qualifies you…
The next afternoon, I was flipping through the wealth of information I brought home from the She Speaks conference. There was a Blessings Unlimited catalog for the ‘Season of Hope, Spring 2009’; inside was a framed print of the sheet music for the hymn she sang and the story behind it.
The hair on the back of my neck stood on end and goose bumps covered my arms… Horatio Spafford wrote “It is Well With My Soul” following the death of his four daughters. His family left ahead of him for a planned vacation in Europe; he was to join them after resolving an urgent business issue. The ocean liner collided with another ship and only his wife survived; she sent him a telegram which read “Saved alone”. Mr. Spafford set sail to join her; when his ship passed over the area where his children died, he was inspired to write those heartfelt words… To lose all four children at once...inconceivable...
Do I know what I’m doing, or have a clue as to what my purpose is? No, but I know there is one, and I’ll do my best once it’s revealed. Why? I’ve no doubt I’ve been given signs in several ways, affirming I’m at least moving in the right direction. And above all, come what may, I too, can honestly say, it is well with my soul…
Wishing you sunshine and hope…tg
Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays. -- Jen, site administrator