It Is Well With My Soul (Even After Losing Everything in a House Fire!)
It is well with my soul has been a concept that has been difficult for me to grasp. For the past two years, my life seems to have been but doom and destruction. Everything seems to occur when I am pursing the Lord with my heart and seeking His will. It has been a constant struggle to trust Him fully, yet I am slowly beginning to rely on Him to provide for all of my needs. This past summer, God sent me to Warsaw, Poland for two months to serve the missionary family my home church supports. I, the planner of my entire life, did not want to surrender my plans to God, but I decided to answer His call as an act of obedience. For two months, I did everything they needed me to do. I was amazed at what the Lord was doing in Poland. My heart grew to love the Polish people and God was opening doors for me to return for a year to pursue ministry at the Frederic Chopin University of Music. God was providing me with so many blessings, I was on a spiritual high and thought that things were finally starting to turn around.
This high lasted for about a month. Five weeks in, I received a Skype call from a friend of mine saying that there had been a fire in my family home in the United States. I called them to ensure that everyone was okay. My family was fine, but I lost everything I owned. All of my worldly possessions were reduced to the backpack I brought with me to Poland. Through all of this frantic mess, Psalm 46:10-11 was running through my mind.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
So often, when life seems to be spiraling out of control, God wants us to be still and know He is in control of every situation, even the ones that seem as though they will never be okay again. As life goes on, we will be faced with difficulties. We were never promised an easy life. John 16:33 says:
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.
As I have walked through these trials in life, I take comfort in each and everyone one of them. God will use each and every experience for His glory and will continue to refine me. Losing everything in the house fire taught me how to rely on God to meet my needs. I prided myself in being self-sufficient and being financially responsible from the age of sixteen. Losing everything forced me to trust that God would provide. In my head, I knew that He would provide everything for me, but there is a difference between knowing something in your head and believing something in your heart.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. -Matthew 6:31-32
I returned to school a month after retuning to the United States. In that month, I was supplied with everything that I needed: clothing for all seasons, instruments and textbooks for classes, and my tuition fully paid for. God provided and showed me there is nothing more important in this life than fully trusting Him and His word. He also filled my heart with His peace. The events this summer allowed me to proclaim that it truly is “well with my soul.” God is good, all the time. He is greater than the lowest parts of life and will always be there, walking along side of us as we struggle.
We will all face difficulties in life. During these times, we have two options: self-pity or drawing closer to God. Drawing close to God and trusting His will is incredibly difficult, but take heart for He has overcome the World. He will give us strength to face each day and provide for all of our needs. Trust that God is using each experience for His glory. Each part of life is a puzzle piece and we can only see how God is using each experience when we reflect back on this journey called life.