How Are You?

You ask because you care…

Sometimes I feel so puny and weary, I have difficulty accessing the word that perfectly describes how I feel and land on ‘fine’ or ‘okay’. Feelings are fickle; ‘fine’ and ‘okay’ are vague.

After Sykping with my seemingly perky mom through the summer of 2106, I arrived home filled with optimism for her full earthly recovery. It was a matter of days before I realized all was not well…the April prognosis of sixish months was a reality. My insides were shredded. Though I could usually sleep, I would wake up and feel okay for a few seconds–a minute–and then reality hit: my mom way dying.

“Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice.” 

I couldn’t handle the all-day ache, so I set my alarm to It is Well (Kristene DiMarco) and listened ad nauseum until the searing pain was soothed.
“Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard.”
Somewhere around my mom’s birthday or her cardiac ablation, when life was especially tedious, I gifted us identical jewelry with a card enclosure that read:

“When asked ‘how are you?’ it’s easy to say ‘fine.’ But really? We aren’t fine. Sometimes we are just waiting for God to make His presence felt, to direct our paths, to heal our hurts. We aren’t fine, but it is well with our soul. We say ‘O Lord, in You I have found a safe place’ (Ps. 31:1). Be firm in faith, despite the pain in life and you will discover a God who brings peace and joy in the strangest of places.”

Mom wore that pendant frequently, and when people asked, “How are you?” she would show it to them because she couldn’t muster the words.  A year after her six month prognosis, we attended a retreat, where she praised with all she had to It is Well–took home a of copy of the lyrics that still grace her quiet time place.

Far be it from me to not believe

Even when my eyes can’t see


 And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea”

In June, Mom’s Celebration of Life had been finalized and was less than twenty-four hours away, when I came across notes that she wanted It Is Well included in her service. I knew the significant power of that phrase in her life, but there was nothing I could do.
“So let go my soul and trust in him, 
the waves and wind still know his name.”

Moments later, I got a call from the young man putting together a video montage, “There are so many pictures–is there another song you want to use?”  That’s how God takes care of things.

Tonight I get to hear Bethel Music live…in my hometown…just blocks from my house…at the school where I teach (how’s God for working that one out). I’ll be wearing my pendant, and if Kristene DiMarco sings It is Well, I’ll probably cry–who am I kidding I’ve already set out the waterproof mascara, because if she doesn’t sing it I’ll cry too.
“And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me”


  1. I think “It is Well” explains the phenomenon the scripture describes as peace beyond understanding. When our trust and hope is placed in the Lord, we can hurt in the flesh (not flesh as in in sin, but flesh as in the physical or temporal way), yet our soul and spirit is placed in an eternal setting that delights in God's eternal vision. So even though our earthly being mourns and aches in the finite, our soul/spirit senses the eternal effect, and it is well with our souls.


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