On being well

by arianne

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It was only two days after Mabel’s funeral service when I went to church for the first time in a long time. I felt so raw, like the whole world could see my pain. As if my skin had been removed and I was just this exposed heart walking around, feeling the wind like someone was punching me, the sun like I was in scalding water. Every sensory ability I had was on complete overdrive.

We arrived late (on purpose) so that we could slip in without small talk. This was a very small church so there wasn’t really any “slipping in”, but gentle smiles from the pastor and his wife from the middle school auditorium stage showed us quiet acknowledgment of our arrival, along with a slight twinge of pain behind the smiles.

They had already begun singing and I felt like the whole world was staring at me. Of course no one was, but the sensory overload I was experiencing was unmatched.

You see, I hadn’t been leaving the house. At all. It had only been 12 days since she died, 10 since she was born asleep and I had only left twice. For her funeral and for this church. A brand new church. We only had met the pastor and his wife once – and that was at her funeral, 2 days earlier. I remember thinking that 10 days after the birth of all my other babies I was still in healing mode too, but this time no one asked me how my body was doing, how the healing was. I guess if you don’t have a baby in arms everyone forgets that your body still gave birth and still needs to heal and still has milk come in and still thinks there’s a baby to care for.

But I somehow heard God saying “Go.” and somehow I listened and so I showed up at that small church with no idea that I was about to be undone.

They were singing songs as I stared at the floor, willing it to swallow me whole until they started singing “He Gives and Takes Away“.

I looked up and slowly started mouthing the words, no idea what had come over me just yet, and by the time we got to the chorus I was clutching my stomach and weeping. But it wasn’t desperation I felt this time. It was release. I started to feel the relief of letting out so much pain at once…but it wasn’t over yet.

The next song “It Is Well With My Soul” began and in an instant I knew it would be the end of me and the beginning of something else.

Allow me to gently tell you how it felt…it felt like He had given and taken away and now I could be made new. It could be well. It was the first moment I turned towards Him, with that proverbial mustard seed size faith and chose that path instead of the darkness that threatened me so intensely. It had been the longest 12 days of isolation and aloneness as I felt I could never forgive God for allowing all this. And in one quiet song I was letting that go, with no idea where I’d go next but at least the feeling that I wasn’t alone anymore.

I still have no idea how I had the strength to show up there at that church or to even sing or to even release and let go instead of run out in bitterness and anger. It was, without a doubt, a miracle.


This month my friend Lisa Leonard asked if she could send me something from her new Faith Collection of jewelry that is at Dayspring. They are each stunning and bear moving phrases and ideas. But it was not hard for me to choose my favorite.

The Well With My Soul Necklace is not only something of a quiet whispering life-song for me, it’s also exactly my style and flavor of jewelry. I have worn it nearly every single day since it arrived. It is one of her larger pieces and it’s good for holding and rolling in your fingers and praying and thinking. But I imagine all her jewelry is like that, because each piece is so special.

Right now you can get 15% off anything in the Lisa Leonard Faith Collection at Dayspring with the code LLD15 and that code is good through 9/15. Yay!

With that discount the Well With My Soul Necklace is over $5 off — and if you combine that with the By Grace Alone Necklace that is currently $10 off (!!) already, and with the discount that By Grace Alone Necklace is only just over $22, so your total for both necklaces would be around $52 and you’d get the free (orders over $50) shipping! Perfect for Christmas gifts for yourself or a couple friends (get shopping done early!), and a fun way to have some Lisa Leonard in your jewelry box at a steal.

Thank you, friends, for always listening to my Mabel stories. I wanted to let you know I’ve added some new buttons on the sidebar to to the right, to direct you to certain posts and topics that mean a lot to me. I’m still working on gathering the links for each of them, but Our Mabel Story is complete (wow…to say that!) if you’ve never read all about her and would like to know more. 

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