It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame

It is well with my soul; is it well with your soul?

     Have you ever gotten a whiff of a stench and then wondered if it was coming from you? This happened to me while my dear husband and I walked through the woods in nearby Cumberland. The sun shone gorgeously over the creek that ran alongside the trail we followed, and the sunlight’s warmth made up for the thin coats we wore. Reflections of verdant spring growth on the surface of the water reminded me of Monet’s paintings. Later, a great blue heron and several duck couples completed the day’s masterpiece.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

God’s Canvas

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

God’s Art

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

No artist’s work can outdo that of our Creator’s.

But something stunk. And I stopped every once in a while and checked the soles of my shoes. Hmm…nothing.

I turned to my husband. “Do you smell something awful?”
“I sure do,” he said. And then he checked the bottom of his shoes.
We eventually discovered what it was, but before I tell you what stunk, I want to tell you what happened the next day…

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

It was Easter Sunday, and I awoke feeling like the “chief of sinners.” Old memories taunted me and told me to stay home from church. It was as though I had something smelly sticking to my soul. But I tend to keep short accounts with God. There was nothing I knew of that I was harboring against Him or anyone else. My face was turned away from grudges, grumbling, and greed. I was satisfied in Him, and He was with me—because of what Jesus has already done on the cross.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

The stench of my sin was already dealt with, and so I said, “It is finished!”

     I made coffee, I read my Bible, and Jesus continued to remind me of the truth of an old hymn that says, “The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

To God be the Glory because His blood painted me a new story.

So, I went to church knowing there is a blessing in believing I’m forgiven much; for it makes me love Jesus much more than a self-righteous me ever could.

Don’t listen to the liar.

Listen to the Buyer who bought you with His redeeming Blood.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

Jesus is the Bridge from shame to saint.

Live, love, and long for the Lord like the Psalmist did in chapter 42:2…

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

     And now I need to tell you what stunk at the park. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t either of us. It was the brilliant yellow skunk cabbage. The very plants I’d been hoping to photograph all week long were the stink that made me think I had something foul stuck on the sole of my shoe.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

Ah, yes, just like the liar himself. For even the accuser of the brethren was once a beautiful creation of God’s, until he became a grumbling, greedy, and grudge-bearing enemy of all that’s good.

Faith, not fear. 

     I plan on keeping my distance from the stench of old sins. For I’ve been washed and I no longer need to check my soul because it is well and doesn’t smell.

God is good. God is so very good.

    It is finished, and He is more than enough. He keeps check of my soul, for I’ve been the thief on either side of Christ’s cross. I’ve mocked and spat, I’ve whipped His back. But now I’m bowed over in full repentance for the deeds I’ve done worthy of a whipping and a crucifixion. I was a sinner on my own who needed a savior to transform me into His own.

His pain became my gain.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

He washed our stains and made us saints.

     There is no one and nothing to boast in…but… Jesus. No one is good…but God. No one.

I’d like to close with a poem I wrote the morning before our hike along the woodland waterside.

There is a Holy River
That satisfies the soul
And each day our thirst and hope
Motivate us to go
Seek the Living Water
Who quenches the Soul’s need
As each day we drink deeply
Because we have believed.

It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame Wendy L. Macdonald blog

Well with my soul blessings ~ Wendy

Here’s the link to my latest podcast: Walking with Hope

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Here’s a short video I recorded during our walk. Enjoy.

It is well with my soul; is it well with your soul?