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

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

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.


God’s Canvas

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

God’s Art


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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He washed our stains and made us saints. #Quote #Memoir #Jesus Click To Tweet

No artist’s work can outdo that of our Creator’s. #nature #creation #photography Click To Tweet

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

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

33 thoughts on “It is Well With My Soul: A Memoir Post About Overcoming Shame

  1. Very good Wendy. Interestingly, came across your post today. I, in fact, just posted a new post on this very topic. Be Blessed – David

    1. David, I just popped over and read your excellent post. James 5:15-16 was one of the verses God spoke to me through to get me to reach out to the church many years ago. Prayers of righteous people are powerful. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Such a beautiful reminder, Wendy! It’s so easy to take our focus off Christ and all He’s done for us and instead listen to the vile words of the world’s greatest liar.
    Your pictures, as always, are stunning!

      1. You are very welcome!
        I know what you mean, Wendy. Sometimes they are so loud, I succumb to them.
        I’ll pray that you (and I) may overcome) by His glorious Word!!

  3. What a reassuring post, Wendy. That old guilt does taunt when we are vulnerable, and those are the times we need to remember to turn it over to God – that indeed, we DID turn it over, our Father God has forgiven us, and it is well with our soul. Thanks for this.

  4. So good, Wendy!
    I also found myself reflecting on the old me (the sin, guilt and shame…) on Easter Sunday. The enemy always tries to remind us of our sin, but we have to thank and praise God when this happens – best weapons to fight him. God is good!
    Thanks for being real.
    Spectacular photographs and beautiful poem.

    1. Bill, thank you for being real too. I didn’t enjoy the condemnation battle I experienced, but it sure made me appreciate Easter Sunday service more than ever before. It also reminded me not to judge those around me either. God is so gracious. Blessings to you and Mary.

  5. Dear Wendy, thank you for your faithfulness to Our Lord. Your words glorify Him. Your words help me look to Him tonight to bring Him my worries, things keeping me from being thankful and honoring Him. Have a blessed evening, Julie

  6. Such a lovely message, Wendy. The stink cabbage reminds me of the Bradford pear tree. In it’s full bloom, it’s magnificent, but the odor it gives off is foul. I love your photograph of the bridge.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jill. A flower with a foul odor seems contradictory. But perhaps it protects them from being eaten by deer etc. I didn’t notice any nibbles on the skunk cabbages. 🙂

  7. In Galatians 2:20 the Apostle Paul’s writing to the Galatians. Paul states that he is no longer the man he was before (“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live…”). By his acceptance and his faith in the Son of God, he acknowledges the Holy Spirit resides within him. He states that through the sacrifice and crucifixion of Jesus, he is able to receive the Holy Spirit.

    I have always felt nothing we do is deserving of God’s Love, yet he gives it to us without conditions. God’s love is available unconditionally, all we have to do is open our hearts to receive it.

    As always, I love your photography and how you combine it with your writing. I hope you had a great Easter. Our church had the largest attendance we have ever had. God Bless.

    1. Chuck, your words: “God’s love is available unconditionally” is a heavenly fragrance to my soul. Becoming a mama has opened my eyes wider to grace because even though I am a flawed parent, I still love my family regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen. Thank you for reminding me of Paul’s words. Praise God, He makes us new creatures in Christ.

  8. Wendy, beautiful. I needed that. The other morning, I heard the word “trash” over me. And it took me by surprise, and then it didn’t. And I didn’t even cry. It’s amazing what the enemy will sling. I guess I am, but I’ve been recycled into something so much better … or maybe I’m still in the recycling process, I guess. <3

    1. Thank you, sweet Shelli. I can relate well to your words. I’ve realized this week that shame is my thorn in the flesh battle that drives me to God. It’s propensity to draw me closer to Him mocks the enemy’s lies and strengthens the faith ties that bind me to the Lover of my soul. So be it–I’m inviting God to use it all for good. xo God is so good that He pulverizes the bad into the pavement that leads us back to Him. Love always wins. I love you, dear friend.

  9. I appreciate your post, the images in word and photograph. Yes, the deceiver is a destroyer, for that is the name given in Revelation, who comes as an angel of light filled with deep darkness. The images really speak that so clearly.
    We will be in BC next week – for a funeral. Haven’t been there in 25 years!

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve lost someone on this side of eternity, dear friend. BC is at its best this time of year–lots and lots of trees blooming right now, including the Dogwoods. Blessings of peace on your journey and visit.

  10. Beautiful message! The video is so calming. God does give us the most wonderful blessings to enjoy. I have never heard about skunk cabbage. Amazing how something so beautiful can smell so bad. haha! That shows us beauty comes in many different ways. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Melissa. Beauty is also in the nose of the beholder. 🙂 Yesterday, while I was working in my garden, I appreciated the sweet perfume of some humble flowers that generously shared their fragrance with me.

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