It is Well . . . (Personal Note from Juli)

This was taken in Hawaii (in Oct), where Mom took us (with our families)
after being told she had a short time to live.

We had a trip of a lifetime, filled with great memories!
I am on the left, with my two sisters on the other side.
Here’s a link to her obituary.

I realize it’s not for everyone.  Be assured that I’m still here to bring you bargains from Arizona, not just ramblings that you may not agree with.  But, for those of you who want to read . . . keep going.

It is Well!

This was written on July 22nd, “in the middle of the night,” as I couldn’t sleep — about 30 hours before she died on July 23rd, 2014.

My mom is dying.  Cancer is taking her.  I don’t like it.

I can’t help but think of Hortio G. Spafford’s story.  He wrote the hymn “It is Well with my Soul” after his four daughters had drowned.  His wife survived the shipwreck and remembered a friend saying, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

So, I am thankful to God now . . . right now, in the midst of tears and a broken heart.  I am a friend of God in the good times and the bad.  My life is full of blessings.  Life will never be the same without my mom, but it will still be the perfect life God has for me.  That doesn’t seem possible right now, but I will trust.

I’ve been here before, with the heavy burden of death lurking.  Our newborn son lived only five weeks, never leaving the hospital.  Going through that pain and still being in love with God and with the life He has given me, produced a firm confidence.  I will not only survive, I will thrive!  I have a peace and joy that can’t be taken from me.

There will be days when I need to dig for the deep joy I have, when I’m not able to count on the surface happiness to get me through.  I will need that true joy since I will feel pain that I don’t want to feel.  I’ll experience anguish that, at moments, will feel unbearable.  I will have small regrets.  I’ll cry so much that my head will hurt for days.  I’ll feel the emptiness of daily tasks that will make doing them seem wrong.  I will make friends and even strangers feel uncomfortable as I shed a tear at a seemingly random time.  It’s the “little stuff” that will get me most, which really makes up the “big stuff” in life.  I have so many “little stuff” memories with my mom that will be cherished and remembered, often.

Hopefully, it won’t take me long to look beyond my own hurt and wonder what everyone else at the grocery store (or wherever!) is dealing with.  Then, I can hope that the wonder will turn into an opportunity for me to listen to or encourage someone who needs it.  That’s what my mom would have done.  There’s pain all around us and nobody is immune.

My mom will be fine, beyond fine!  She believes Jesus is her savior and is forgiven and ready to be welcomed into heaven.  I truly believe that.  So, I need to change my thinking.  Cancer is not taking her.  God is taking her home.  It is well with my soul . . . past, present, and future!

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”


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26 Responses to “It is Well . . . (Personal Note from Juli)”

  • Cindy Walsh says:

    Oh Juli… Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I read this. You put into words what I am experiencing right now. Although cancer is not what is ailing my mom, a failing heart is and I love how you said “There’s pain all around us. Nobody is immune.” I cry at random times and now I realize it’s the grieving process playing out. I am not crazy. This is “normal”. Thank you for your beautiful blog. It truly consoled me. Your mother must have been an incredible woman to raise such an amazing daughter like you. I am very grateful our lives had a path that once crossed in Sunday School at Grace Community. <3

  • Karen says:

    Juli- that was so beautiful. You are a pillar. Your Mom is so blessed to have such love surrounding her wirh such a wonderful daughter.

  • diana willison says:

    So beautiful. Wonderful. Way to release. Sorrow time will heal.

  • Jodi says:

    My grandma sang this song with her pastor hours before passing. Now everywhere I look I always see the saying, “It is well with my soul”. Hugs to you and your family today. My happy memories make your heart smile.

  • Marissa says:

    Thank you for sharing. We all are experiencing something and it is a blessing to know that we can support each other through our experiences. Prayers…..

  • gabriela says:

    is true nobody is immune to this, sooner o later. I’m so sorry, may peace by your gentle companion

  • Erin (from discipleship) says:

    Juli-my heart goes out to you! I have to tell you-my grandmother passed away a week ago today. Fortunately, we were in town visiting her, and preparing for her 90th bday party. Unfortunately, we received word about 20 min before the party that she had passed in her sleep.
    Lots of explanation to get to my point–in looking for music for her ceremony, we chose this song. We read about the song writer and the tragedy he endured. Several family members (17 I think) gathered at the front of the church and sang ‘It is Well’. Beautiful song–beautiful words; thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  • Tristine Schmidt says:

    Juli…that was absolutely beautiful!! After losing my dad when I was only 24, I completely understand what you are going through. You are a very strong woman with a gigantic heart! And yes…your mom will be beyond fine! ♡

  • Stacy Z says:

    I am so sorry for our loss. I relate to everything you have written. What a beautiful, healthy perspective to have. Yes, there is hurt everywhere. The world needs more insightful and compassionate people since we are all facing something. If only everyone could view their hurts in that way and use them to give others hope and encouragement. I also lost my mother to cancer and life has never been the same. It takes a piece of your heart. I always try to remember that God never wastes a hurt. We will see our moms again. <3

  • HaroldS says:

    So sorry for your loss Juli, but such an uplifting letter.

  • DeeDee Tapia says:

    Beautiful words! So sorry for your loss.

  • Kathy says:

    Very well written, Juli. My mother is 75 and in good health, but you made me realize how I need to cherish every moment I have with her, so thank you.

  • Samantha says:

    Thank u for sharing that, i am so touched. so sorry for ur loss and u are very right she is with ger lord and savior as promised to all who believe :) thank u for all u do for us you will be blessed.

  • Trinette says:

    That is absolutely beautiful, inspiring, and touching. We have been friends forever and no matter how far apart you are always in my heart. You have a faith that inspires me, and your courage in all you have faced is evident. God’s love and grace shine through you. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. God will guide you through this, as you already know. I’m horrible with words because there are no words that can truly comfort you. I am here for you and if you need anything, I mean anything please call me. ((Hugs)) may God continue to comfort you and give you strength. I love you my friend.

  • CHauber says:

    Sending you & your family many prayers!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing….very inspiring! So glad you will see your Mom again in Heaven some day! ;o)

  • Andrea says:

    Juli, Sincerest condolences on your loss. I had been keeping your mom in my prayers and wanted to approach you at the homeschool conference to ask how she was doing. When I saw you, a lump rose up in my throat so I passed by hoping for an opportunity when I would be “together”, but I missed you. At any rate, I hope you know how many people have been touched by your ministry, not just the Bargain Believer blog, but your transparency dealing with your mother’s illness, especially your sorrow and grief. I may have told you that I stopped homeschooling about 3 years ago after the deaths of two close friends within a month of one another. After much prayer and discernment, I entrusted my kids’ education to our church school and thankfully they have been doing well there. This next year my daughter will graduate 8th grade from there and I will bring her back home for high school, possibly her brother and sister as well. In retrospect, I guess I can see the benefit of having others take over their education while I mourned and grieved, but I am grateful to be turning a corner and feeling confident in bringing them home again. However you handle your grief, I know you will find support in our homeschool community. Please know we continue to pray for your family. God Bless You! Andrea

  • Lisa says:

    My sympathy to you and your family. What a beautiful and touching way you expressed your feelings and your faith. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • sue says:

    Juli, thanks for deciding to share your thoughts with all of us. I thank God for the beautifully strong faith that he has given you and your mom! May his Holy Spirit continue to give you the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control that he has promised.

  • Wendi says:

    Juli, what a wonderful writing. So thankful for the faith that she had and that you have. How that means so much, gives the ability to know It Is Well! May God bless you, your sisters, your family as you walk this new path. May you move through each of these moments knowing that it is okay to cry, okay to laugh, okay to smile, okay to grieve. And then to rejoice knowing that you have eternity with your mother. Hugs. And thanks for being real and sharing this publicly. God bless.

  • Anne says:

    Juli, You wrote this so beautifully. My heart aches for you and your family with the loss of mom/grandma. Of course we know she is in Heaven rejoicing, no longer suffering in pain. But, we too know the heartache for those left behind is real. I will continue to pray for you and the family that comfort and complete peace will fill your hearts and that one day you will be able to look back on the wonderful memories you shared with your mom and just smile with remembering all those memories. Love you and praying.

  • Barbie says:

    Juli, I am so sorry for your lost. Praying for peace for you today.

  • Becky says:

    Thank you for sharing. Lovely and sad–God Bless you and your family!

  • Florentina says:

    What a blessing it was that you were able to spend those last moments together. I pray God’s comfort & peace will surround your family. Thank you for sharing.

  • Steph says:

    How beautiful. My heart aches for your pain here on earth but thinking of the riches your sweet mom is experiencing in heaven brings a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I join in the chorus praying for God’s peace & comfort for your family. xo

  • Suzie says:

    Juli ~ thank you for sharing. This was beautifully written but it as powerful because of your message not because of your beautiful writing <33 praying for strength and comfort for you and your family.

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