All Shall Be Well

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. {Julian of Norwich}

Tonight, Miska quoted this line from Julian of Norwich, these words we have both come to love. As she spoke it, tears came. Oh, I do love her tears. Our recent weeks have been full of upheaval and chaos. And there is more to come. That is the way of things when you are finding your way in a new city, a new home.

I dropped Wyatt off for his first day of first grade on Wednesday. He was nervous, but he was a trooper. He’s always been keenly sensitive to transition and change – and well, there’s been loads of both for him here lately. And that day asked a lot from him. There Wyatt stood among a line of kids he didn’t know with a teacher he didn’t know at a school he didn’t know on a street he didn’t know in a city he didn’t know. The whole thing overwhelmed me – and he’s only six. When Wyatt turned to wave his final goodbye, I cried. You have to let go, though. You have to remember: all shall be well.

Here, I’ve been struck with the overwhelming sense of what it is to be the outsider. I’m the outsider in my neighborhood. I’m the outsider in the bookstore and coffee shop, at the neighborhood park, as I tool around town. The outsider in most conversations, in almost every social situation I encounter. Truthfully, this is good for me. I want to always remember the loneliness of not being known, of there being no one in the room who can honestly say, “I know who you are – and I believe in it.” Right now, the aloneness is thick, but this I believe: all shall be well.

As I sit in our house tonight, I have no idea how our next few years will take shape. I don’t know what kind of community we will come to give ourselves to. I don’t know the places that will tug at our hearts or the sadness we will encounter or the fresh hope that will touch our soul. However, I do believe that God is generous and kind and is bent on the ultimate restoration of all things. So, this is why I agree so zealously with Julian. Not because of some self-help mumbo jumbo insisting that smiley faces will win the day – not at all. I simply believe that in the end, after all the tears and the pain and loneliness and the disillusionment and the chaos – in the end, when the final pages of our lives are written (whenever and however that will be done), we will truly be able to say with rested and joyful hearts: and all manner of things shall be well.


(and as my new friend Ed, who reads tarot cards most days on C’ville’s downtown mall, answered when I offered him the same salutation: and peace on us all)

13 Replies to “All Shall Be Well”

  1. Thank you for this, Winn. I appreciate you being in this situation, and how much it means for the city you’ve chosen to love so well.

  2. Beautiful words, Winn. I love your heart and how you are willing to put yourself out there for this new place. Admittedly, and perhaps a bit selfishly, I want the hard part to be over for you but I know that God is in all of it, the good and the difficult, when you are following His will. Keep fighting.

  3. Winn,
    Thanks for your keen insight and sensitivity to God’s leading. It is encouraging. I continue to pray for a good transition and settling in to what God is going to give you there.

  4. All manner of things shall be well. We know the trials of leaving everything you know, time and again to follow God. It is hard, but it is worth it. Hang in there and hang on to each other and to God. Things take time, but all shall be well because you are following a God who is more than able.

  5. I feel true blessings are birthed out of intense challenge, pain, suffering…continue in the struggle, you are not alone.

  6. Hi, Suthernbelle, I was home schooled until the 6th grade – that choice is definitely not right for our family. And, in the case of me with Wyatt or Seth, I think I will feel these wide-ranging emotions their whole life, the joy of seeing them take hold of their world and be courageous mixed with my own fear and just the plain sorrow of letting go.

    Drew and Tom and TJ and Corey and Jim and Dayna and Lance, thank your for seeing me in my words. I’m thankful.

  7. Hey Winn… I was really struck by your sentence, “I don’t know what kind of community we will come to give ourselves to.” That’s really amazing… to be in the midst of the pain and the loneliness… and still be able to hold out hope and faith that someday… someday you will still have enough trust and security to be able and willing to enter into a covenant with another group of resident aliens… Thanks for inspiring me – a man who struggles to give himself to others even after being in one spot for 7 years… Shalom…

  8. Winn, I loved seeing your heart when you talked in your blog about taking Wyatt to school. Today I felt those same tears sting my eyes when I took Dane to kindergarten. At first it felt like the previous times I walked the “green mile” to K-5 and then stood there sobbing while the other parents assumed I must have some horrible emotional problem. This time however my tears were not ones of letting go but ones on joy that I could let go. When Dane was diagnosed with Autism the doctors told me that Dane would not mainstream until 2nd grade…in my heart I heard God say “trust Me, Alica…it will not be 2nd grade”. I didn’t know at the time what God would take us through…mainly me…but that we would encounter “sludge” and I would be so tired but it would be “okay”. Today when we walked through the doors of the school fullfilling what God had told me I felt the cleansing waters of my tears washing the fragments of sludge off of my heart and felt like today…it was “okay”. Thank you for sharing your struggles with moving, with parenting and with life in general. It’s encouraging to me to see someone else deal with real things.

  9. “Courage is the ability to cultivate a relationship with the unknown; to create a form of friendship with what lies around the corner over the horizon – with those things that have not yet fully come into being.” –
    David Whyte

    Courage, my friend.

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