Death…but wait there’s hope!

Death is something we all have to face. We all have an appointment with it and we all will deal with it taking a loved one.

It is okay to be sad, to cry to grieve. It is natural. Jesus himself cried over the loss of his friend. (John 11:35)

I’ve seen my father cry, my uncles, both of my grandpas and many other men and women cry over the loss of someone they loved.

I never experienced what it was like to lose someone I was close to until 2011. I lost 2 people within 5 months of each other that I loved more than anything.

I got married on November 27, 2010. I was originally going to get married on June 11 of 2011. In 2009 my Grandma Nickels found out she had brain cancer as well as the lung cancer. In August of 2010 my Grandma got a report that her cancer was spreading and she decided not to take chemo or radiation. My Dad told me that with her condition and my Grandpa Wagoner’s failing condition that if I wanted them to be at my wedding I needed to have it before the end of the year. So we did. It was stressful putting a wedding together in a few short months but we did it. Both sets of my Grandparents were there. We got family pictures with them and as far as I know it is the last family picture that we have with them.

In January my Grandma’s health took a turn for the worse. June 8, 2011 she passed away peacefully with most of her family around her. My Grandpa was devastated. However, as soon as she passed away, my Grandpa started praising God! He lifted up his hands and said Thank you Lord for taking her home. He knew he’d get to see her again someday. He still misses her and I know that he cannot wait to see her again in Heaven.

October of 2010 my Grandpa fell in his bathroom and suffered some serious injuries. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He didn’t get better. His kidneys and other organs began to shut down. He was taken out of ICU on Monday night. He was supposed to go to Hospice but they didn’t think he would make the ride. They transferred him to another room where all of the family could be. My cousin and I went and got donuts for everyone from his favorite donut shop. We also got milk and OJ. All of us talked about the impact he had made on our lives. We said our goodbyes and I love you’s. He made it through the night, so Hospice came and took him to a nice room where he could be comfortable. All of his kids went home to take showers and get some rest. My Dad, my cousins Jennifer, Emily & Kammy and myself got to Hospice before anyone else arrived. Something told me to tell him it was okay. So I leaned over whispered in his ear, “Hey Papaw. It’s Whickemwhacker. I love you. You’re the best Grandpa a girl could ask for. It’s okay for you to go home. We’ll take good care of Grandma. I promise. Do you see all the angels? They’re here to take you to Jesus.” He took his final breath moments later. It was hard to say goodbye but I knew that Heaven was his home.

I became really depressed after he passed away. I felt alone. I had too much death too quick and I had no idea how to handle it. I hadn’t gotten over my Grandma Nickels passing away and now my Grandpa Wagoner was gone too. I dwelt on my sadness and sorrow. I became distant and unhappy. My Mom was staying with my Grandma Wagoner because she couldn’t be alone. Alzheimer’s has a way of taking independence along with many other things. I tried to help where I could with my Grandma and with my parents’ house. It was hard and it was hard seeing my family hurt.

One day something that my Aunt said after my Grandma passed away hit me. We need to pick up the mantle that she left. My Grandma was a prayer warrior. She prayed about everything! Everything! Big or small! She left it in God’s hands because that was the best place it could be. She loved everyone. She helped whoever she could whenever she could. She fed people, clothed them and loved them unconditionally. My Grandpa Wagoner helped people all the time. He gave people jobs, confidence and hope. He loved unconditionally as well. He stayed alive through the hurt and pain just to take care of my Grandma because he didn’t want to burden any of his kids with that.

Both of my Grandparents didn’t let sadness or problems doom them. They got back up and kept going. They wouldn’t want me to let sadness take over. They were true examples of what Christians should be. Now I try to love everyone unconditionally, even when it is hard and when it hurts. I try to show love instead of anger. I try to see situations through others’ eyes so I can understand. I believe that is what my Grandparents would want me to do. It is also what Jesus would want me to do.

I said all that to say this. Take time to grieve. However, don’t stay in that state. When someone you love passes away, pick up that mantle they left behind. Follow Jesus and love unconditionally. I have hope of seeing my Grandma and my Grandpa again someday. They were born again Christians and so am I. There is so much hope in that statement. Being a follower of Christ, we should try to live like Christ. It is easier to do if you have good, Godly examples to follow.

I pray for those who read this blog. I want you to know if you are hurting, God can help you. He can give you strength and carry your burdens.

Love in Christ!

Iva Mae

nickelsMamaw Nickels, Me, Kyle & Papaw Nickels

Wagoner

Memaw Wagoner, Me & Pepaw Wagoner

On another note I’d forgotten how much weight I’d gained before I got married! I’m down like 30lbs from that pic haha

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God where are you?!

We’ve all wondered where God is sometimes. It seems like he isn’t anywhere. We know he is there but he feels so far away. The past several months I’ve felt dead inside. I knew God was there but I couldn’t feel him. I felt so lost, so broken and so afraid. I’ve been going through a spiritual battle. Literally there is a spiritual battle in my home. I have felt the presence of evil in my own home.

The other night my husband was gone and it was just me and my dog, Bandit. We were in the kitchen. I had just washed dishes and was getting ready to put some more things away. All of a sudden I got a horrible feeling and my dog took off running and ran and his on the couch. I went to him to see what was wrong and he was shaking. I sat with him for a moment and the feeling came back but this time it was stronger and I could literally feel a horrible evil in my home. My dog saw something and watched something walk across the living and the something stopped directly in front of us. I immediately got down on my knees and started praying. I asked God for protection of our home. I asked that if there was anything in our home that was not of God, that it be removed and be made known it was not welcome in Jesus name. I prayed and I honestly do not even know what else I prayed. Words flowed from my mouth and peace overcame me and my dog. As I knelt at the couch and prayed he laid down beside me and closed his eyes. After I was done praying a verse came to my mind. Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible.”

 

I wrote it my fridge calendar and underlined ALL. I stood in my kitchen listening to a song and I lifted my hands, sang, praised and worshiped God. I felt his presence and was overwhelmed with joy all I could do was cry. I had peace in my heart for the fist time in a long time.

Believe it or not but it happened. I’ve been pressed down and felt like I was in chains of sadness and doubt. My heart was broken and I felt trampled. Things may not be perfect but they are getting better and I am thankful! The song Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe came to mind.

 

prayer

Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe

Troubles chasing me again, breaking down my best defense, I’m looking. God I’m looking for you.

Weary just won’t let me rest, fear is filling up my head, I’m longing. God I’m longing for you. But I will

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith? What if heartache still remains? I’ll trust you. My God I’ll trust you. ‘Cause you are faithful. And I will find you in the place I’m in. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty. When I am weak when I am lost and searching. Find you on my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong, when the pain is real and it’s hard to feel. When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen God I know that you lift me up you never leave me searching.

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees. 

This song speaks to me. So what, IF sorrow shakes my faith? So WHAT, IF heartache still remains? I’ll TRUST YOU. MY GOD, I’LL TRUST YOU. I will trust God! He never leaves me thirsty or searching. Other things in life do but not God. He is my healer, my savior, my love, my life, my joy, my hope and my salvation! So even when everything is falling apart God is allowing that so he can pick up the pieces and put them back together better than my attempt. He makes the pieces fit even when think they cannot.

 

 

URGENT CALL TO PRAY

I’ve been reading about Christians being beheaded, buried alive, being threatened to be crucified if they do not convert to Islam. The ones who fled from their homes cannot go back or they will be killed.

prayer

We need to earnestly pray for these people. My heart is breaking for them. There is pure evil being unleashed in this world and I believe that it is only going to get worse.

Let’s band together and pray that God will give these Christians strength through their persecution and that this genocide will stop.

Check out the links below to find out more about what is going on.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/562265/20140811/iraq-beheading-children-christian-genocide.htm#.U-oMRmODf1U

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/562237/20140811/isis-iraq-christians-genocide-pope-francis.htm#.U-p8c2ODf1U

 

 

Let it Go!

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

 

Have you ever felt just broken? You may have even felt like there is no hope. I have been there. I have had a heaviness on my heart before that weighed me down like an anchor cast off of a freight liner in the ocean. I have felt like I was sinking and drowning and no one could help me.

Even once I got saved I have felt that way. I think it is safe to say that we all have felt that way at some point in our lives. It seems like nothing anyone says or does makes that feeling go away.

Psalms 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness; strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

Sometimes we let people & what they do, circumstances and situations control us. We let those things control our happiness and our lives. Jesus can bear all of weights and burdens and pains. He broke the chains and sometimes we still let those chains keep us down. We are like animals who when caged won’t come out of the cage once it is opened so they can be freed. We are fearful. We are forgetful and we want to carry our burdens we don’t want to give them away.

Isaiah 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

I am trying to give some things to God and it’s hard. I don’t know why I think I need them or that I can handle them better but sometimes I just can’t let go. I am going to work on it. If you are struggling with it, I encourage you to ask God to help you let go and give it to him. Know I will be praying for anyone who reads this. So Let it go!

P.S. Although I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing Frozen I realized my title is a song from the movie. I asked my husband for the movie for my birthday in a few weeks. I CANNOT wait to watch it!!!!!

God,

I ask you to please help those of us who have a hard time letting go of things that are holding us down. I ask you to give us peace. We struggle with giving things to you even though we know you can handle them better than we can. I ask you to guide us and direct us. For those who have heartaches and are broken I ask that you would please pick up the pieces and give them comfort. help those who feel like they are drowning in their problems. I love you and I thank you for all you’ve done and all you will do. I know in your hands I’m safest.

Amen

 

You can’t always have what you want

Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

We don’t always get what we want but God gives us what we need. I haven’t posted anything in a while now. The reason is because I was doing two jobs at once, my current one and assisting in another. There was talk that I would move into this other job. I had been praying for some time that God would open a door for me to be able to have another position or job that would be easier when I have kids. I was excited that God had finally answered my prayer.

 

After some time it was decided that I didn’t have the experience necessary for the job and I agreed. Christmas eve I went back to my old job full time. I was a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t have the skills for the job. I had prayed that God’s will be done. I told God I wanted the job, but I wanted what he wanted for me more. I truly believe that God knows what is best in our lives. God has showed me he is in charge of my life in more ways than one. It gets better.

 

Kyle and I have been looking for houses. We have lived with my parents for 3 years going into the 4th year. Circumstances have kept us there and we are more than ready to be on our own. We love them but we’ve not really gotten to start our lives together yet and it’s getting old. We found a house that we both loved and wanted to make an offer on it. The day we made the decision I called our realtor and left her message explaining our decision. She called back that night and said that someone else had put an offer on it and it looked like it was going to go through so the house was no longer available. That day Kyle and I both said the same  prayer without knowing it that if God doesn’t want us to buy that house to make it to where we couldn’t. He did exactly that.

 

We are still looking for houses and we are still praying the same prayer. We know God has the perfect place for us, we just have to wait for his timing. You never know where that may be. We have to ask God to point us in the right direction. Let him lead us. Psalms 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

If you are waiting for God to answer a prayer or you’ve been given an answer you didn’t want, hang in there. God knows what he is doing. He gives us what we need when we need it! I truly believe it.

 

ImageI love the above statements! I think they are so true! Keep trusting in Him!

Beauty From Ashes

Image

 

How can something beautiful and wonderful come from something so ugly, dark, sticks to everything, leaves behind so much dust, goes where the wind blows and what seems nothing? How can you get beauty from ashes?

 

Sometimes things seem so terrible. Our lives can get burnt to the ground in an instant. We suffer death, sickness, pain, divorces, losing a job and many other discouraging things in our lifetimes. Sometimes the pain is bad we feel there is nothing left. Our lives become ugly & dark. The pain covers every other aspect of our lives and clouds our view. It goes with us wherever we go. We try to wipe it away and forget it. Like ashes, sometimes no matter how hard you try to get rid of the pain, some still remains.

 

We have a wood stove to heat our house. All my life I’ve seen my Dad put wood in the stove. I would watch it burn, feel the warmth and sometimes watch it go out. Once it would go out, my dad would clean out the ashes. The remains of what used to be wood, burned by fire. Most of the time, Dad would spill the ashes all over the bricks and the mat in front of the stove. I would try to clean up the ashes with a broom and dust pan. No matter how much I swept some would always remain there. I would even use a Swiffer. Even several swiffer’s and the vacuum could never get up all the ashes. If he opened the door to go outside before I got the ashes cleaned up, the ashes would go everywhere from the wind that would blow in the door. It would be a mess!!!

 

When my Dad took the ashes outside, he poured them on our garden. The ashes helped to make the soil rich and be full of nutrients.

 

Our lives are like this. Sometimes the most terrible things happen to us. Our lives may seem like they are burning to the ground. We don’t understand the pain, suffering or ugliness of life. Life isn’t fair, but we have a God who can take the ugliness, pain and suffering and make is beautiful!

 

My husband has been having terrible headaches for years now. They have recently gotten worse. I know God can heal him but I also know if God chooses not to heal him, he will get the glory in it and it will be beautiful.

 

When I had cancer, life seemed so bleak at first. After the initial shock, I decided that I was going to let God heal me and if he didn’t use me to help others. It turned out he allowed me to go through it so I could grow, become stronger and help others. I got my healing in more ways than one. I’ve never been so thankful for my legs or for the ability to walk. I love to walk!! I love to be active. God gave me a blessing by allowing the tumor in my leg to be benign and allowing me to keep my leg.

 

You may be going through something difficult and it seems like there is no end. Just remember to hold on. God is going to use this hardship to help you grow. We all need more nutrients sometimes so we can become richer and the seeds we plant of Christianity will grow and flourish.

 

I got today’s post after my cousin Emily told me to read Isaiah 61:1-3

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

http://youtu.be/M-GPbYcTDbQ   

Beauty From Pain by SuperChick Click on the link above