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.

 

 

When My Heart is Overwhelemed

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Psalm 61:2 “…When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I love when you’re going through something and a verse pops into your head. I’m beyond my breaking point in a certain situation. My husband and Mom have been reassuring me that everything will work out but I cannot see how.

I was thinking about how overwhelmed I’ve been and Psalm 61:2 popped into my head. I was sitting at my desk and started to cry. It was just like a breath of fresh air. I felt like God was reminding me to give my burdens to him because he can handle them. I know that no matter the outcome whether the situation is resolved or not, God will help me through it. If the situation isn’t changed he will give me the strength to get through each and every day.

I have to believe that change is ahead for me and that a new door of opportunity will be opened and the doors that need to be closed will be closed.

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Job 36:15 “He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.”

While I’m waiting for God to move I need to keep my ears and heart open to listen to what God has to say. Sometimes we busy ourselves so much we don’t take time to listen to what God is saying. We miss Him reaching out to us because we are so caught up in our lives.

Maybe all this time I’ve missed the little reminders that God is with me and that he is working on it because I’ve been too caught up in my situation.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

change your heart

Sometimes God doesn’t change our situations because he’s trying to change our hearts. That sometimes is the hardest words to swallow. They are bitter and hard to chew.

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I think I’m going to have another serving of humble pie! If you think of me pray for me that God will move and change my situation or change my heart about it.

Wishing you many blessings!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

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

 

When My Heart is Overwhelmed

Psalm 61:1-2 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heat is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

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 My husband and I have a huge decision before us. We’ve been conflicted in our hearts. The decision isn’t one to take lightly nor is it one to make with haste.

 

 I’ve been praying and diligently seeking an answer. I have prayed a specific way to get an answer. I know God will give us an answer. I am trusting in Him fully. I know he can see things in the future that my mere human eyes cannot.

 

 Sometimes we want things but that doesn’t mean that it what God wants for us. Even when you don’t get the answer you want, still praise God because he has something better or he is keeping you from something that would harm you. He is wonderful, mighty, awesome, all knowing, loving, compassionate, the knower of our hearts desires and the keeper of our lives!

 

I am a clinger… a clinger to God and to specific scriptures in times of trouble. I am clinging to the above scripture. I also have found comfort in the song below.

 

LEAD ME TO THE ROCK – Ricky Skaggs

In seasons of grief,
To my Lord I’ll repair,
When my heart is overwhelmed,
With its sorrows and cares

To the ends of the earth,
To my God I will fly,
Lead me to the rock,
That is higher than I.

Higher than I,
Higher than I,
Lead me to the rock,
That is higher than I.

When Satan the tempter,
Rolls in with a flood,
To drown my poor soul,
From its fountain of good

I will cling to the Savior,
Who humbly did die,
Lead me to the Rock,
That is higher than I.

Higher than I,
Higher than I,
Lead me to the rock,
That is higher than I.

 

Click the link below to hear the song

http://youtu.be/_uIhoQeb6NE

The Heart

Today alone I’ve heard at least 6 or 7 comments from women about not feeling good enough or pretty enough and 2 have been from me.

There is so much pressure on women to look perfect. Turn on any television or get online and you will see adds for make up, hair color, shoes, clothes, breast augmentation, weight loss and self improvement. Every message we see and hear says buy this, wear this or do that and you’ll be beautiful. Some even give the message that unless you wear this make up or wear your hair a certain color you won’t be beautiful.

Anymore I hate watching TV. I like dressing up and wearing make up but I don’t need to wear those things to be beautiful. I was reading today and came across a verse about what defiles a man. It’s what comes out of the mouth because that comes from the heart.
Matthew 15:11 “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which comets out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

If we would start with our hearts and do things to improve our heart, we would see true beauty. Beauty lies in our hearts and our actions and words. You can put all the make up on and take diet pills and color your hair but if you don’t have a beautiful heart then there is no true beauty. I’ve seen a lo of girls who look beautiful when you first see them, but once you get to know them they are ugly.

We don’t have to let the world’s definition of beauty define our beauty. Let’s smash the lies and start over. Let’s start over where it matters, back at the heart.

My Heart

I wanted to share with you why I wanted to do this blog. I struggled so much as a young girl and it carried over into my adulthood. One of the only things I remember from Kindergarten is being made fun of. I remember exactly what was said to me and where I was. We all were sitting in the floor listening to a story. The little girl next to me said, “You look like boy! You’re wearing jeans!!” She laughed and it made me cry. I didn’t understand why she decided to be mean to me when I was nice to everyone. After that day it took me a long time before I would wear jeans again.

Later in Elementary School, I had a teacher that didn’t care for me for some reason and put me in the slow readers class. We were given little stories to read and had to highlight words we didn’t know. I would constantly get in trouble because I wouldn’t have anything highlighted. I was a good reader and I knew what all the words meant. Eventually I started highlighting words so I wouldn’t get in trouble.

I liked a little boy in my class one year in my class. I told him I liked him and he laughed and said he liked another girl who was pretty. Why would he ever like me? This is where my confidence started to leave me. I started to believe that I was ugly. The other girls were prettier. They had nice clothes and hair. I thought about myself and how I looked and this is one of the first times I looked in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. I was gangly, I had a huge gap in between my two front teeth. I had bangs and my hair wasn’t blonde or brunette it was somewhere in between. I decided that I wasn’t pretty like the other girls. My self worth was fading. It doesn’t help when you get picked last or not picked at all for square dancing or teams. It really doesn’t help when everyone on the team decides they will lose because you got put on their team.

All through school kids picked on me and made fun of me. I have even had a teacher pick on me so other kids wouldn’t talk to me. She made up lies and told everyone that I had an illness. A lot of kids wouldn’t have anything to do with me. That same year I was paired up with the most popular girl in school for pen pals with an elderly woman at a nursing home. The other girl invited the woman to her house for dinner and brought a gift for her the day we went to visit the nursing home. The old lady made it very obvious to me that she didn’t care for me. She wouldn’t talk to me and ignored me the entire time. I felt that I must be the worst person alive. I didn’t understand why people didn’t like me. I began to wonder why on earth God would create a person like me. My family loved me but I thought they had to so it didn’t help my confidence.

The devil had a hay day. I didn’t understand it then, but he would whisper things in my mind when I looked in the mirror. I saw someone who wasn’t good enough, someone who wasn’t pretty, someone who wasn’t loved. I saw a joke. It’s amazing how young you are when the devil starts trying to destroy someone.

Middle School didn’t get any easier for me. I started to hate myself so much. Kids can be so mean. I had a few friends but not a lot. I started staying home from school because I didn’t want to have to face kids in school who didn’t like me. I begged to be home schooled or go to another school. In Middle School the boys called me hairy because I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs. Some of the guys made fun of me because I couldn’t play sports. In one gym class one kid made fun of me so much I got sick from crying. The hate for myself starting growing. I started self mutalating. I would bang my knees up against the wall or bath tub because I though I deserved to feel pain. It became my escape. I ended up hurting myself bad enough a few times that I ended up on crutches. Most kids were nice to me and offered to help me get from class to class. I hated myself but I hated that I hurt myself in secret. I would lie and say I feel down. A lot of kids thought I was faking my injuries. It upset me but I didn’t want them to know the real reason so I stayed quiet. By 7th grade I had put all that behind me and I had a lot of friends. We all accepted each other for who we were.

I stopped hurting myself physically but started depriving myself of food. If I thought I ate too much I’d go throw it up in the bathroom at school. Near 8th grade I was a size 0. I wanted to stay that tiny. Everyone said I was skinny and they were jealous. I thought I’d finally achieved something and finally had a reason to feel good about myself. In between 8th and 9th grade, I moved to a size 5. I still struggled with eating all throughout high school. I had a love hate relationship with food. I wanted to eat what everyone else was but I didn’t want to get fat. What I didn’t know at the time, is that when you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode. It stores fat. I gained weight instead of losing it. It made the situation worse. I didn’t realize exercise and eating right were necessary in being healthy and being at a healthy weight.

I began eating more and was a little heavy my junior year. I thinned out by the end of my junior year. I was so excited to be a senior! I was having some trouble with my ankle and went to the doctor. It turned out that I had a tumor right above my ankle on my fibula. I went through a lot that summer. My best friend Tiffany was right by my side and helped me through everything. God was by my side and if it weren’t for Him and my faith, I’d have never gotten through anything. In June of 2004 I had a biopsy of the tumor on my leg. The results came back and it was cancer. I had osteosarcoma. I was ready to go through whatever God wanted but I was still scared. I was anointed at church and I believed that God could heal me. I got so close to God. I knew that He would bring me through. I went to see my cancer doctor and he began to tell me all the things I would have to go through. They would remove my fibula from my ankle to my hip. I would have to miss my entire senior year with therapy and chemo. If that didn’t take care of the cancer cells I would have to have an amputation. It was so much to hear. I was upset, as any 17 year old girl would be. We walked through the hospital and I saw all these children who were in wheel chairs. They couldn’t walk and never had been able to. They were so happy. I got so mad at myself for being so selfish. I realized that if I had to have an amputation, I would at least be able to know what sand through my toes feels like and grass. Those kids never had that opportunity. I left the hospital that day with a newfound strength and appreciation. No matter what happened, God would take care of me and I would be okay.

On July 7, 2004 we received a call from my doctor. He said they had my biopsy sent off to a hospital in New York and they couldn’t find any cancer cells! I was cancer free! I still had to have the tumor removed and be in a cast for the summer. I didn’t care! As long as I could go to church camp, I didn’t care. I got my cast off the second day of school in my senior year. I gained a lot of weight from not being able to walk for an entire summer. By the end of Senior year I was in size 12’s from a 7 and I weighed 170lbs instead of 150. The summer after I graduated high school I lost a lot of weight. It continued in my first year of college. I started eating better and using the stairs to go everywhere. My first non babysitting job was a runner at a law firm. I was able to walk everywhere in the city to deliver and pick up things. I was healthy and happy.

After a bad break up I didn’t eat. I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t eating. When I did eat, I would get sick. I got down to 120lbs. I was too skinny and I was able to fit into a 6. Eventually I began eating again. I started dating my husband. We went to McDonald’s a lot. I started gaining weight but it didn’t hit me as to why. I was working full time and taking evening classes and then eating dinner at 10PM. I was heading towards a very unhealthy path. When my husband and I got married in 2010, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I was 175-180lbs. Out first year of marriage was tough. My Grandma Nickels passed away June 8, 2011. 5 months later my Grandpa Wagoner died on November 8, 2011. Our car broke down, my husband’s job situation fell through and I turned to eating. By June of 2012, I weighed 190-195lbs. At my heaviest I was 195. I was miserable and heart broken. I had no clue now I got so big. My friend introduced me to a 24 day challenge from Advocare and I started losing weight. It helped me realize what I was putting in my mouth every day. I was eating junk and my body hated me for it. This past June 2013, I weighed 150. I as so proud of myself! My goal is to be 140-145lbs and in an 8.

I have realized on my journey that I needed God. I got saved at 6 but in 2012 the devil started making me doubt that I’d ever said the salvation prayer. I struggled for a long time with it. Finally one reading the bible God spoke to me and said if you have a doubt, then take care of it. I prayed that prayer and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was saved. I haven’t looked back since.

I have realized that you cannot eat junk and be healthy and I have realized that comparing yourself to others gives you no satisfaction. Compare yourself to yourself and to what God wants you to be. I still struggle with the comparing thing all the time. I’m getting better. I put it all out there for others to see. Writing this was very hard for me. I cried a lot and had to stop several times. I knew my story needed to be heard.

I wanted to start this blog because I knew other girls have gone through this or are going through this and they need to know they are not alone! I will try to post something every day. 😊

Love in Christ,

Iva Mae 💜

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I stole this picture from my beautiful cousin Katie.