Worshipping Through Grief

photo from boundless.org

Hello,

It has been way too long since I have posted. I am going to do better. Life always seems to get in the way. I am going to share something that is painful. I didn’t want to share it, but I have felt so compelled to share it. I wrote a draft post and refused to look at it again or finish it until now.

A lot has happened since I last posted in February. In August I had surgery to remove endometriosis. I have had pain and problems for years. One of those was infertility. We have been trying to have a baby since 2014. I had a miscarriage in 2015. We were unable to get pregnant after that. We were hopeful that this surgery would allow us to have a baby. It seems the surgery was successful, I’ve not had pain. In October, I found out I was pregnant.

We were so excited! Finally! My husband and I talked about names, we talked about how we were going to move things around to make a nursery, and we talked about how we hoped we would be good parents.

I never thought that another miscarriage was possible. I truly felt this time that we would get to hold our sweet baby! It was due in June of 2019. We even told our family over a special dinner.

I had to have blood tests right away since I have had a miscarriage before. I started to worry. The tests came back with levels too low. Then I had complications and that ended with me having a miscarriage. Even as I type this, the word makes me cringe. My greatest fear came true.

When I first found out that this pregnancy was not going well, I was devastated. Then I was angry and hurt. I remember driving home from work so mad at God, I cried red hot tears. I didn’t understand how He could let this happen. The one thing we have prayed for, for years, finally happened and now it was being ripped away.

After crying out in anger, I felt guilty for getting angry. Then I felt sad. This pregnancy was different than the first one. We had an early ultrasound. I got to see it. My husband and I felt so happy after the ultrasound. Less than a week later the baby was gone.

I was so sure that this time it would be okay. Finding out that the baby was gone, felt like being crushed by boulders. When my Mom dropped us off back home from the hospital, I completely broke. I was and still am heartbroken. I still don’t understand or know why. I just have to trust that this was for the best.

My Dad came and picked me up the next morning and took me to get some coffee and so I could get my car from my parents’ house. He mentioned David and what he did after the death of his child. Once I got home, I read 2 Samuel 12. David’s child with Bathsheba fell ill and died. When he heard that the child died, he got up, washed and anointed himself and went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. His servants were confused with David’s actions. They didn’t understand why when the child was sick David didn’t eat and mourned but when it died, he got up from his grieving bed. I love how David answered them.

2 Samuel 12:22-23 “And he said, while the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious to me that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David did not stay in his grief. He knew that he would see his child again one day. He worshiped God. I have discovered that worship brings comfort. I took time to grieve. The day after I lost the baby, I went to church and was anointed. I wanted to be like David. I asked God at the beginning of this that He would get the glory.

Worship has been the key for me. Knowing God is good even when He doesn’t answer prayers the way we want has been a comfort as well. God is good, even though the things He allows bring me pain. Though he slay me, yet I will trust him. Job 13:15 I don’t understand why, but I chose to trust the Lord. I hope that I can help someone else.

I lost the baby October 27. It has been over a month now. I have my good days and bad days. Thanksgiving was hard and this month has been a little hard as well. We would have gotten to hear a heartbeat this month. Instead of hearing our sweet baby’s heartbeat, I have a broken heart. It is hard to not blame myself. There is a guilt that comes with a miscarriage. You think that there is something wrong with you. You think that if you would done this or not done that it wouldn’t have happened. Sweet friend, these are lies from the enemy to oppress you and destroy you. He wants nothing more than to use your grief as chains to keep you down. Satan wants to make you feel like this is your fault. This is not your fault. That is a lie straight from the pits of hell. These things happen because they just do. It isn’t comforting, but it is the truth. These things happen and we don’t understand why we may not until we get to Heaven.

Friend, if you are going through this or have gone through this, know this is NOT your fault. You are loved. You are not alone. When Satan tries to destroy you with lies about who you are, remember whose blood covers you and all sins. There is nothing that you can go through that will make God love you less. He loved you enough to give his only begotten son that we can have eternal life. Jesus overcame the world and He will help you overcome grief. Not every day will be perfect. You will have moments, sometimes out of nowhere that will bring you to your knees. Keep strong, keep holding on and keep trusting God.

Worship the Lord. Do not think that because you are broken you cannot worship. That is a lie from the enemy. Worship brings healing! I listed some of the songs that I have been worshiping to well sometimes ugly crying and worshiping.

Worship Playlist:

Trust in you- Lauren Daigle

Thy Will – Hillary Scott & Thr Scott Family

What a Beautiful Name – (Hillsong) Kari Jobe

You Say – Lauren Daigle

I Am Not Alone – Kari Jobe

Who You Say I am – Hillsong Worship

The Hurt & The Healer – Mercy Me

So Will I – (Hillsong Worship) Tori Kelly

Reckless Love – performed by Steffany Gretzinger

Still I Will Sing

phil-4-7

Sometimes we go through trials and the pain of those trials remain. I feel like the trial I am going through is never ending. It’s hard to explain the roller coaster emotions that I’ve gone through. Some days I am okay with not having a baby. Other days… I am not okay with it at all. I feel this emptiness and longing for something that seems like it will never come. Will I ever make my husband a father? Will I ever become a mother?

I don’t understand how most of my friends and family member have babies and I do not. Keeping the hurt of that inside is exhausting. Some days I wear my pain on my face and everyone can tell something is wrong with me. I’ve realized that talking about my pain helps.

What doesn’t work is giving up, keeping it in and doubting God. Last week at church was our youth service. Our Youth Pastor preached about Thomas – the doubter. He gave a whole new outlook on Thomas. Thomas wanted to know for himself what was the truth. He didn’t want to go off the word of others. I realized that I was actually doubting God’s ability to do something, not seeking out His will.

I have a love/hate relationship with God’s correction. I hate that feeling of conviction, but love that God speaks to me and convicts me of things.

I realized that I cannot give up on God. Just because something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it won’t. Whether we have a baby naturally or by adoption I believe that one day we will have a baby!

In the meantime I will sing! I heard Kari Jobe’s song I will Sing from her new album The Garden this morning.It brought me to tears. My favorite line is “Your word won’t return empty”. How powerful!

I will Song by Kari Jobe

I need to see You here
I need to know You’re in control
Though my heart is torn wide open

I will trust, I will remember

I need to hear Your voice
Speaking to silence all my doubts
Your word won’t return empty
You will break through every darkness

Even when my breath is weak
I will sing, I will sing
Even in my suffering
I will sing, I will sing

I need to feel Your hope
Rising above my greatest fears
Even death has been defeated
I will trust, I will remember

Even when the shadows fall
I will sing, I will sing
Even when the night is long
I will sing, I will sing

Hallelujah
I surrender all to You
Hallelujah
You are God, You won’t be shaken
Hallelujah
I surrender all to You
Hallelujah
You are God, You won’t be shaken

I need to see You here
I need to know You’re in control
Though my heart is torn wide open
I will trust, I will remember

 

God is greater than my fear and pain. He CANNOT be shaken. I will continue praying and trusting in God. He alone can calm my fears and give me peace.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Instead of doubting God, run to him and keep praying and believing.

Love in Christ,

Iva Mae

Don’t Give Up

baby

I thought for sure by now that God would have answered my prayers. I don’t even know where to begin with where life has taken me these past few months. I’ve been desperately wanting something. Praying for something and it hasn’t happened.

I was reading my daily devotion today and it was like my eyes were opened it and I felt a peace. I’m reading Elisha: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith in my Bible Ap. I love it! I get something out of every day’s devotion. Today’s was on a miracle of Elisha. 2 miracles happened in this section of scripture I was reading (2 Kings 4:3-37). 1. Elisha told the Shunammite woman she would have a baby 2. Elisha brought the child back to life when he had died.

I’ve read this story many times. I failed to notice that it took Elisha 2x to bring the child back to life. I’ve never noticed that before. The devotional content talked about the fact that it didn’t happen the first time Elisha tried to bring the child back to life. It asked, how many times have we been in Elisha’s position? We’ve prayed and asked God for something knowing that he would do it, but it hasn’t happened yet. It may not happen for months or years. Don’t give up or lose heart! Just because you aren’t successful the first time doesn’t mean that God will not answer your prayer! God knows best and he knows what the best timing would be for what you have asked for.

I have wanted a baby for a long time. When people would ask me when my husband and I were going to have kids, I’d just give the answer that my dog was my baby and he was the only baby I needed. In my heart I was angry that someone would ask. I felt like they were saying I wasn’t whole without a baby but truth was that, that was how I felt. I felt like I wasn’t whole. It has taken me some time to realize that even if I never have  a baby, God makes me whole. It is God who completes me.

A few weeks ago I went to the alter because God was dealing with me about me being angry. I was angry for several reasons. 1. I wanted a baby. 2. I was pregnant but not long after I knew I was I lost it. I didn’t understand why God would take something from me that I wanted so badly. All of my cousins had babies. Most of my friends had them as well and I couldn’t understand why they could but I couldn’t.

I told my Daddy at the alter why I wanted to pray. He said baby, remember Hannah. He anointed me and asked God to give me the desires of my heart. It still has happened yet, but I am not giving up! I haven’t shared this with anyone but my close friends and my immediate family. I hate sharing my feelings because I hate when people feel sorry for you. I hate that! Don’t judge me, it is just the way that I am. I felt compelled to share this because I have read 3 different things about waiting for something that you have asked God for. I think a lot people are in similar situations. They may not be in the exact same situation but are in a waiting period in their lives.

If you are in a waiting period, do not give up. Don’t be angry at God. Realize that He knows what is best for us and in Hid timing our prayers will be answered. For now cling onto that hope from Psalms 37:4. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

This is the verse I am praying and clinging to.

May God Bless you!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Unworthy

crosstwilight

FOREVER by Kari Jobe

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him

One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

I love that song! The words are so beautiful and it reminds me exactly what God did for us on Calvary. Speaking of Calvary, Easter Season is upon us. A time for us to reflect on God’s love for us. A love so great that he would send his only son to die on a cross and bare the world’s sins when he was without sin. A perfect lamb, the supreme sacrifice to make a way to Heaven for all of us who are unworthy of such a gift. A gift that is free.

I read Romans 5:8 yesterday. It reminded me how unworthy I truly am of God’s love.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

I like to look up words that I don’t quite know the meaning of. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, commend means: 1. to praise in a serious & often public way; to mention as deserving attention or approval. 2. to entrust for care or preservation 3. to recommend as worthy of 4. to mention with approbation (praise).

To me this verse says God showed us his love by giving his son as a sacrifice for our sins and thought we were worthy of His love even though we were sinners. It makes me feel so unworthy to know that God has a love for us that big!

I read in Lamentations today about mercy. According to Merriam-Webster mercy is 1.kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. 2. compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or one subject to one’s power.

Lamentations 3:22&23 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

God is also a merciful God! He is merciful when we fail him. He was merciful on us and gave us a way out of our sin. He gave us a way to go to Heaven when he didn’t have to. All we have to do is accept His Son Jesus as our savior, believe that he died for our sins, rose again on the third day, confess our sins and ask for forgiveness of those sins. It is so simple that sometimes it seems unbelievable. How can such a big God give his son for me? I didn’t do anything to deserve it. In fact it is quite the opposite. I’ve done lots of things that didn’t deserve once ounce of mercy. Thank God it is not what I’ve done or didn’t do. It is what God did! What Christ did for us. A willing sacrifice.

I don’t feel that words can describe the gratitude and love I feel for Christ’s ultimate act of love. I’ve been feeling even more unworthy lately. I have slipped in my reading and prayer life and have put God on the back burner. I have stumbled and said things that I’ve regretted. I have not have God’s love for people and I have had an ultimately bad attitude about everything. Basically I have been fighting with my flesh. The ugly side, the side that wants to do what I want and who cares about anything else. I’ve been mad at God for some really stupid reasons! Just dumb. My husband didn’t get his Christmas bonus like we expected and we didn’t get a tax return like we expected either. We  got a check from an excess in our escrow account and it was a mistake. I got a letter saying we needed to send it back. I was mad at God for those things and even questioned why would you let this happen to us? Why? We needed that money! God reminded me yesterday that even though I think I need something that doesn’t mean that I truly do. He will always provide for us. He gives us exactly what we need.

One of our bills was unexpectedly high and it was going to overdraw our account if I paid it. I was just going to pay it with a credit card which I didn’t want to do. I prayed and asked God to please make a way and somehow help us to cover the costs even though I doubted that he would. I called our mortgage company about the letter I received asking to return the funds. I needed to know who to write the check to. After speaking to her she apologized and said there was a computer glitch and it messed a lot of people’s accounts up. She said I’ll make a note that you are going to send the funds back and the amount you need to send back is $XXX.XX. She explained to me that they gave us all the money from our escrow and it zeroed our account out. If I sent the amount she said back it will be enough to cover the shortage in the account.

She told me who to write the check to and made sure I knew to include some things in the check so they would know what to do with it. After I hung up I subtracted the amount that I was returning from the amount of the check we got and low and behold it was just enough for the bill that we got that was unexpectedly high.

I was overwhelmed with God’s love. I felt so undeserving of that after I had been so upset and angry. God will always provide for his children even though we don’t always deserve it.

I thank God for unexpected blessings and for unexpected bills. God is showing me more and more how much I need him. He doesn’t need me, I need him.! I thank God for the cross, for sending his son to die for me so that I could go to Heaven one day. I thank him for providing for me always and for his reminders. I thank God for his mercy, love, grace and understanding.

This week as you think of what the Easter Bunny may bring, don’t forget to reflect on what Easter is truly about and God’s love for us. Even though we were unworthy, God said yes we are worthy. It should have been you and me on that cross. We were the ones deserving of punishment. Christ went to the cross willingly and died for us because of His love for us.

A song I love is “Small as I am” by Nathan & Tonya Horton. It has been on replay on my phone. The words are awesome and describe how I feel.

SMALL AS I AM by Nathan & Tonya Horton

as_small_as_i_am

May God bless you this week and may you feel his overwhelming love!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Here are a few of my favorite songs that go along with this post:

Forever by Kari Jobe https://youtu.be/huFra1mnIVE

Small as I am by Nathan & Tonya Horton Scroll down to Our Testimony CD and the song is #4. You can actually purchase this song and/or the album from this site as well.  http://nathanandtonyahorton.com/store

Alive (from the Story) by Natalie Grant https://youtu.be/3AFpgzjRD44

Not Guilty by Mandisa https://youtu.be/S7fokl9riJ0

What a Friend

prayer

The past few days have been so trying on me. Nothing really bad has happened but a lot of little things just building up. My mood has been sour and I’ve been hateful. I went to the grocery this morning and was upset that I went over budget. It may not seem much but the end of the month beginning of the month is tight. A lot of things come out and we don’t have much wiggle room. I was upset and worried. I turned on my Pandora station and started putting away groceries. The song What a Friend we have in Jesus came on and I started listening to the words and the first 2 lines just spoke to me. I started crying and  because how stupid I have been for not taking every little thing to God. Then I started praising God because I can take everything to him in prayer. I was so overwhelmed with love and the presence of God. As I started writing this 10-12 doves were on my garage roof and most ended up looking at me.  I couldn’t get a picture of all of them as when 2 would land 2-4 would fly off. It just made me so happy. I love to hear doves. God gives us signs if we look for them. I know this was my sign from God that everything will be okay.

Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

This past week I’ve been lacking in my reading and praying. I’m thankful for the little things God gives us to remind us of His love and that he is here for us.

doves

WHAT A FRIEND

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

O, what peace we often forfeit, O,what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Check out the song by clicking the link below

http://youtu.be/8WbCjEBclEY

God bless!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Falling Short

Many times in my life I have fallen short. I’ve missed the mark. I’ve judged someone & given the guilty verdict without a fair trial. We all do it from time to time. That doesn’t make it right. Sometimes our motivation for the judgment is fear. The not knowing that makes us instantly put a stamp on someone.

falling short

It is hard to love everyone no matter what they’ve done. I have asked God many times, “How do you love everyone the way you love them?” In my mind I couldn’t possibly love the way God loves. God loves with PERFECT LOVE. I don’t love with perfect love. PERFECT LOVE casts out fear. (1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”) God can do what I cannot. I am not perfect. I will fail and fall short.

Thank God, that He can love us perfectly. He is the only one that can love us that way. When something bad happens to someone who has wronged me or someone I love, I tend to say they deserved it and feel a sense of satisfaction that justice was served. I am wrong to feel that way. Proverbs 24:17 “Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.”

Short-2

Ouch! I hate to admit when I am wrong, but I’ve been wrong. I challenge you to ask God to show you where you’ve fallen short and ask him to help you make changes and to love more like him. We’re not a perfect people but we’re loved by a perfect God.

I will pray for you all and ask God to help you. I ask him every day to show my where I’ve done wrong and help me to do right.

Love in Christ,

Iva Mae

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