As many of you know, Ben and I have been through a tornado of emotions and failed fertility treatments, as well as a miscarriage this past year. A week or so ago, we had negative results from our latest attempt. We had experienced the letdown of it before, so it was hard, but I had convinced myself that it wasn’t too big of a deal. Then we had to lead worship that Sunday morning. One of the songs on the list was “You are Good.” In rehearsal, I turned to Ben and said, I don’t want to sing this. I can’t sing this. Being the encouraging husband that he is, he said “we need to. We need to sing this.” He offered to lead it instead of me. When the time came to sing it, I was okay in the first 2 services. I wasn’t thinking about the words. I had imagined Ben doing a silly dance while I was singing so I wouldn’t really think about the words. Then the 3rd service came. I couldn’t shake it. I started to sing that song, struggling with each note, and honestly, with each word. To declare His goodness at that moment, was a major struggle. I didn’t believe it. I was mad. I was disappointed. Something in me shifted. I hadn’t paid attention to the words like that before. I mean, I had, but the conviction of the words, wouldn’t leave. We had to add a song last minute and it ended up being “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone” and the verse I always sing, came up on the screen. “The Lord has promised good to me. His Word my hope secures.” I literally thought to myself before singing it, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I struggled through that verse. I broke in the car after that service. It was good for me to face the disappointment and to still declare God’s goodness.
This isn’t a blog about me declaring victory in a time of defeat. This isn’t an encouragement to pick up the pieces and get back to work, smiling all the way. It’s an explanation of what worship is for me. Sometimes it’s easy and I really enjoy it. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s hard to sing those words and to lead others to the place of believing them. Did I believe them as I sang them that Sunday? Honestly, I didn’t. BUT what did happen was healing. Worship is always healing to me when I don’t realize it. It places me in a position of saying those things, of talking to my God, of being intimate with Him and my raw emotions. It was healing. He wasn’t offended by how I felt. I take comfort in that.
I tend to be a perfectionist concerning myself. I have unrealistic expectations, not for others, but for me. I just want everything to be in order. I don’t want people to hurt, so I try to fix it. I don’t want people to struggle, so I figure out how help carry the load. I don’t want people to go without, so I sacrifice things. This isn’t big on me at all. It’s to show that I don’t like the “yuck.” I want peace and happiness. I want to laugh and feel carefree. If something is broken, I want to help fix it. All of this sounds good, but it’s a resounding gong in my head. “STOP TRYING TO FIX EVERYTHING.” I even have this expectation of God to fix everything. Especially with the issue of having children. He’s able to, so why wouldn’t He just fix it. Well, Noelle, why can’t you just be still? To sit in the “yuck” and to feel the grossness? I’m not saying I can’t be optimistic. That’s my nature, but it’s vital that I be still and be okay with where I’m at because I KNOW my Savior has me. That’s what worship is for me. It makes me face the “yuck” sometimes and it makes me aware of His presence.
So here’s me. Letting it all out. Learning to trust God in the yuck, to be still, and not fix everything. To lay down my longings, my fears, my control, and sit with my God. He loves you. He’s sweet to us. He wants to hold us in the yuck, tears, and the really sweet and joyous times. You are loved. You aren’t alone. You’re His dream come true.
What great transparency! 🙂 Love your honesty in the midst of your pain. Cling to God, during this time, and continue to worship our Creator. God has something great in store for you and your husband, I feel it. Praying for your strength to endure ’till the end. You are blessed. 🙂
Awesome Noelle! You have completely purged your self of Satan’s trash he use’s to hold us back from being complete in God’s plan! Hang on sweet Girl! Set back and watch what amazing plan God has for you and Ben! I’ve had you two in my prayers! Love you two so much!!!!
I’m thankful for your blogging even though its painful in life right now. We attended a revival recently and one of the major things I took from it was that we all have a destination we are looking forward to. But for God and His glory to be seen by others, its more about the things that you deal with along the way and not necessarily the destination. While we may be hoping and praying to get there fast, His plan is for us to know Him more and for others to see Him in our lives. If our trials were easy, no one would pay attention. But, when we struggle and give him the glory, they only see Him!
I was also listening to a sermon online last week; It was a series called “Waiting Room”. The focus was on Acts 16 where Paul and Silas were arrested and thrown in jail for doing the work of the Lord! They sang praises to God. The gates fell down, but they chose to stay and b/c of this the guard came to know the Lord. The points I walked away with here this:
1. “What seems to be like a pointless or even painful “waiting room” may be God’s most productive work room.
2. Resist the urge to complain and fill your situation with praise! – This point can right along with your worship! I pray He continues to heal you and show His goodness through worship!!! Just like Paul and Silas chose to sing praises and glorify God, we can do the same when we don’t understand the “why”.
3. Preoccupy yourself with fulfilling God’s purpose rather than escaping your problem. – Paul and Silas used the situation to continue God’s purpose.
4. Realize that our detours are often God’s destinations. – Prison might have seemed like a detour, but it was actually God’s destination for them!
I hope I don’t sound “preachy”…my hope is that you take encouragement from these like I did. I love that you use your blog to share your trials and weaknesses so that God alone is glorified! He will (and is) doing mighty things for His kingdom through you!
What a profound picture of true worship! I have been through many phases of life where disapointment and despair flooded my soul and have chosen to do exactly as you stated! It’s great to hear you are leading worship and I will be in praying for your miracle! Big hugs! Pam Brown
Love you! What you wrote resonates so much with feelings I have been through as well – know what you mean and love your way of expressing it. You are such a tender, beautiful soul. Thank you for writing.
Noelle, thanks for sharing your heart. I’ve been extremely down today, and this read rejuvenated my soul. God does love us. We are his dream come true. His Word says that even when we are still, he fights for us. I’m reminded that I am not alone. I pray life over you and over Ben. I pray that the two of you will have beautiful and healthy children together. God loves your sincere heart of worship, and I do too.
Oh that holds so much truth. Thank you so much for sharing it, Noelle. 🙂
We are all right beside you with our prayers. I know you have to “let go” of those yuck feelings, but at the same time don’t ever stop dreaming. someday this will all make sence!
I know you know all the “stuff” so I’m not gonna repeat it. We continue to pray, and having done all, we continue to stand. I’ve seen it, and it will come to pass – It can’t be long as I want to visit you all in Tulsa… soon. Love you friend x
I know this is over a year past your post. I am working on a ministry to women who experience pregnancy loss called “Hannah’s Hope” and so I stumbled across your blog again today and read this post. I had a miscarriage in April of this year. I also lead worship every Sunday morning, and the Sunday after my D&C I did NOT want to be there. It was very hard for me. While I don’t believe God caused our baby’s heart to stop beating, I knew he could have prevented it, and it was certainly hard for me to sing on that Sunday. As you did, though, I worked through it, and read part of the Michael Card book “A Sacred Sorrow,” which was really helpful to me. I moved from being angry at God to seeing that Jesus is grieved as we are. I still don’t understand it. Anyway, I wanted to share with you because while I have not yet experienced fertility treatments, I felt like our experience was similar. Thank you for being brave and sharing.