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Friday, August 7, 2009

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives...Christy Nockels

When Christy Nockels faced the pain of multiple miscarriages, it gave birth to a deeper trust in God.
Modern worship leader Christy Nockels knows what it feels like to lose something precious, and she knows what it's like to have God show up in the midst of that loss. After three-and-a-half years of marriage, Christy and her husband, Nathan, who lead worship and perform as Watermark, discovered they were expecting their first child. It was 1999, and the young couple was over-the-top excited.
'It was a really neat surprise for us,' Christy says. 'I remember that year we were at the Passion conference in Ft. Worth, Texas. My parents had come to the conference to volunteer, so I made up a gift basket for my mom with some obvious 'Grandma' stuff in it, and that's how I told them."
Just a few days later, Christy lost that baby. She was 24 years old, and the miscarriage was scary and painful. The doctor seemed insensitive, Nathan wasn't able to be there at first, her body hurt, and her heart hurt even more.
"When I told my mom, she just cried with me," Christy says. "I think that is the most helpful thing sometimes, just to hurt with someone."
Later that same year, Christy got pregnant again and lost a second baby.
"When I went in to have an ultrasound that day, I remember sitting in the head nurse's office," she shares. "I knew in my heart that something wasn't right, but I was at peace for some reason. I looked over on the wall and saw this tiny canvas painted pink, with a little dried rose stuck on it. It said, 'Be still and know that I am God.' God can speak to our hearts through anything, and that was a huge source of comfort for me."
Friends and family rallied around the couple, and through the losses, God put a song on Christy's heart. She wrote "Glory Baby," and it was recorded on Watermark's All Things New album. The song touched women around the world and became a source of healing for many who have lost children. Christy and Nathan's losses opened doors of ministry, and the suffering actually drew Christy into deeper relationship with God and with Nathan.
"As Nathan and I began our healing process, this song began to pour out of us, and it was one of the most precious times in our marriage," Christy says. "This loss was when Nathan and I really became more 'emotionally married.' We became a better team. We cried together, we held each other more, and we realized the things that mattered most in life.
Christy says the miscarriages were also a wake-up call for her in the area of control. She realized that she needed to relinquish her plan for motherhood to God's timing. She did, and during the couple's first week of recording All Things New, Christy found out she was pregnant for the third time.
"I was by myself when I found out, which was really actually special for me. I ended up having a really neat prayer time with the Lord. I remember crying my eyes out and telling the Lord that if he chose to take this baby, too, that I would be okay with that because I had already been able to see that it was used for his glory."
Today, son Noah is five years old, and Christy recently made the difficult decision to put recording and performing as Watermark aside to spend more time with Noah and his three-year-old sister, Ellie, and to minister and mentor young women through tough times in their lives.
"Our losses give us a clear picture of how God uses sorrow," Christy says. "He allows things to crush us sometimes; he gives and he takes away. It is through those times that we see a side of his love and compassion that we might not have ever seen before."

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