Season 2 Episode 4
Title: The Joy in Grief
Guest: Ebie Hepworth
Co-host: Anjel Murphy
In this episode we hear from Ebie Hepworth as she unpacks the joy that can be found in the midst of grieving and how it increases our capacity to trust. Ebie opens up about pregnancy loss, what it is like to experience diagnosis after diagnosis, and other hard seasons of life that have invited her to understand the importance of grieving and joy that follows it.
Ebie shares about her process with transitions throughout her life. Transition changes throughout the seasons of life, it’s always growing and evolving. For Ebie, the crucial thing to transition well is allowing your heart to grieve. The definition of grief would be to fully mourn the loss of something, relating to transition, even if its beautiful and good (like marriage) there is still a grieving of a season. Transition is often hinged on processing grief well. Grief is a willingness to be quiet and sit with the Father, and prioritize being quiet with Him. People are often afraid of what grief will pull up, but the ability to let your feelings rise to the surface and talk to Jesus about them is how we can handle transition well.
Grief tends to grow things with more efficiency, more vulnerability and honesty- it becomes a fertilizer to these beautiful things. If you can learn how to fertilize your transition, your joy, your pain, in grieving, we will be surprised at the fruit of that and how much we will trust Him.
Ebie shares how grief is an invitation to die daily, we have an invitation to trust him with whatever it is- a dream, a hobby, a marriage, a relationship -- theres a joy in giving these things to the Lord. He’s so close in pain and he’s so close in joy. She has often wondered why she has felt Him so closely in the midst of such deep pain and shares how she has experienced his nearness to the brokenhearted and finding Him in the death of things. You have to be willing to die.
Ebie jumps into how she has handled grief. Her and her husband have walked through many seasons of grief both separately before marriage as well as together in marriage. They’ve learned to not ignore their feelings, to talk about it and honoring their hearts.
They’ve grieved the diagnosis of their son, Asa. She’s learned how to grieve a diagnosis, with a lens of faith and also being honest and vulnerable with the Lord. Joy is a weapon, and so is grief. 2018 was the hardest year of her life, their marriage went through a lot that year. God is not nervous for us to ask the hard questions. There was a lot of deep heart work he did, grieving a broken marriage and a sick son, grieving her childhood, her professional life and what she thought it would look like, her insecurities, her lack of sleep, all these things she has asked the Lord to come and sit with her in.
Infertility has also been a five year journey for Ebie and her family. She never thought she would have infertility issues. Diagnosis after diagnosis, she’s learned how to be with God through every doctor appointment, every medication, every diagnosis. She’s learned how to be willing, how to ask God to move, how to invite Him into everything. Last month Ebie had her last fallopian tube removed, right when she thought she had a plan, it was removed. If you don’t process grief with the Father, you’ll look at a situation and say ‘that was taken from me’ but from the vantage point of heaven you’ll say ‘in his kindness he was with me at every moment’. When you have an ongoing ability to process grief with joy and with the lens of faith, you are going to have an increased capacity to be more obedient. With obedience comes favor. What Ebie is learning is that she can process grief healthy with God, but then there’s also a practical part of learning how to process grief with the people that she loves.
Ebie talks about how grief has affected her transition specifically with pregnancy and pregnancy loss. You have to be able to be real with the pain, its ok to cry and its ok to be hurt. You have to take the time to process. The night before Ebie’s surgery, she went for a drive to the hospital, where the Lord told her he wanted to walk her through all the different times she walked out of the hospital with bad news and then to write vows to Him. He told her this was her battlefield and wanted to show her that in every moment he was victorious. He asked her to write a new vow that she would trust Him with her life. She looked at the battlefield and believed that no matter what happens she would trust him. Trust becomes a reflux in your spirit that you build.
He is so gentle to talk, to work with you, to show you how big He is. Don’t be afraid to grieve. Get people around you. In times of grief, give her your support and eye contact. Be brave enough to not feel like we can fix it. Joy and grief can be held in the same hand, at the same time. What we often would see as a test He wants us to see as an invitation. Grieving is an invitation to trust him and say ‘can you be here with me’.
Ebie’s shares how her trust has increased so much throughout this journey. The pain and the trenches, trust has been the only option. Deeper freedom, trust, and faith is the fruit of trusting Him in the deepest places.
To anyone going through grief: don’t ignore your feelings, but know the word of God triumphs feelings. He’s always inviting us to the Word. Being a woman in the Word has prepared her heart for the year she has had, for the joy and the pain. Do not ignore your feelings, but do not worship them, and know that the word will also trump feelings.