Be Anxious for Nothing
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Iris and I met online in 2014 and connected as sisters in Christ right away. Iris is a wife to her high school sweetheart Mike. They have two children and Iris home schools along with their furry friend named Mocha who never leaves her side. As a health coach Iris is passionate about helping women feel great again.
When Iris first started coaching there was an unexpected plot twist that changed everything. Welcome iris and thank you for showing up to share your story.
Michele: Can you share with us that challenge, you went through the past few years, and how it affected your confidence?
Iris: I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and that's the diagnosis none of us want to receive. It comes with a lot of uncertainty.
I'm not going to lie that definitely affected my confidence, knowing what I was about to go through. As most of you know chemotherapy causes you to lose your hair.
Also, along with all the steroids, there was weight gain, and a mastectomy looming in my future along with medically induced menopause.
That all affected my confidence, how I looked at myself, and how I thought I was going to see myself in the mirror forever.
Michele: I can’t imagine what that would be like going through that and just all the uncertainty. The hard part is just wondering about the what if’s.
Iris: Yes, and my hair was always one of my favorite external characteristics and so, knowing that I was going to lose all that really terrified me.
When it started to fall out, I went to my husband and I said I want to shave it. I don't want to wait for the chemo to win, I want to be the one in control of this.
And we started cutting. I actually let my kids cut my hair and then I started to cut chunks of it off. Then my husband ended up shaving the rest of it for me and I actually discovered that I had a really cute bald head.
Michele Bowman: I know I remember, and I, you know you see some people's bald heads and everybody's looks different.
There are women, when you see them without their hair it's amazing. They're still beautiful.
Beautiful hair is not what makes them beautiful.
Iris: Yes, that's very true and I actually embraced it. I’ve struggled with some self esteem issues over the course of my life, but at the end of the day I do actually feel confident in who I am and how I look. I just have to remember God doesn't view me the way I view myself.
Looking back on it now, it was a blip on my screen and you know being bald really isn't who I am. It doesn't define who I am on the inside.
Michele: Amen So what is your best advice for women who struggle with insecurity? Maybe there's somebody listening who's actually dealing with cancer right now and dealing with what you dealt with. What would you say to someone with insecurity about their hair or their looks?
Iris: Honestly, I would say, remember who you are in Christ as a believer. I was raised by a single mom I didn't have a present earthly father. I believe the lack of a father plays a huge role in a woman's self worth. And I am very thankful that I did have a super close friend, whose father took me under his wing.
He played a huge role in my life. He was constantly telling me and my friend and his all his children how precious we were, how important we were, and how beautiful we were.
That definitely helped take or replace what I wasn't getting from my own father. But we as believers, have to turn to God to be our Father.
We have to look to Him as our friend and our Heavenly Father because he won't ever let us down.
I think of the verse Psalm 139:13 and 14 that says, for you created my innermost being you knit me together in my mother's womb I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made and your works are wonderful and I know that full well.
Michele: I love that and that that is such a great reminder.
I love that another man stepped in and said the right things to you, and God allowed him to be in your life. I'm definitely thankful for our Heavenly Father and that I can look to Him anytime anywhere and know that his love is greater than any love or anything I will ever experience on this earth.
Iris: Yes, yes, and we have to remember that our self worth should be seen through the eyes of God. We are a child of the one true King. We are chosen and dearly loved by Him.
Michele: Amen! Since you started serving Jesus, what is your favorite way to connect with and help other women in their walk with Christ.
Have you been able to minister to other women that have gone through cancer or going through cancer, because of your experience?
Iris: Yes, so I one of my favorite verses that I actually clung to during the cancer and chemo treatments was Philippians 4:4-7.
And it's actually a Bible verse that my pastor who just recently actually passed always shared often.
It says rejoice in the Lord always again, I will say rejoice let your gentleness be known to all the Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.
But in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I remember actually speaking to my pastor the night before one of my surgeries that I had during this journey, and I remember saying to him.
I'm not afraid. I'm not anxious. I should have been because chemo is something I never thought I would have to do. I'll never forget the morning that I woke up to start chemo I was at complete peace, I had zero fear I had zero nerves.
But I remember talking to my pastor and I said that verse is a command. It says, do not be anxious about anything, and I said, and that means chemo, and that means surgery.
I remember him just saying to me, on the other, line he said wow you get it.
And I was like I guess so. It's a command to me and it just has always stuck out to me. It was such a comfort to me during this time, but also I've been able to turn around and use that to encourage others who are going through this journey as well.
Michele: Can you tell us about your mission to inspire women to better health?
Iris is my accountability partner so I'm going to let her share what she is doing and about the mission that she has to help women.
Iris: Yes, so this sounds probably so cliche but I never knew what I wanted to be when I was growing up. I had lots of friends who always said I know exactly what I'm going to be, and they went on, and did it.
I have a business degree, and I did use it for a short time outside of college before marriage, but, honestly, my true, calling and passion in life is to be a wife and a mom. I absolutely love it. I love being able to stay at home with them and homeschool my children. I know time flies by so fast and they grow up and then they're gone.
When the opportunity of this health coach position became available I knew that I needed to jump at the chance to do it because it seems like a perfect fit since I am an encourager by nature.
I really think that that is my spiritual gift in this world, and I believe that it's something that we need more of, especially in the times that we're living in now.
Women need a friend and someone that they can link arms with to help them reach their goals. I get to help busy women feel great again by properly fueling and moving their bodies.
We can be confident, not just in how we look in the mirror but confident by who God says we are. confidence we can be healthy mind, body, and spirit. I get to teach and encourage women how to take care of their physical bodies, but also encourage them to work on the spiritual side of things
Be sure and connect with Iris Harvey on Instagram at www.instagram.com/irisharvey37