2 years

2 years ago this morning, we left CHOC with empty arms. Dark, broken, empty hearts. A blanket of sadness we fought to carry to the car, to pick up and share the news with our other babies. We made it through that day, the days that preceded and followed by God’s grace and mercy…His faithful presence and promises. The outpouring of love from our family and friends.  We clung to Him and each other in a way where I look back, and I honestly crave the depth of that dependence. On our Savior and eachother. I will never desire the circumstances that led us to that valley, but I look back and see a sliver of what Heaven must feel like. In step with our Lord, face down, worshipping God for the Holy, loving, God He is. Wholly trusting in His generous mercy by the second. Revisiting this day makes it feel like we just gave him his last bath, said goodbye, left that sterile cold room with some worthless trinkets. Voluntarily reliving the experience is something I deny myself far too many times. The dark desert of sadness is a place I fear going, I try to avoid as I never know how long I will be lost there. On some level I feel like in the moment of choosing to go ‘there’ I am choosing to forsake the many ways God has shown me His hand and the many good things that have brought Him much glory through it all. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times the loss crushes me without warning. But allowing myself to follow the trail that leads me to the memories of that day is opening a door into a place I am never sure I want to be left in.
So what am I doing today? I shipped my boys to school and did what south Orange County people do and went to the gym. Only to realize, of course, the class I intended to go to is tomorrow. Way to plan Michelle. The point in going was to avoid idle time. So, I sat down to write. Only to have two women sit next to me lamenting over shoulder surgery with the oh-my G**, and then talking about their church, to dropping f-bombs and ending the discussion with planning to ditch work one day and indulge in mimosa’s and pass out on a beach. Normally, I don’t judge. But when you claim church, the body of my Savior, or whatever church might mean to you, and then proceed to share that example…I struggle to not interrupt and tell you to shut it. It’s hard to see how God will use that. Oh…that’s right Michelle, 8 years ago, you were that hypocrite. And God used that wickedness and lack of respect to allow me to see the dirty rag of a sinner I was, and still am. So I prayed. And still judged. And then prayed.
Now, I plan on praying,  pretending to workout, going all crazy and getting a fancy coffee and if I play my cards right, maybe even shower. I will get my boys and head over to visit his grave, and probably sweat as its 90 something degrees today. Can you get it together California? I prefer 70, but can we stick with a happy medium?
I can’t help looking back at the past two years with joy, gratitude and peace. One year ago, God brought me through many complications, the threat of meningitis, 5 surgeries. I could not walk, didn’t know if ever would normally walk again. Running was a joke. Driving? Ya right. Readily accepted that was too much for God to do. I didn’t know if I would ever think clearly or be able to independently care for my children again.  Much like 2 years ago, I had no idea why God brought me there. I questioned if this was a gift or punishment, yet forcefully trusted that He had/ has plans. He chose me to take part in His plan, and as followers of Christ, isn’t that what we all pray for? ‘Use me! I am yours!’ I prayed that long before any of the trials rocked our boat. Looking back, I see the redemption He has given us, been kind enough to show us firsthand-to build our trust and look forward to the redemption He promises to give after death. He is the victor. Today, I rest in that. I praise God for giving me all you cherished family, friends, friends of friends, and people I do not know…to pray for us, love us, encourage us. You will never know how mightily God used you to help us walk this path faithfully, steadfast. He used you all to help us press on. We deeply love you. I want to encourage you all to give extra love to your babies-give them that chocolate bar. Put down your phone, computer, distraction and give them a cuddle. Search God’s Word for a promise, a new truth. He is ever faithful…oh is He faithful.

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  • Reply Kim June 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Michelle, you amaze me with your gift of words. I feel as if I’m in the moment with you. Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest with how you feel. You make me to desire to seek God more throughout my day and to cherish each moment he’s given me with the people he’s graciously put into my life. I’m praying for you today as you let yourself go to “that emotional place” you talked about. I’m thankful that God chose you to be his mom, so others could know about him, his life and how he helped bring others to seek Christ through your honest writings. Losing the ones we love make heaven that much sweeter… We get to see our Savior and our loved ones again… Thankful that we all have hope in our grief when we know Christ.
    Praying right now for you,

  • Reply Cherish Morris June 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for your honest, beautiful words. Thank you for being a great example of being a faithful Christ follower.

    I have to share this story…”Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” (Daniel‬ ‭3‬:‭26-27‬ ESV)

    The fire had not had any power over them! That reminds me of your story. You have trusted Christ through the furnace experiences of life and the enemy has not had power over you.

    Thank you for inspiring so many.

  • Reply Rebecca Snakowski July 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Hi Michelle,
    I don’t know you but I’ve followed your story with awe and curiosity. I watched your testimonial and have to say I’ve never felt more inspired by someone’s faith in the face of adversity. Right now I’m going through a difficult time and I know I need faith. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I got to learn about you and your journey. Hearing and reading what you’ve gone through had been making me think about God in a way I never have before. I’ve just felt so unworthy and I don’t know how to start. I hope you are still hanging in there and thank you for inspiring me.


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