4/3/06 Post from Michelle:

April 3, 2006 at 3:52 pm 33 comments

(from an email sent 4/2/06)

Quick thoughts as I have both kids napping at the same time.

I have never better understood that passage about abiding or remaining in Christ John 15:5

 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

 I never could quite grasp what to DO to abide. My experience over the last (not quite) 2 weeks has shown me that abiding or remaining in Christ seems to be less of what I do and more of what he does. I am content to be cared for by him and those who love him. I am content to leave my worries at his feet. I am content to digest his word of providence and encouragement. I am content to wait out his perfect plan for my family.

We are quick to do (and I am very grateful for this in regard to all who are so eager to serve and love me) but the Lord is showing me how to stop. And it is becoming my delight to see how he is meeting me, Mike, McKaela and Eli in this place. It hit me yesterday that I have been praying that God would be at work transforming and healing Mike's body at this time. Now I also offer thanks and gratitude for the certainty that God is working in his heart right now too. What better time for God to be drawing Mike closer to himself as he is free from ordinary distraction (apart from that regular shouting and finger wiggling).

Though Mike's eyes are closed, God sees through the dark. Psalm 139:11-14:

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

 May our gracious Lord be meeting you as you continue to faithfully lift Mike and our family up to his care. Thank you.


Entry filed under: updates.

4/1/06 6:30 pm 4/4/06 6:30 pm

33 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Julie Grimley  |  April 3, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t think I have ever read more evidence of faith these last couple of weeks than from your updates about Mike. God truly has surrounded you and your family with friends, family, prayer and most undoubtedly, His word. God has prepared you well for this and will continue. Our faith and prayers are with you all.
    Julie, Jeff, Joel, Chris & Ben

  • 2. Megan O'Connor  |  April 3, 2006 at 4:15 pm


    Your strength is so inspiring. I am continually humbled by the way that God is moving in this community, in that hospital, and across the nation. People are seeing this and people are seeing you and lives are being transformed. You and your family are such incredible witnesses to God’s goodness and grace.

    Mike is continually in my prayers, as are you and your beautiful babies. May God continue to work in you and through you, and may you continue to draw to His throne to find peace, rest, and comfort.

    Our God is good.

    Megan O’Connor

  • 3. Jen Whitney  |  April 3, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    my family and i pray for you and yours everyday and believe in God’s love. there is no need to tell you to stay strong, as i know you will. throughout all you stay strong in your love for the word, you are truely an inspiration.

    jen whitney (and family)

  • 4. Cathy Reece  |  April 3, 2006 at 5:35 pm


    We are faithfully lifting you and Mike up in our prayers. Your faith is rock solid and such a witness to us all. The power of prayer is mighty and I have never been so aware of that as when several of us gathered to pray for you and Mike. God is at work!

    “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)

    May you, McKaela, Eli and your famlilies feel our prayers and God’s love sheltering you and providing you with peace and comfort.

    John, Cathy, Brittany and David Reece

  • 5. Mike and Gina Drexler  |  April 3, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    We are praying for Mike and the family daily. God’s power in your life is an example and inspiration to us.

    Gina and Mike Drexler (YLSC Staff)

    Psalm 46: 1-2
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

  • 6. Amy Lucas  |  April 3, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    To be honest I don’t even know what to write. Your choice of words when you write are so thoughtful and expressive and such a great witness of a woman following God. Beth Griebel a friend of your’s who lives above me, and is in a small group with me at church keeps me informed and has led me to this web site. I just wanted to let you know that I continue to pray and think about your family every day-really every day! You are truely an inspiriation!!

  • 7. Jim Hudson  |  April 3, 2006 at 6:19 pm


    May the Lord continue to minister and bless your heart. He is using your strength to bring him great glory and I am very confident that yes indeed God is ministering to Mike’s heart during this time. I know that was true for me.

    Love in Christ,

    Jim & Susan

  • 8. Pat Spencer  |  April 3, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Once again Michelle you amaze me by your words of witness and strength!


  • 9. Robin Hersma  |  April 3, 2006 at 6:48 pm

    You are an inspiration! Your words are so true and such a beautiful example to all who read them. To God be the glory! It is so amazing to me how God drives home a point, I have been studying that exact passage in John at CBS. I know God is telling me to abide more. Thank you for your words. Please know you all are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Love you guys, Robin

  • 10. Linda and Marty Cuellar  |  April 3, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    God is truly present in you and giving you strength. Thank YOU for the inspiring words.

    Linda and Marty Cuellar

  • 11. Bob Davidson  |  April 3, 2006 at 9:08 pm


    Been at Timber Wolf last few days and amazed at the staff from all over who are sincerely praying for Mike. Many have asked me for updates and questions and my typical response revolves around your grace and peace. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  • 12. Heather Radzinski  |  April 3, 2006 at 9:10 pm


    Thank you for taking the time to share your heart. May God continue to change you and bless you. You are continually in my prayers.


  • 13. Chad and Melissa Perry  |  April 3, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    I have another hymn for you. “It is well with my soul” I don’t know if you know the story behind the hymn. It was written by a man, back in the time of DL Moody, who was sailing across the sea to meet up with his wife. His wife had survived alone a disasterous shipwreck where their daughters had died. The captain of the ship the gentleman was riding on knew the approximate place where his daughters had died. Upon reaching the sight the captian slowed the boat so the man could have a moment in honor of his daughters it is there he wrote these words.

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.


    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


    My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


    For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


    But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
    Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


    And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.


    Thank you for your resounding praise to the Lord who gives you peace so you may sing and say with all certainity it is well with my soul. I have been praying continued peace for you, Eli, and a bit more for Mike and McKaela.
    Joining you in a well soul,

  • 14. Julie Lawler of NPC  |  April 4, 2006 at 12:01 am

    And through grace, it is well with our souls. Zegarski’s – Your lifelong witness is so powerful, that even today, God would say, ‘Well done, good and FAITHFUL SERVANTS’ of each of you. Whenever I think of Mike, I always think of his bright eyes and welcoming smile. Even if his eyes might be closed, and his lips may be still right now, I know his total focus on God, he is smiling and looking intently at him and welcoming him into his heart more and more with each breath. Michelle, I pray for your continued strength and comfort, that God’s angels would surrond you as you take care of your 2 little cherubs, I have faith that Mike will make a miraculous recovery and the both of you will live to see the lives of younger generations of Christians you have helped to already bring to the Lord fully devolop into disciples of Christ.

  • 15. Gail and Phil Ebersole  |  April 4, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Dear Michelle, I will hopefully see you and Mike tomorrow with Denny Rydberg. I am so humbled by your testimony. I, like Bob Davidson was just at Timber Wolf and overwhelmed by the people praying for you all. I cannot tell you how true your words are of God working in Mike’s heart as well as his body. May you also continue to feel his peace and sustanance. Much love, Gail

  • 16. Bob & Pam Brittingham  |  April 4, 2006 at 9:04 am

    Please know that more prayer than you know is covering your husband. Just wanted you to know that we are with you out here in Maine….. Appreciate your willingness to bless us with your thoughts in these tough times. They are such a blessing.

  • 17. Laura Tarro  |  April 4, 2006 at 10:04 am


    Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you. So strange that all this happened on the same day that Hayley was being born. We found out a few days later via email. Jeff and I sat in our hospital room and cried (the nurses must have thought we were crazy), our hearts were really broken for you all–going through this. We’ve been encouraged with the improvements Mike is making . . . it’s a good thing he’s so stubborn! We wish we could come be with you, just know that we are thinking and praying for you all the time. Love, Jeff and Laura Tarro

  • 18. Jess Lucht  |  April 4, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Amen, Michelle! I am thinking of you and praying for you alot!

    Much love,

    Jess Lucht

  • 19. Carolynn Ballew  |  April 4, 2006 at 10:45 am

    Dear Michelle–You do not know me, but my children Jonathan and Katie have been attending wyldlife with you and Mike this year. I was very involved with YL as a student and was so thankful to watch them start this year. I told them that I did not know who their leaders would be but I knew they would be young, cool, and on fire for God. Their accounts each Thursday proved all my statements to be true. YL was the first place where I really understood what it feels like to be surrounded by Christians. I have appreciated modern technology(this website) more than ever these last two weeks as I have been honored and humbled to be in the presence of so many praying for you and again feel surrounded by so many Christians. Your story and all those praying for you are bringing renewed strength and faith to so many in their own lives–I am consanttly awed how Romans8:28 is so true–he does make good out of all. You are a servant that He is so well pleased and your faith speaks volumes and loudly to all of us as I know it is doing for Mike. One’s faith is truly the most evident in times like this. I am so thankful that He has blessed you with such deep faith as I am sure it is not only filling your spirit but your children’s as well. As I am a mother I am praying daily for Mike and his health, and I am also praying for you and your strength as a mother. And I will continue to do so. I memorized my first bible verse with my yl leader on a mt. in Colorado at Silver Cliff camp: “I can do all things through He who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 I share it with you today to remind you not only can you but you ARE doing what He is asking of you. Thank you my faithful sister in Christ for your faithful servitude–may God be with you each and every moment–I know He is!! Carolynn Ballew

  • 20. dave diller  |  April 4, 2006 at 10:47 am


    Misty and I are praying daily for your family. May you, Mike, and the kids continue to abide in Him.

    With Much Care,

    Dave and Misty Diller

  • 21. Meghan and Dan Orr  |  April 4, 2006 at 11:19 am


    I am so humbled and awed and blessed by you, and by this whole situation. Your faith and your trust is so beautiful to me. It is amazing how Christ’s love, mercy, power, strength, and grace are sometimes most evident in the situations that are the hardest. I am so thankful to know both you and mike. It is my priveledge to read this website and all these comments. Thankyou for your love of Christ. Prayers are with you.


  • 22. Emily Butryn  |  April 4, 2006 at 11:34 am

    My family and I are thinking of you, Mike and the kids every day. You amaze me with all of your strength. We are praying for all of you.
    Emily, Spencer, Jeff and Sharon Butryn

  • 23. Tricia Case  |  April 4, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Michelle –
    We want to assure you of our prayers for you and your family. We praise God for the peace that you have expressed and for the reports we read about for Mike. We love you guys and will continue to pray for you.

    The Timber Wolf Lake Staff

  • 24. Craig Gould  |  April 4, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    know that prayers are being sent from Alaska for Mike’s recovery. May the God of healing be your hope and the community of saints be your strength.
    we love you all.

  • 25. Jill Ferenc  |  April 4, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    The whole Ferenc family is praying for you in this time. We are truly amazed at your humble spirit and faithfulness, which inspires us to appreciate life so much more.


  • 26. Thatch Irwin  |  April 4, 2006 at 3:37 pm


    You have an amazing faith, courage and trust. Your choices inspire me. You are a foot soldier in the Kingdom of God. Wow. I hope and pray for Mike’s full recovery and for him to continue his mission. I will think good thoughts and say prayers for Mike, you, your family and friends.

  • 27. Bob Walsh  |  April 4, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    What a testimony of “abiding in Him”. Thank you for that, your obedience teaches the rest of us to “be strong & courageous” and to “not fear”. Please allow others to minister to you, that means anything! The community of believers around you will continue to pray–we love you!
    Bob & Heidi

  • 28. Bob Westrich  |  April 4, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Why do bad things happen to good people? Another question in the long list of questions I will ask when I am face to face with my Lord of things I don’t understand. Your faith and response to these events show your faith in God is built on rock, not sand. These stormy days have not shaken your foundation that God is good in all things. For that I am sure God is smiling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • 29. Mark Tait  |  April 4, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    You are such an inspiration to us all. Mike is being held up daily in our prayers. May you continue to grow deeper in your love for Christ.

  • 30. Struckmeyer Family  |  April 4, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    Our prayers are with you, Mike and the kids night and day. The two of you have always had a special place in our hearts. Your love of God has always inspired us and you were always there to lead our children to God. Please continue that wonderful belief. Kiss both those beautiful babies!
    The Struckmeyer Family (from St. John’s)
    Gini, Jerry, Matt and Katelyn

  • 31. Heather Schmidt  |  April 4, 2006 at 8:49 pm


    God has truly used you during this difficult time. May you feel His love and comfort and the love of the Christ community. We are praying for you, thinking of you and wishing you peace. May you know how loved you and your family are and that you can turn to any of us at any time. God be with you.
    Love and prayers,
    Heather and family

  • 32. Mike and Jess VanSwol  |  April 4, 2006 at 10:47 pm


    Your boundless faith never ceases to amaze and encourage us! We love you and are praying for you, Mike and the kids.

    Peace be with you,
    Mike, Jess, Sarah and Jake

  • 33. julie wachter  |  April 4, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    “…do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…the Lord will fight for you; you need ony to be still.”
    -Exodus 14:13-14
    Peace continue to be with you, my sister. You are a wonderful example of being still, and knowing that HE is God. Again, the strength of Christ through you amazes me. I love you, and cherish all that you are in my life, you and Mike and your children. I know the Lord is fighting for you, you and Mike and your children. Oh, to know the mystery of the ways of God. I will pray and agree with you that God is drawing Michael closer to himself in this time. May He draw us all!


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