4/12/06, 10:00 am (Letter from Michelle)

April 12, 2006 at 10:21 am 16 comments

Always so many fleeting thoughts so late at night, and so little time to sort them out. So here is a taste of what has gone through my head:

I visit the hospital mostly late at night after I have put McKaela to bed. It has been a gift to have quiet with God as I continue devotionals and also quiet with Michael as I read to him or sing or steal some room on his bed to be close.

1. Thoughts today consist of a nervousness of people seeing my pettiness. People seem a bit more impressed with me than I deserve and I remind them that God's grace leads and carries me. Any good is from such an inexhaustible Source. But I do get nervous that the part that is me might come through and catch people off guard. I am still enjoying God's peace and calm but be sure to assign appropriate credit, please.

2. In my quiet times I have been going through 1 Peter and hit 1 Peter 4:7-11:

… be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

As I read these words aloud to Mike and then tried to digest them I thought about the variety of talents and gifts so many have shared with us in these past weeks. The nurses and doctors certainly administer God's grace in a particular form (especially when coated in cough congestion, right?), and each meal delivered to my family testifies to another set of talents. I look out my window and someone is fertilizing my lawn, or delivering a green plant that celebrates life. My mailbox gorges itself on letters of love. And I am almost embarrassed that I check the website as often as anyone else to catch the latest prayer or scripture.

I relish the variety of ways God has creatively taught each of you to share his grace. Thank you. You each point me to praise. Thank you.

3. I pulled out Easter decorations in early March trying to figure out how to explain the connection of eggs with Easter with Jesus for McKaela's benefit. I stretched to emphasize that the eggs she was so passionate about hatching had to do with new life, and so did Jesus. Jesus came to give us new life, just like eggs remind us of new life. She is also currently obsessed with butterflies and cocoons so I wove them into the symbolism. After all, a caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly practically begs to be compared to Jesus to tomb to resurrection. Yet my explanations become deeper to me as I sit with my husband, seemingly buried in his own cocoon. And I wait longer than a weekend to see God bring new life to his body.

I pray that we would celebrate Easter, celebrate the sacrifice of the King this weekend, and wait in eager expectation. Each day, each victory, confirms the promise "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." (Philip. 1:6).

I read your cards and notes and letters to Mike every night. I am sure it speaks courage into his weakness. And reminds him of a Savior's love.

– Michelle

Entry filed under: updates.

4/11/06, 5:00 pm 4/12/06, 5:00 pm

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. KURT FEDERSCHMIDT  |  April 12, 2006 at 11:13 am

    MICHELLE I just am amazed how our Great God is speaking thru you and testifying to His presense through this painful chapter in your life in Christ. Having twice experienced the pain of seeing an immediate family member fighting for survival, I can remember how God made His presense know to me as I tried to struggle with my own emotions and truly gave me “peace that passes all human understanding” and allowed me and my family to grow in Him. Because of my own experience, I know of what you speak when you remind us to give all the glory to God! All of us who are standing with you through this trial are being truly blessed to see the witness you have given us and the response of the body of Christ as they rally to prayer and support. It is truly humbling to see what a powerful God we serve. I also want you to know that my mother and sister in Pennsylvania and their bible study groups are praying for you as well as my brother and his wife in Florida. We will continue to add our prayers to the chorus of supplications rising up to our Glorious Savior as this difficult journey continues for you and your loved ones and all of us who care about Mike and YoungLife. Kurt, Patrice, Karla, Michelle, Erika, and Kelly Federschmidt.

    Reply
  • 2. Sarah Naffziger  |  April 12, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Michelle,
    Seeing Christ in you & your family impacts me to my very core. Witnessing Christ, His power, His love, His peace, His goodness, His sovreignty through your words & actions during this trial continually move me to tears. Tears of why this happened. Tears of when is this going to be ok again. Tears of worry. Tears of praise. But never tears of WHO is making things better. Never tears of WHO is restoring Milke’s health or comforting his family. We know Our God is in control of every detail of this trial, & you continue to remind us & point us to our Lord & Savior, who we know is orchestrating all of the healing in Mike’s body & who is wrapping you in His love, sustaining you moment by moment. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Thank you for sharing your faith we us. It is moving beyond anything I can put into words. We love you & are so blessed by your family’s friendship. Brighter days are ahead.
    Love,
    Sarah

    Reply
  • 3. Mark Tait  |  April 12, 2006 at 11:40 am

    You are an amazing person. May God continue to work in your life. We are praying for you Mike and the kids daily.

    Psalm 31:7
    I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

    Psalm 94:22
    But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.

    1 Samuel 12:16
    “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!

    God is with you always,
    Mark Tait

    Reply
  • 4. carol matre  |  April 12, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    Michelle
    Today in my bible study we were to reflect on the last hours of Jesus’ life…His full surrender to the will of the Father and the willingness to glorify His Father so that they, the disciples, and we who would believe and place our trust in Him, would also glorify the Father. I love the part of Jesus that hasenough courage and love to warn those of us who love Him, that we would experience great trials, but only for a little while (James 1:2-8 and IPet. 1:3-9) so that we would grow up in faith through perseverence. I feel priviledged to walk along side you and Michael in prayer. God is being glorified, in the midst of this “light affliction”. The grace of God is tangible not only in your life but in Mike’s. No human words can explain it….it is felt by so many….believers and unbelievers alike…and God who is always at work to bring His glory and His kingdom from heaven to earth is doing it, and as we have eyes to see and ears to hear may the Lord of the Harvest see many come into His fold through this. God our Father is being glorified by the fruit of the Spirit manifested in your life…..and He is the one being praised. We love you and will stand to hold up your arms in prayer Michelle because we do believe, that when one part of the body hurts it affects us all. May the Lord Jesus Christ be praised!!!!!
    The Matre’s

    Reply
  • 5. Heather  |  April 12, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    I, too, am in awe of you. I know who gives you strenght and courage. I have never known you to be any different than you are right now. You may think your real self is going to come through. I think that person is who you are right now. God bless you. My heart breaks when I think of what you have to go through, but know that God has a grand plan and we need to be patient (be careful what you pray for) and willing to listen and wait for it. Words don’t seem to be enough to give you, but you let us know how we can help. We are with you just as Jesus is as you sit and pray and as Mike lays quiet. Thank you Michelle for being who you are and showing us Jesus each and everyday. We love you! Heather Schmidt

    Reply
  • 6. Stephani Holzwarth  |  April 12, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    hi Michelle,

    I am Seth’s sister and I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you and your husband and two little kids. I have a lot of time to pray these days because I am on a roadtrip with my boyfriend, Merlyn, and we are visiting the college I will go to next year (for nature filmmaking studies) as well as grandparents and friends. I don’t know why I have such a heart for you, but I do- it’s as if I know you well, rather than being a relative of a friend. I think it’s because having been a single woman for a few years, I was very in touch with how hard it is to find your mate, and it makes the tears roll down my cheeks when I know that you found your love and then even that isn’t the end of the search. I know we can’t hold on to anything in this life. I pray for Mike to come back to you to be the dad of his two kids and husband to you. I pray for your strength and forebearance during this as well, because hard things usually last much longer than we are prepared for them too, and please don’t worry about if you are trivial or petty sometimes- it is only human. love,
    Seth’s sister, Stephani

    Reply
  • 7. Jim Doyle  |  April 12, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    I must say that Linda and I are the ones ministered to everyday by Mike and Michelle. While they have been and will continue to be in our prayers every day, we read the web site and are ourselves so encouraged by God’s faithfulness and love shown through these two great servants of the Living Lord.

    The teaching point at Bible study this week was that regardless of our circumstances we should remain obedient to God. That starts with complete trust in Him and His perfect will. How timely and timeless that lesson from God’s Word and Michelle’s example is. For Mike and Michelle that is more than an abstract concept. We know God is faithful and will hear the prayers of His people. We join our prayers with our brothers and sisters in Christ for Mike’s recovery and for Michelle’s encouragement.

    Reply
  • 8. Alan and Amy Wolf  |  April 12, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve always considered Mike a very intelligent guy but after reading Michelle’s posting, I now consider Mike a certified genius for convincing Michelle to marry him. You are in our prayers multiple times every day.

    Reply
  • 9. Chris Theule-VanDam  |  April 12, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Michelle – We ran into each other at NPC this past Sunday, my wife, Arika and I were visiting Kirk and Ann Luttrell our good friends – who go to NPC. I was on the Centurion Project with Mike last year, and we’ve met at Castaway a couple of times – but only in passing – so I’m sure if you even knew who I was.
    Anyway – I just want to let you know that we are praying for Mike, you and your family, here in Michigan.

    Peace to you today.
    Chris Theule-VanDam

    Reply
  • 10. Mike and Mitzi Kalin  |  April 12, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    Michelle,
    Thank you for choosing God, every day, even every moment, through this time. I hear your fear of your “real self” coming through – it seems that through this experience God is bringing you closer and closer to that. Still, if you may feel times of weakness, God has provided you with all of us to repeat His word and His promises to you, to listen to you and to hold you up. It is OK for you to also lean on God’s body. It is up to Him, as we know, how He will choose to sustain you and Mike, and it is obvious so far that He has chosen to speak to you and hold you up directly – what an honor! I think of you and Mike and the kids and pray for you during the day and the night. When I was young, my dad had a close call with a rare disease, and even though I don’t remember much, I remember him being in the hospital away from home for a long time. I don’t remember being scared, though, and it wasn’t until I became an adult was I adequately able to understand how God saved my familly. Someday, as you and Mike tell your children about this experience, it is my hope that they too will see the glory, power, and special love for each of them for taking care of their family in so many ways. You are never alone in this. Mitzi

    Reply
  • 11. Leslie Swiss  |  April 13, 2006 at 3:29 am

    Michelle,

    WOW! You are amazing in God’s power as always. Even if you stopped being so strong in God right now (which I doubt-this doesn’t mean that you are not sometimes weak for that is part of being human) what God has done in and through would continue to be an amazing testimony to God and give HIM the glory and honor He so richly deserves! I continue to pray for Mike’s healing. I also lift up you and the kids today and other days as well. May God continue to be your refuge and strenght and may he continue to encourage you through His Body- The Church worldwide and HIs presence with you each and every second of the day.

    Love and Prayers-

    Leslie A. Swiss

    P.S. The outpouring of love and prayers, Michelle’s connection with God during this time, Mike’s improvements (due to God’s faithful answer to our prayers), and all else related to this trial continue to be an encouragement and challenge to me as I grow closer to God.

    Reply
  • 12. Beth Griebel  |  April 13, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Michelle
    Even in your weakest moments you are amazingly strong. You always have had incredible insight and wisdom in tough situations and you continue to show that now. I have no doubt that this comes from you walking with and holding the hand of the Lord. You are connected to the vine, apart from him we can do nothing. Continue to allow Him to give you the life, strength, wisdom and courage that He obviously has up to this point. Remember that in our weakness we are strong through him. I love you and miss you my sweet friend.
    Beth

    “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of the deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
    Habakkuk 3:18-19

    Reply
  • 13. Bob and Becky Williams  |  April 13, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    Michelle,
    We continue to pray for you and Mike.Reading the daily updates is something we look forward to as a family.May you feel renewed every day.We pray that Mike will progress daily on the way to a full recovery.May the medical team have wisdom and discernment regarding Mike’s care.
    Bob and Becky

    Reply
  • 14. Carroll Family  |  April 13, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Dearest Michelle,
    No day goes by without thinking and praying for you and Mike. Infact thoughts flood my mind all the time. I see all the daffodils in our yard and feel the warm spring weather and I am reminded of winter’s long wait to get to this point. I plant so many bulbs in the fall—but knowing that I’m planting hope. This difficult and painful situation with Mike seems like a season- I have cried out to the Lord and asked for his mercy. I think of how all our community kids need Mike. I pray constantly for Fred and Jill- they must be worn out from driving back and forth from Cinncinati. Christa has been crying at college and is worried and concerned. Brandon has kept in close touch with us and wants updates. Jenny says” It’s like they chose the wrong guy-why not the bad person, or mean or criminal–but not Big Mike.” As a family , we have been sharing our past highlights and memories of how Mike has be a loving presence in special ways to all of us.Mike recently called Christa at college asking if she wanted to work on Summer Staff- He keeps in touch with his Flock. Mike never gives up on reaching out–extending God’s grace. You are in our deepest thoughts and in our hearts. I pray that God’s peace that passes all understanding will hold you steadfast. Love & Care, Nancy

    Reply
  • 15. Lucretia Gorter  |  April 19, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    Dear Michelle,
    I stand in awe of the wonderful things that God is doing through this. Please know that I join everyone in praying for you all. Thanks be to God for using you and for sharing your heart with all of us. May He continue to pour blessings upon you…Lucretia

    Reply
  • 16. Mary Lou Fry  |  April 22, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Dear Michelle,
    My husband, who several years ago was bitten by a dog and then suffered septisemia, was also placed in a drug induced coma. He recovered, and only later did I learn of the many strangers who prayed for us. I now have the privilege of praying for you and your family. This verse brought me comfort and encouragement::

    Isaiah 41:10
    So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    Yours in Christ, Mary Lou Fry

    Reply

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