almost 3/19/07

March 19, 2007 at 12:32 am 31 comments

i have had a busier week than i expected and haven’t been able to update.  Young Life friends throughout our division as well as friends at naperville presbyterian church have committed to praying and fasting while observing the one year anniversary of mike’s brain bleed and craniotomy.  the guidelines suggested were to fast from tuesday night to wednesday night and commit mike to prayer throughout march 21.  anyone, anywhere is more than welcome to join us.  i know that there has been no limit to the number of people in places too numerous to keep track of who have kept mike and our family in their prayers throughout this year.  thank God for that.  this is simply another opportunity to have a renewed hope and focus as we approach the anniversary.  in addition to that, friday is mike’s birthday, and saturday is the benefit concert in the south suburbs at my childhood church featuring sarah vandrunen.  mike’s parents will hang back at the house saturday with mike while the kids and i enjoy the concert and fellowship.

specific prayer requests going into the anniversary week…

mike is talking more since thursday than i remember hearing since last june–at least a few phrases and sentences a few times a day which is incredible, encouraging and praiseworthy.

mike continues to moan and complain of discomfort while in bed or in his wheelchair.  it is difficult to ascertain how to help him find relief.  we simply rely on repositioning and massage but these are only bandaids and often don’t help much if at all.

 i feel inadequate to help him with his pain and get quickly burnt out on his harder days.  last night i stayed up too late and then mike woke up uncomfortable a few times moaning.  i come downstairs and do my best to pacify him but lose lots of sleep when i wake up every hour.  that kind of night is rare.  but a hard day is less rare and i feel worn and torn when i struggle between his needs and the kids and the other unignorable details of our lives.  i feel guilty but sometimes ignore the moaning when i have done all i can and try to preserve my energy to continue serving all parties.  the guilt haunts me.  *this is not something i feel great talking about but it is certainly a subject worthy of prayer–basically, how do i strike a balance between preserving myself and attending to his sometimes bottomless well of need for me.

thank God for our daytime caregiver, don, who is patient, respectful, caring and diligent, and the AABCORP agency which provides him to us 7 hours a day, 7 days a week.  pray that nothing hinders this situation.  pray for don as he also struggles to keep mike comfortable and tend to his pain and therapy.  when he is here i shift that load of responsibility and psychological strain onto his shoulders.  then i praise God for the break.

pray for our kids.  mcKaela has truly come a long way from the major panic attacks which began last march but she still sometimes experiences an unreasonable amount of anxiety when separated from me.  she also remains attached to her pacifier at age 3 and a half and i have no heart to remove the few securities she has latched onto.  she has an almost frightening understanding of parents’ mortality (from all those morbid disney movies where no family goes unscathed) and i believe this fuels her need to control situations.  our church children’s ministers are patient miracle workers but some days with her can break my heart to leave her wailing.

praise God praise God over and over for the precious, invaluable relational time our kids do get with mike while he is home.  the three of them smushed onto his bed while i repeatedly flipped a sheet over their heads like a parachute this afternoon.  it was as close to wrestling with them that mike could get with their waving hands and uncontrollable giggles.  it is so little compared to “normal” life, but it is so much.

pray for this coming year, even this coming spring, for smooth opportunities to coordinate transportation and mike’s moods to get him out of the house and into the world–like heading to a park or museum or something.  outings are daunting but i think they could be huge blessings.

please pray too for mike’s time with friends and family.  lately we have been able to host our small group bible studies so that mike can listen to the discussion.  he usually falls asleep before we are done which i am sure is due to the late hour and not the entertainment quality of the group.  i think this is great to be able to keep him included but it can be hard visiting or spending time with mike with little verbal affirmation, no matter what the circumstance, group or no group.

finally, pray for mike’s basic progress.  he speaks just a few phrases a day and they often require some effort to decipher.  he is mentally sharp as far as we can tell and in a sense is a prisoner of his own weak body.

he still moves his arms very little and legs not really at all.

he is susceptible to infections and loses so much progress when he does get sick.

we are hoping to be infection free for 6 weeks to be eligible for neurosurgery to put the plate back in his skull.  any head surgery is a good subject for prayer.

wow, that seems like a pretty solid list of prayer requests.  thank you.  more than you can know.  more than i can ever successfully convey for prayer.  it is by far the most valuable gift we receive.  thank you.  may the time you spend on us ultimately draw you closer to the Savior, too.

amen, michelle


Entry filed under: updates.

3/13/07 11:30 pm 3/22/07 6 pm

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brett Hersma  |  March 19, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Thank you so much Michelle, for setting the stage in how God will work this week. May the Lord choose to work in all of us; but specifically for every member of your household as we bring these requests to Him. God hear our prayers, and do your mighty work.

  • 2. Laura Tarro  |  March 19, 2007 at 9:34 am


    Thanks for all the updates . . . it’s helpful to know the good and the bad so we know how to pray. I have felt a lot of frustration for you all in the last few months–the infections and the repeated hospital visits that seem to slow down his progress. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to deal with all the calls you have tugging on you. We are praying for your strength–you have exhibited a lot of grace and courage to all of us in the last year. Supernatural strength–we pray the Holy Spirit would continue to minister to you as the primary caregiver for your family.
    And we pray, pray, pray for Mike. I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be for him–he’s such an active guy and communication is such a big part of his life; he’s got to struggle with the loneliness that comes without being able to express himself fully. We pray that God would give him patience as his body undergoes a transformation.
    And for your sweet kids. I’m glad that they are able to have Dad home with them–still it must be hard to not be able to interact as much as they would like. We pray that God would use this experience to impress on them the great love he has for them.
    It’s been a long year. We think about you and pray for you often. We look forward to the day when Mike can tell us what he’s been thinking about all these months.


  • 3. Mitzi  |  March 19, 2007 at 10:13 am

    We continue to pray and not lose hope. You guys are always in our thoughts, praise, and requests to God. As I was reading, I had a thought about McKaela: It sometimes helps to leave something with her for her to ‘take care of’ – your keys, something you always wear, anything you would ‘have to’ come back for – it can help kids feel like they have more control over you coming back. I know this is one of those situations you have probably already tried everything for – she will be in my prayers. (I agree, by the way, about the Disney movies: there are multiple studies on the psychological ideas and effects; still we buy them, though – they are cute). Continue to remember the resiliency of children. The most important thing is that you are there, Mike is there, and you do come back. As far as your guilt – maybe think of it as the oxygen mask in the airplane. You have to make sure you are able to take care of everyone – and God is here to do the rest. I continue to be amazed by you and thank God for you. We look forward to watching what God will do even in the coming months. Love, Mitzi

  • 4. Emily (aka "Little Barrett")  |  March 19, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I like “to do” lists — they help to make overwhelming situations seem more controllable. A prayer “to do” list like this is perfect. I have printed it out and will be working on it!

    Thank you, also, for your honesty, which cannot always be easy for you. It gives much insight, however, to those who care for all of you. It helps us to better understand what is happening. It has also made me much more empathetic and aware of other families who are/have gone through similar situations. Through your willingness to share, I have learned a lot.

  • 5. Heather Schmidt  |  March 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Please know that we will pray for you and your specific requests especially this week. May you feel comfort in our Lord, peace that He is caring for every need and strength when you feel you cannot go on. Thank you for telling us what you need. We are here for you in any way that you need. God Bless you and keep you safe in His arms. I will especially pray for your kids, I cannot imagine what this has done to them (good and bad), and know that Anna can always use a “little girl” to play with. You are welcome here anytime. Take care.

    Love and lots and lots of prayers,

  • 6. Gwen Hubbard  |  March 19, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I feel like I can offer real encouragement. Addy sucked her thumb for a very long time. When I was stressed about it our wonderful pediatrician told me to leave her alone, it comforted her. I remember a kindergarten friend told her only babies sucked their thumb and Addy just glared at her. So there, one less thing for you to be concerned about. If only, all your concerns could be reasoned away. This morning I read an article about transformation that is taking place as we wait on God. Oftentimes you can’t even see what is happening. Our prayer is that much good is happening that we cannot see. We will be praying for everything you mentioned. Thanks for putting it all out there. Gwen

  • 7. Janelle van Beek  |  March 19, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I have not commented for several months but wanted you to know that I am still checking your site regularly and keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers. I will especially be remembering all of you during the coming week. May God continue to sustain you with his presence and peace that “passes understanding.” I have been reading a book by Chip Ingram that provides wisdom for difficult times. It is called “Finding God when You Need Him Most.”
    It might be an encouragement to you as well.

  • 8. Clay  |  March 19, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Michelle – you are a truly unbelievable inspiration to all of us, as myself and many others have said before. You’re the greatest testament to faith that I’ve ever seen…All I have to say is that I will continue to pray and think about you guys all the time…know that you are loved by us all and we really appreciate you sharing with us with everything that is going on. You are teaching us all more than you will ever know. God bless.


  • 9. Cathy Vitale  |  March 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Dear Michelle:
    I know of you from Mike and Lynn Zak and heard of your incredible situation in our small group. All I can say is God bless and keep you and your beautiful family! I pray for your encouragment and strength as God works through yours and Mike’s lives. And thank you for being such an incredible example to me in my walk. I pray for a miracle in Mike’s life and yours. God bless you! Much love!

  • 10. Debbie Dixon  |  March 19, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    United in fasting and prayer with thousands nationwide. The one year anniversary brings me back to the verse from Romans shared early in your journey: Romans 12:12- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. May this busy week find you and your family at peace resting in the arms of our faithful, loving Lord.

  • 11. Debbie  |  March 19, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    You and I have never formally met, but I know of you and Mike through Young Life. Thank you so much for your openness in sharing your journey with us. Each time I read an update from you, I feel overwhelmed by what you must endure day to day. Yet each week you inspire me more with your ability to handle what comes with such grace and courage. As bad as life sometimes gets, you never waiver in your faith or love for God and your trust in His plan. The anniversary of this life altering event must bring about a myriad of emotions. Thank you for sharing some of them with us and for allowing us to pray for you, Mike and the children in a very focused way. I know you know this, but there are so many people out here who don’t know you personally, but who are praying fervently for all of you. May God continue to give you strength and provide miracles for your family. May He ease Mike’s pain, and allow some “normalcy” back into your daily lives. May He provide people in your life to help you when you feel frustrated, burnt out and exhausted. May you continue to allow us a glimpse into your life so that we can continue to support you in prayer. God Bless You

  • 12. matt  |  March 20, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Mike and Michelle,

    Words sometimes so inadequate for certain moments, but I will try to portray to you all what is going in my heart and mind after reading your post on this night:

    Thank you. Thank you for your lives. Your hearts. Your wisdom. Your love for others. Your courage. Your love for God. Your honesty. You have touched my life personally over the past year in ways you could never imagine.

    Your hope at the end of the post was for us to draw closer to God in the midst of our time spent focused on you all in prayer. I can not help but relate to you that through your words and prayer for your family with my wife that I have indeed been brought closer to understandiing the heart of our God. It is so big. In some ways I would compare reading your hearts through the posts as a sort of book of Psalms. Every time I read a post, I am reminded of the ups and downs of daily life. Of David trying to understand what God was doing and what the future held. I see in your hearts a longing to understand this the heart of God and that makes me want the same thing for me and my family. I want that raw honesty, the vulnerability, and the courage. Your lives inspire me.

    So when I pray tonight know that I am hopeful. I am encouraged. I am glad that I have caught a glimpse of our God through you. I will pray for these needs. I will pray for your family. For Mike’s healing and relief of pain. I will thank God for all the wonderful things He has done up to this point. But I will believe in a big God. A God that is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine. I can’t help but remember a year ago. I am in awe of our God. I can’t imagine the emotions that are going on in you, but I know the ones that I am feeling. I will pray and I will thank our God for his love. We love you guys and miss you.

    Matt Margaron

  • 13. Brent Phillips  |  March 20, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Michelle – sorry Summer and I kept you up so late Saturday night, but it was a blessing to get to be with you and Mike and the kids. Cole always has so much fun too! It was such a joy to get to hear Mike talk through the mumbles as we chatted away about everything in our lives. Thanks for always listening and giving such sage advice to my lame problems. I suppose everything is relative, but you have never given me the sense that I was being foolish and are gentle and kind within your ability to tell the hard truth! Summer and I love the four of you very much!
    Blessings, Brent

  • 14. Kim Schutter  |  March 20, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you so much for being so real. We are lifting each of you and all your needs up to God.

    Lord, may you do mighty mighty things for Your glory and the good of this precious family.

  • 15. CarolSue  |  March 20, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Hello Michelle,
    A year is such a long time. You have been so faithful. I am amazed and awed by the way you have perservered. I am going to be praying specifically for you. I totally understand when you talk about the guilt of not knowing how budget your time to do everything and be everything to everyone. It is such a hard place and I pray that God will give you His peace, and that you will be so in tune to His Spirit that prioritizing will be an easy task. Don’t forget to take some time here and there for yourself and time to be with your Lord too, or you will burn out. You are truly glorifying God with your life.
    Blessings for all of you, Michelle

  • 16. Ashley Loan  |  March 20, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Thinking of you all so much. My prayer time for you, Mike, McKaela, and Eli happens consistently as I drive 45 minutes outside of Denver to my internship in Larkspur. I pray that God will continue to give you the strength, energy, protection, hope, and grace you need for each and every day. Thank you so much for sharing the hard stuff, Michelle. May you feel the Lord’s grip.


  • 17. Julie knott  |  March 20, 2007 at 10:24 pm


    I am praying for you and your family as I have been since I heard about Mike’s aneurysm. I am so glad he is more alert and awake now and at home with you and the chlidren. I really feel your frustration with the pain Mike has to endure with the muscle spasms. I will pray about this for you that his doctors may see an insight to help you treat these more aggressively if possible. I am sure they are doing all they can. I know you have plenty of input but if you feel the need to ask any other questions via email I may be able to answer and do check my email frequently.
    Julie Knott MD

  • 18. Suzanne Riddle  |  March 21, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Good morning, Michelle. Have begun my day with focused prayer for you, Mike and your precious children, according to the items you mentioned above. I praise Him for the faithful witness you have been for me and so many others. I believe you have seen God with your own eyes throughout this past year, and have so encouraged so many of us. Praise Him.

  • 19. Chris Theule-VanDam  |  March 21, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Our YL community in Michigan is in prayer for all of you today.

  • 20. katie and dick  |  March 21, 2007 at 10:22 am

    mike and michelle,
    our love in christ to you. we pray today for every request that the Lord put in your (michelle’s)heart to list. we agree with all comments above, and focus on our redeemer and healer in confidence that He is mightily at work in each and every area you mention. i picture Him with His arms around His children as they run to Him in faith, and know that He is doing far more than we can ask or even imagine.

    grace, and peace
    katie and dick

  • 21. Alan Wolf  |  March 21, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for your postings keeping us involved with Mike’s recovery. God has taught me much about being persistent in prayer. God has taught me much through your words and experiences. We will continue to persist in prayer for you, Mike and the kids. On this anniversary, I continue to see God working both through you and Mike to affect other’s lives for Him as you both were before the injury. We look forward to the amazing things the Lord will do Mike’s life and in your life also!
    Alan & Amy Wolf

  • 22. mike and lynda  |  March 21, 2007 at 11:01 am

    We are wrestling with God for you guys. You continue to make us laugh and cry with your reflections. God has done incredible things through your family already in this past year. We will keep praying.

  • 23. Brad and Tyke  |  March 21, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Hey Michelle,

    Tyke and I are observing a “fast” for the day-So Mike is on our mind with every grumble of our stomach-which at this point is about every couple of seconds! so this is good! God Bless

  • 24. Greg + Jen Field  |  March 21, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Mike and Michelle,

    Jen and I are praying for you and your family today, we miss you guys and love you dearly. Michelle, know that although the pressures and stresses of this time are beyound any of us, we are all on your side. God will keep you strong and bring you calm among the storm. Don’t let the anxiety build, know that, “When I said “My foot is slipping, you love , O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” Psalm 94:18-19
    Mike, (Michelle could you read this to him for me) I miss you buddy. I can’t wait to walk side by side with you again, shoulder to shoulder, laughing, talking, enjoying our friendship, the memories that we’ve made, and making more along the way. Stay strong Mikey, and remember, in the Lord ALL things are possible! Oh yeah, “Go Dayton!” Love you bro. Greg

  • 25. Rob Engelhardt  |  March 21, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    One year ago today, in the early afternoon, I had just finished voting and as I left the polling place, ran into Mike Marcey, who, himself, had just heard and broke the news to me regarding Mike. I was speechless and immediately began to pray. Well, I haven’t stopped. Checking this site quickly became a daily habit. While I couldn’t join the fast today, I continue to pray for you all as things work for your good in accordance to God’s perfect timing and according to His perfect plan. For His glory, Rob

  • 26. Vicki McDonald  |  March 21, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Mike and Michelle,
    May today be all that you need it to be today.

    May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy
    Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams
    tonight and conquer all your fears.

    May God manifest himself today in ways that you have
    never experienced.

    May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer and
    your prayers be answered.

    I pray that faith enters a new height for you,
    I pray that your territory is enlarged and I pray that
    you step into your destiny within the ministry.

    I pray for peace, happiness and true and
    undying love for God.

    Vicki McDonald
    (You do not know me, but I used to be involved with Young Life and I’ve been praying for you and your family. Michelle you are truly an amazing example of someone who is living a faithful, spirit-lead life. I am in awe of you.)

  • 27. Bob and Anna  |  March 21, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Zegarski family heavy on our minds today – Michelle – thanks for the detail and honesty – it helps with prayer and perspective. Your grace amazed me a year ago in the hospital and continues to do so today. We love you. Bob and Anna

  • 28. Matt Walker  |  March 22, 2007 at 11:42 am

    We’ve been thinking about you guys a lot lately. It’s always an eye opener and a blessing to see how you depend on Christ. Thanks for always pointing to him. Tell Mike Happy Birthday for us. Hope we get the chance to come and see you guys again soon. Until then we’ll be praying.

  • 29. Molly Winkelmeyer  |  March 22, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Mike and Michelle – I’m still praying for you and your kids. What a remarkable year it’s been as trials have come and the Lord has proved faithful time and again. I look forward to joining in the petitions and praises yet to come. I love you guys!

  • 30. Janice Rubin  |  March 22, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Mike and Michelle,
    Today a quote from one of Joan Anderson’s books made me think of the two of you.

    “Life is hard but it is not going to stop me from celebrating.”

    Thanks for all you do to spur us on to live a better life and “celebrate” while doing it.

  • 31. Cata Ingalls  |  March 24, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Mike and Michelle,

    Am praying for you all always and especially this week. I love the image of your kids under the “parachute” in the bed with you Mike. Just like God-he meets us where we are with his abundant joy in any circumstance. Thank you Michelle for the many specific ways to pray. Your children are certainly shaped by this event in their lives. In my many years of working with kids who’ve been though similar circumstances in their families,I’ve been able to see that they so often grow up to possess an extraordinary compassion for others no matter what abilities they do or do not have.

    PS Rob earned his Eagle Scout award this week. We are so proud of him.

    Much love,



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