So Michael was always pretty athletic. And while he didn’t play any team sports in High School (he was quite committed to playing percussion in Band) he did play a few seasons on Eastport Bible Church’s Men’s Ironman Softball team.
Michael always stepped up the bat with confidence
And he was also a solid member of the OF (Out Field). They had this cool handshake thing that they would always do with their mitts at the end of each inning.
During his game downtime, he’d come and mingle with the crowd.
I loved this picture because it was from the year that Chris (one of the team’s managers) and Anna Sachak’s twins were born. You can’t tell because they were so teeny tiny, but one of them is in the blanket that Victoria was holding.
I have to say, it was always fun to go and watch the guys play Softball. Jeremy just reminded me that many times, he and Michael would ride out to the games together. It was the perfect time for them to catch up while driving out to the field.
And the thing that I always appreciated about our church’s softball team was that it was a great opportunity for the men in our church to get together and have a great time doing something athletic and outdoors. We always had men of all ages play. And at the end of every game, they would get together, sing a few songs and end the night with a Bible devotion given by one of the players.
And it reminded me of a few things that I had wanted to share tonight. Our Men’s Softball team was a great opportunity for Michael to find support and community from a great group of men from our church. Because if we really stop and think, I don’t believe that we were ever meant to do this life alone. And that is something that I’ve always appreciated in being part of a church community: The opportunity to live life with people that would be there for you, throughout life’s ups and downs.
In Hebrews 13:1-2, there is this great verse that talks about this idea of the fact that we are surrounded by a great crowd of “witnesses,” or people of faith that have gone before us. I personally feel that it may even speak to those people of faith who are currently around us, and who are both loving and supporting us through life. This then allows us to run with perseverance the “race marked out for us.” That phrase has always given me such comfort in knowing that God has a set plan for my life.
The verses go on to remind us that as we run, we need to keep our focus on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is the one that will help us. And it ends with this incredible connection to the fact that Jesus understands when life is hard because his life was hard too. It tells how Jesus endured the cross and scorned its shame and earned the ultimate prize of being victorious over death, and is now seated by God.
Michael has a race marked out before him. And in these weeks and coming months he will need that drive to have perseverance. And while I don’t know exactly how things will look, I do know that Jesus will be right there with Michael throughout all of the highs and lows of his journey. And I take great comfort in knowing this.
I really, really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with Michael, Sally and Sarah today. Michael seemed more relaxed today and it was so nice to see him and talk to him. He graced me with a few good focused looks today and a few strong arm movements as well. I was encouraged to see him move his arms more today with movements that I hadn’t seen yet. I love seeing these small accomplishments and am personally so proud of Michael. He had a pretty full day too because this evening, Jeremy was able to drive up with a church van half full with some of Michael’s friends. I’m so glad that they were able to visit their friend and also that they were able to be a strong support and “cloud” around Michael as he recovers.
Please continue praying for healing and for recovery. Word on the street is that Michael is making good enough progress to at some point soon move to a different room on the floor. It’s a great sign that he is indeed making advances in the right direction and for this we thank God. Again, he’ll have this upcoming week to undergo some different tests with the hopes that he will be cleared to have his next surgery so we can continue to pray for that as well. Thank you all for checking in tonight. And we continue to thank God for His steady hand in Michael’s healing.