I’m writing this in the early morning hours of your last day in the Stony Brook Hospital ICU. I truly believe that someday you will read these words so I can’t help but pray that I can find the right words for such a significant occasion.
Michael, I still remember the way that my heart dropped almost three months ago to the day. The kids had just left for school when Jeremy came home from church and yelled downstairs to the basement, where I was putting a load of laundry in. I ran to the foot of the stairs to hear him say, as he choked back tears, that you had been in a car accident.
We didn’t know much as we drove up to the hospital that morning. I prayed and prayers for you all throughout that drive. As we sat in a tiny consultation room off the ER, we’d learn that you had sustained multiple internal injuries. One of the hospital’s best trauma surgeons left another surgery to come and be with you moments after you arrived at the hospital. It would be the first of many surgeries to help get you stabilized.
And surprisingly (because it wasn’t really on the radar that first day), it was slowly in the next few days that we would learn more and more about the traumatic brain injury that you had sustained from the accident. We were so thankful when we learned that all of your internal injuries would heal. But we were also scared when we learned that it would be the brain injury that would hold so many more unknowns.
Years ago, I came across 2 Samuel 22:31. It was a simple verse with the most profound message. Simply stated it said, “As for God, his way is perfect.” It was a great comfort and encouragement throughout the years when difficulties would come. But I learned that it was most perfectly and most beautifully applied to times like yours. Because in reality, it’s been so hard to think that God’s way was perfect in your accident. But seeing all that God has done in these three months, and knowing all that He will continue to do, I know for sure that His way in your life, will indeed be perfectly what He has planned it to be.
One simple, but incredible way that I’ve seen God’s perfect way in the past three months, is in the response to people who have been drawn deeper into their faith and relationship with God through you, Michael. Over these months, there have been hundreds, even thousands of prayers prayed just for you.
You’ve come through surgeries and infections and fevers and swelling. Prayer warriors have lifted you and your family up during every hour of the day and night. In states all over our country and countries all over the world, people have prayed so many prayers and been drawn into their faith because of your incredible story and this is just one small part of God’s perfect plan as He’s been gloried throughout your life.
A few months ago, I put a call out. I asked for people to share their pictures of love and support just for you, Michael.
The response was beautiful.
From this church in Canada
To Emily’s YWAM Group in Mexico…
From the sweetest baby girl up in Alaska…
To my wonderful and sweet Hangtime friend Daniel Odell right in Manorville….
From your college friends in Michigan,
Ohio and Texas…
To these cool kids just down the road…
People all over have been sending in their love and support and prayers just for you.
So I took these pictures
And these ones…
And these ones…
And these ones. And many, many more and put them all together in a book just for you. Because as you start Rehab today, I want you to know there there are so many people who are standing strong with you. There are so many people who love you and are praying for you and are waiting to see God’s perfect plan in your life.
The verses around 2 Samuel 22:31 are pretty awesome and a pretty great inspiration as well for you as you head to Rehab. They say, “As for God, His way is perfect… He is a Shield for all who take refuge in Him… It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle… You give me your shield of victory, you stoop down to make me great.”
Michael, your family and your friends and your community and even quite a few people whom you don’t even know are all so excited for you as you leave for Rehab today. We are all trusting in God’s plan for you and in the promises that He makes to help you and strengthen you. We are all excited to see the great things that you will do! We love you so very much Michael!