It’s almost nine months to the day, since Michael was in his accident. Nine long months of visits and posts and prayers. In those nine months, I’ve witnessed God’s hand at work in Michael’s life. I’ve also seen it at work in the lives of his family and in those who have followed his story. In many ways, it’s been a painful, but incredibly beautiful journey. And through it all, I felt it was my part to share Michael’s story, in the best way that I knew how… through words and pictures. It’s been an honor and a blessing to share about someone that we love so very much. But it’s also been hard. Incredibly hard at times. Hard to see Michael struggle, hard to see his family struggle and hard to see the impact that an unforeseen accident could have on so many lives.
Last week, we drove out to see my family in Michigan. We took a much needed break after a long summer and for that I was so thankful. Because lately I’ve been struggling with sadness for Michael and the struggles that he’s had. It’s been a burden on my heart and for some reason was lingering. But all throughout the week, I slowly realized little ways that God was working in my heart. And looking back through pictures of our time away, I was able to see these ways even more clearly and so I wanted to take time to share them tonight. Here goes.
Consider the Birds…
While in Michigan, we got to visit with my 98 year old Grandma. She lives in an assisted living home now but is doing quite well. At the end of our visit, she showed us a beautiful cage of birds that were in one of the rooms of her home. Seeing those birds, I was reminded of my favorite passage in Matthew, where it says not to worry, because God cares for the birds so of course he will care for us.
God is so Good
My home church is big on singing and big on families singing together. So on the Sunday that we were visiting, my sister Leslie arranged for most of the Perry Grandkids to sing a few songs all together. Twelve of them got up to sing “Seek Ye First” and then they finished with “God is so Good.” Hearing those precious voices sing that God is so good, was a simple truth that my heart needed to hear. Even in the bad times that we will inevitably face in life, the truth that we believe is that God is so good, no matter what. And even though this doesn’t always make sense, it is something that I am so thankful for. God’s goodness constantly shows up no matter what is going on in this broken world.
So first of all, yes, I realize that this picture is of Christian who was tubing at the time and not water skiing. But the clouds were so cool in it, that it’s the one I picked. That being said, we spent a lot of time enjoying fun at the lake. My sister and her husband live right on Wolf Lake and recently got a fun new boat to pull everyone around in. This meant that we spent a lot of time tubing and water skiing.
Some of us (Jeremy) were better than others (me). But when it was my turn, it only took about three tries and just a tiny bit of water up my nose for me to get up on the water skis. I was kind of proud. But I may as well have been Peter, because when I was focused I did just fine, but when I started to look at the waves around me, I panicked and let go of the rope and bailed. And I fell. And it wasn’t pretty.
But what a reminder to always keep my focus. Yes, it’s easy at times to see the winds and the waves of life crashing all around us. But keeping our focus on Jesus, means that we can walk in miracles just like Peter who walked on that water to Jesus.
Growing up attending Sheridan Drive Baptist Church, I’ve always known the incredible blessing that a church family is. And it was so special to have so many of my home church family praying for Michael ever since the day of his accident. Jeremy shared an update on Michael on Sunday morning at our church and many people came up and told us how they were faithfully praying for him. It was so beautiful and such a reminder of how many people know and love our Michael.
God’s Work in the Lives of Teens
On Sunday night, church happened out at the lake. That evening, a group of teenagers shared about how they had served God that summer through doing backyard Bible clubs. It was such a beautiful thing to see, these teenagers who gave up their summers to serve. This particular girl had such a beautiful testimony. And it reminded me of how God works so incredibly when we give our lives to Him. It makes a difference not only for us, but for so many around us.
Sometimes I wonder how Michael’s story has affected so many. But then I am reminded of the incredibly way that he chose to live his life. He lived to love and serve others because he loved and served Jesus. And this made an impact on so many people. And Michael continues to make that impact and it’s just an incredible thing to see.
I came back from our trip refreshed and refocused. Instead of dwelling in my limited views of how things are, I’ve been encouraged to try to see things from God’s perspective. God continues to love and to be with Michael and his family. And I want to continue to do whatever I can to share Michael’s story and to show people that God is working good. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says so powerfully to stand firm and let nothing move you. It continues in telling us to always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord because we know that our labor is not in vain. This verse was a great encouragement to my heart tonight.
We saw Michael today. We had a small window before needed to get back to get the kids after their first day of school. Michael had just finished up with one of this therapy sessions and had about a half hour before the next one.
He was on the tired side. His grandma who was also visiting, shared that he had had a rough couple of days. As his body works hard to heal, there are things with his stomach that are giving him issues. But she mentioned a few times how much better he looked and for that we were thankful.
Michael’s hair is getting longer again and in many ways, he looks really good. He made soft humming noises a few times as we talked to him and we told him how nice it was to hear his voice. At the end of our visit we prayed for him and prayed for strength and healing and for God to work miracles for Michael.
And this is what we can continue to pray for. Michael is nine months out of his accident with six solid months of rehab. The truth of his traumatic brain injury, is that recovery is slow and it will continue to take time. But please keep praying for this time. And alongside of Michael, please continue to pray for his family. They need encouragement, strength and love as they continue to be by Michael’s side day and night. They continue to give themselves fully and we can continue to pray for God to work good for them and good for Michael.