Tonight, we took a group of teens to shop for Operation Christmas Child. It was an opportunity for them to buy Christmas gifts for children in need and it was fun and it was beautiful. And it reminded me of two years ago when we did the same thing with our friend Michael. Michael was always so amazing and that year had teamed up with his friends Carson and Brian (who were actually both with us tonight again) and together they had a great time filling their shoe boxes.
We have so many memories like this. But sometimes, it’s these happy memories that somehow also bring pain. Maybe because they show such a contrast in knowing how much things have changed for Michael. Many times throughout this year, I’ve felt such sadness for all that Michael has been through. Like so many others, I’ve questioned why something like this would ever happen to someone as incredible as Michael. And lately, I’ve felt such deep discouragement knowing that Michael has been struggling even more with seizures and being in and out of the hospital.
But this morning, I had a great realization about the truth of Michael’s journey. When I woke up and clicked on Facebook, the very first thing that I saw was a post from Michael’s mom, Sally. In her post, she shared the struggles she and her family have faced as well as the questions and pain that it’s brought them. She shared that she is understandably exhausted and operating in survival mode. But at the end of her post, she shared so beautifully, the things that she has learned throughout this time through the people that God has put in her life:
Then I meet people..,, People of god who say stop trying to hold all the weight on your shoulders. Stop crying ! Remember who’s in control! Stop trying to do it by yourself ! Trust him ! Did you forget? Cast all cares on god . Trust him and everything will be ok!
Yes I have to remember! This is why michael is still here on earth ! And Why I am still standing by his side! Why people continue to pray for michael ! Because god is good and whatever plan he has for us will be awesome , perfect ! I want to Thank all those who help me remember what is true! I feel you are a god’s blessing! Thank you everyone for continued prayers and support!
Reading these words, I was so humbled. For months and months, I have prayed for Michael. I have prayed that God would work in his life. And while Michael is indeed going through some big challenges, God is indeed answering our prayers. He is working in Michael’s life, but even more he is working in the lives of those around him. Sally’s faith is incredible and God is giving her the strength that she and her family needs so much right now. This was such a beautiful answer to prayer and I wanted to share that it certainly reminded me that God is hearing our prayers and he is working on behalf of Michael and his family.
Please keep praying. Please pray for Michael and for God to heal him in miraculous ways. Please pray for Michael’s family… for strength and for peace and for their many needs. If you are able, please consider supporting the GoFundMe that is ongoing to help his family financially. But with everything, please know that God is hearing our prayers and that He is and will continue to meet the needs of this incredible family during this time.