Have you ever been in that place where you’ve wondered why God would give you something good if he was only going to take it away?
Selfishly, that’s how I felt when Michele told me that her cancer was back.
I believe I am innately a generous person and tend think of other people first– especially people who have cancer.
But in this case, not so much.
My first reaction was something along the lines of “Why do bad things always happen to me?”
Of course, I immediately admitted this thought process to Michele who instantly said, “And that, my friend, is why I love you.”
Michele and I met at a conference in early 2013. At the same conference we both met Crystal Paine and Renee Swope.
What happened over the next two days is something only God can do. We fell for each other. Hard. The four of us decided that the two days we spent together at that conference were not enough, we needed more time. And in the midst of busy schedules, tight deadlines, kids with special needs, and even upcoming surgeries, we all made the crazy decision to take four days and fly in from all over the county to North Carolina to set up camp at Renee’s house and dig into each other’s lives.
I mean, who does that?
It’s been a whirlwind relationship, and we’ve gone deep, fast. But what I’ve come to understand about Michele is that deep and meaningful relationships are not such an uncommon thing for her.
I’ll just go ahead and say it: Michele is special. I know this because she has impacted my life deeply and honestly and fully, and Renee and Crystal would say the same thing. And I know that many of you know this because she has impacted your life in some meaningful way. That’s why you’re connected on Facebook or read her blog because you know what the rest of us know.
Michele is just that special. (I wouldn’t let her read this post before I put it on her blog. You can see why. Michele would argue with the special label.)
She is special because she takes on the big things (kids, cancer, writing a book), scared but reliant on God. It’s kind of amazing to watch.
She admits she is messy and broken and needy, and God keeps showing up in all the mess and makes beautiful things out of it. And Michele then turns to the rest of us and says, “Hey, would you look at what my God did?”
Now she gets another opportunity to share God in the midst of her mess. Today she goes in for another surgery. And like all of you, I wanted a tangible way to show that I stand with her. We’ve offered to fly in and take care of her, but she insists that she has people that don’t require a plane ticket for that. So we are left to do the other holy work of friendship.
While others serve, we pray.
One thing that Crystal. Renee and I have done (along with other friends like Erin MacPherson and Rachelle Gardner,) is to find a tangible way to remember to pray. When I found out the news about Michele, I was with Erin and she had just given me a pair of Noonday earrings made in Ethiopia by women with AIDS. The earring were made out of reclaimed war artifacts and part of the proceeds go to families who are in the process of international adoption. These women also made bracelets. I bought up a bunch, and handed them out to the women who I knew would be praying for Michele.
I asked Michele if I could hijack her blog to talk to you, who care about Michele as well. Would you stand with me and Erin, Crystal, Renee and Rachelle as we pray for Michele?
Pray for hope. Pray for healing. Pray for peace. Michele would be the first to tell you, “I feel silly. There are so many others with such greater needs.” But I reminded her, “Hey we’re praying for them too. But it’s our honor to pray for you as well.”
You can order a bracelet or you can find your own bracelet, ribbon or anything else to tie to your wrist to remind you to stop and to pray for Michele as she heals.
If you would like to order one you can purchase them here. They come in a set of three for $39 or you can purchase an individual one for $15 in either orange or yellow.
Oh – and would you do one more thing? Whatever your bracelet (or wristband for you guys…) looks like, take a picture and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or on this blog to remind Michele that you are praying for her over the next six weeks. Please tag it #praying4michele And keep posting it. She isn’t going to be able to talk for a while, but she’ll be able to see all those who are praying for her and hoping on her behalf.
A fellow friend of Michele,
The links below help out some special international adoption families:
http://bit.ly/1nkDbBH With this link, money goes to Troy and Stevi’s adoption
http://bit.ly/1fc5Wdg With this link, money goes to African adoption, chosen by Jennie’s friends/team.
Praying for skilled surgeons.
Michele, we are gathering hands and linking hearts in prayer for you today. Lifting up your family, your surgeons, your strength, and asking Jesus to start the healing process in miraculous ways before the surgery even beings. You are amazing and we love you!!
You are loved, Michele!
Praying for a successful surgery and a quick recovery!
Praying for you today, especially. I prayed that God would give you peace and calm and take away any fear and that you would have an indescribable sense of His presence with you and with your family during this challenging time. Love you friend!
Kathi, LOVE that you hijacked Michele’s blog this way.
So far, I haven’t had the chance to meet her in person, but I feel like I know her. I am praying with you for our friend, Michele.
Have been praying for precious Michele, and will continue to be praying!! Don’t have my bracelet yet, but will post when I do.
Thank you Kathi for posting today. Mark & I prayed for her today and I love the bracelet idea and ordered a set today.
Praying for you Michele. I can’t WAIT to see how God uses this for your good and the good of the world! (Thanks Kathi for being such a good friend)
Here’s my tweet: I’m #praying4michele w/my wordsmith typewriter bracelet as reminder. Jesus restore Michele’s words! http://instagram.com/p/lxu0jwRpnL/#
Awwww… I LOVE THIS. And Michele, I am praying, thinking, and praying some more.
I bought my bracelet today and I will be praying every time I look at it…. what a wonderful idea… I have not seenyou Michele since about 1990/1991 (I think) We only were together for 2 years in college. Your impact on me was so meaningful, that 24 years later, I consider you a treasure to me. I was an unloved child, discarded, and alone. I was hurt, bitter, angry, and wounded…… and jealous, very, very jealous. Michele, you befriended me anyway….. and didn’t let go….. you took me home to your sweet family and they too loved me flaws and all. Your family is forever etched in my soul. In the Tretheway home there kind words, hugs, laughter, and love. Each day was filled with Christian music playing, or you at the piano, laughter and smells of yummy goodness from the kitchen. (Mrs. Tretheway, I am still searching for a sopapilla as good as yours.) Your family even took me to my first and only Gaither Family concert.
It is because of this that I wept of the news of illness and pain, and now I pray fervently for all of your family today. You made a difference to me all those years ago…. and now I hope my prayers make a difference in yours. I love you Michele!
What a precious post, Kathi. I would be honored to add Michele to my prayer list. I commit to pray for her. There is POWER in prayer and even greater power in COMMUNITY prayer. May we stand together as one band of sisters storming the gates of heaven for God’s perfect healing, for His ministering angels to surround her and hold her close, for His peace to fill her, for His strength to sustain her, and for His love to consume her.
Praying for you Michele and your family.
Though I don’t know you, and this is the first time on your blog, I am praying for you this morning. Praying for God’s healing, for His peace on your life, for His healing of any inner turmoil.