I didn’t recognize the number.

Texas. Who would be calling me from Texas?

I ignored it, let it go to voicemail, quite certain it would end up a wrong number. Minutes later, I listened to the message. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

What followed that long-ago October Wednesday included a return phone call, a surprise invitation, a stomach twisted up in nervous excitement, a whirlwind conversation with Troy, and a plane ticket to Sacramento, CA. Over the next 48 hours, I scoured scripts, memorized timelines and bios, and packed a suitcase to California. And on that Friday night, cheered by new friends, I climbed a dozen stairs in front of an audience of 11,000 to smile and shout the following words to an arena filled with Jesus-girls:

“Welcome to Women of Faith!”

What. A. Night. I’ll never forget it. The weight of my responsibility as emcee. All those beautiful faces looking up at mine. The thrill of hearing thousands of women’s voices lifted in worship. It was surreal, beyond imagination. Which is why I couldn’t help but wonder if the phone call two days before had been fluke. I had so little experience, so little to offer. Why did they call me? Wrong number? Probably.

Even so, I leaned into it. You see, eleven months before, I’d first heard the word cancer. I knew the sacredness of a life. And I understood that rare and unexpected moments required embracing, savoring. Not second-guessing. So when I found myself on the Women of Faith platform, it wasn’t so much a dream come true as a moment to take the grave clothes off. Like Lazarus, I’d been resurrected. And I planned to give my life back to the one who saved it.

In the years since, I’ve tried to do just that. Sure, at times I’ve grown distracted, numbed with busyness just as before. I’m still fully human. Even so, l think back on that October day from time to time, think about the wrong number that turned out to be a calling. It wasn’t a fluke, God, was it? It was YOU. Jesus standing outside my tomb, telling me to walk out and live. 

Two weeks ago, Monday, July 14, my phone rang yet again. Once again, I didn’t recognize the number. Once again, I assumed a wrong number. Once again, I was mistaken.What followed was this:

Starting tomorrow night in Washington DC, I will be the new emcee for the Women of Faith 2014 tour.

I hardly know what to say. I’m just an ordinary midwestern girl who grew up in Illinois cornfields. I’m a wife and mom–living in a complicated family filled with in-progress people–who still doesn’t always know how to do this marriage and mothering thing. I’m just one more cancer-thriver who still wrestles fear to the ground every single day. I’m a mistake-making, friend-failing, I’m-sorry-saying, Jesus-loving woman who grabs for grace with both hands. Because she knows she needs it more than air.

It makes no sense to me that God would appoint someone like me for such a responsibility. These are shoes too big for my dirty feet. And, yet, I also see this next adventure as another piece of God’s Lazarus-sized redemption. For one simple reason:

Four months ago, I didn’t know if I’d ever speak again.

I can almost hear our Father chuckling, can’t you?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us … {2 Corinthians 4:7}

These next few months will be both difficult and beautiful. A calling’s path is seldom lined with hammocks and shade trees. That said, can I ask you a favor?

Pray for us. I’m fully aware of my humanness. Both my physical & emotional limitations, as well as the strain this will put on my family. Will you pray for my husband, as he cares for our children in my absence? Will you pray for my children, that they will feel secured by the love of a Father and two parents? Will you pray for my marriage, that we would continue to be bound together, in heart and mind and body even with the distance? And would you pray for me, that I would honor the God who saved me by giving him every cell of this one, feeble life?

From my heart, thank you.

One more thing: I’d love to see you. Women Of Faith will host 16 different events around the United States between August 2 and December 5. Won’t you come? Bring a friend or twenty and spend the weekend worshipping the God who redeems wrong numbers:

I’ll see you there. We’ll exchange wrong-number redemption stories and throw off the grave clothes. Because the One who saved us is calling us to live.

Have you experienced a seemingly “wrong number” that turned into a calling? Share it with us here. 

Get the Relentless Verse Download

When you need to know God is near, grab this free download of verses compiled by Michele and inspired by her new book, Relentless.

Thank you! I am excited to have you on board.

Get the Video Series in Your Inbox

You'll receive one video in your inbox for 7 days.  

Done! Check your email to confirm.

Get the 7-Day Video Series Delivered to YourEmail

You will receive one video per day for seven consecutive days.

Great! Check your email to confirm.

Let's Stick Together

 By subscribing you are agreeing to receive Michele's occasional blog posts, videos and newsletters in your email. Subscribers get exclusive access to her free premium resources.

Yay! Thank you! I am excited to have you on board.

Skip to content