God is Love

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16 NASB



#30 Growing with Life: My Testimony. Part II

Growing with Life, Part I

About two days after my prayer, I went to the doctor for another prenatal checkup. The doctor and his assistant were surprised I still had the child. “You’re still pregnant? What happened to the (insert private medical issue here)?”

I beamed. They were happy, but still caught off guard.

On the heels of victory came the next battle. That same visit, we found out my next thyroid levels were only slightly lower—but still dangerously high. The next step was an ultrasound. Within hours, the doctor’s assistant called: I had a nodule on my thyroid and it could be cancer. I needed a biopsy.

After the call, I fell to the floor in shock. As the shock faded, I wept as I watched 1-year-old Chloe have fun. Matt sat next to me, staying calm and praying I was healthy.

August 17, 2015, the endocrinologist called with the biopsy results: I had papillary thyroid cancer.

As soon as I received the diagnosis, I traded baby showers for ultrasounds, nursery planning for blood draws, house prepping for doctor visits, and newborn photos for treatments. Our world turned upside down.

The first weeks after diagnosis were terrifying. Despite that the doctors said I would likely live, I felt quite the opposite. I saw my grandmother and mother in their final weeks as they died of cancer—it’s not how I want to go. I crumpled in a fetal position on the bathroom floor, pulling my hair, crying, screaming, and kicking a door in rage. I would cry at random times. Matt didn’t always know what to say, but he always gave me a shoulder to cry on.

I tried reading my Bible, but the words felt hollow and flat. I wanted to follow the Lord, but how could I when the living Word felt dead?

That’s when God stepped in again.

Desperate to feel normal, I went back to working on my novels. There I reconnected with characters who serve and trust in the Lord in life-or-death situations. They reminded me of great truths that opened my heart to reading the Word again. Though Matt and I both suspect others will be blessed by the story, he had said for years that he believed God gave me the story for me more than anyone else, and he was right: The novels gave me heavenly perspective and hope. I could relate to them in new ways because my life was hanging in the balance of my choices, too. That made it possible to read Scripture again. If not for those characters and the beautiful story they tell, I might not have sought God through cancer, and it might have claimed my life. (That is why I always tell people: “This book saved my life!”)

Then the Lord kept adding signs of His presence and care. Matt and I had been hit by financial blows, and there were things we needed and couldn’t afford. There were other things we needed and could afford, but I was too busy and worn-out to shop—and they were things that Matt wouldn’t know how to buy for me, like maternity clothes. We told no one about our situation and trusted God with it. Suddenly, people were coming out of thin air to meet our needs. It started when Matt came home one day, opened his wallet, and started placing cash—one bill at a time—on the counter until we had the exact amount we needed. He had tears in his eyes when he said that a friend had told him, “God told me to give this to Michelle and Chloe.” I cried, too! Over the next few weeks, we also received a big bag of clothes for Chloe, two bags of maternity clothes, and an exercise bike—all free! Then I was thinking about how nice it would be to get a play kitchen for Chloe. Seconds later, my phone sounded: “Would Chloe like a play kitchen?” It got to the point that Matt and I were no longer surprised. Every few days, one of us would say to the other: “So God’s giving us ____ for free. Should have it tomorrow/next week.”

This strengthened me for battle and to occasionally go against the doctors’ wishes when God instructed me to do something differently. (His sense of humor certainly came out now and then.)

Being that I had cancer and was pregnant, some doctors were more aggressive in their approach, and it took courage for me stand up for myself and what I knew was right. At one point, my thyroid stopped working. I had no hormone, though I still felt fine. They wanted me on thyroid hormone so I wouldn’t deliver prematurely. I said no to medication after praying about it. One specialist must’ve thought I was an idiot for refusing.  He lectured me, and at one point he broke out models and slide shows about the medication. Still no. God had spoken. Fast forward a few months, the doctors wanted to rush Lydia out because I was going so far past my due date. I had been eating a plant-based diet in an attempt to keep my and Lydia’s immune system strong since I was fighting cancer. Doctors were concerned my diet wasn’t “healthy” enough and Lydia would suffer in the womb. She was the first baby born at that hospital who scored a perfect ten on the APGAR in years with that particular nurse. This nurse never gives perfect scores, but Lydia—the baby the Lord saved from miscarriage—was (is) that healthy!

(Battle coming in part III.)

Michelle ~ “We love Him, because He first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19

Growing with Life, Part I

Find Behind Heaven’s Veil, Part 1: Emergence on Amazon!

Read FREE chapters here.


#29 Growing with Life: My Testimony. Part I

“The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Isaiah 35:1b

This is a story about how the Lord saved my life. 

In March of 2015, the Lord showed me a beautiful little girl. I couldn’t see her physical body, but I sensed the beauty of her heart. He asked me if I wanted her. I said, “Yes!” He told me her name was Lydia and whispered, “May.” I asked Him if May was when I would conceive or give birth, and He repeated, “May.” Seconds later, I resumed my study on the Book of Acts and spotted a character named Lydia! I didn’t know what year it would be, but I knew I would spend every May anticipating something until we found her.

The first weeks of that next May, odd things happened. I was nearing the end of a volunteer commitment with the Alaska State Troopers, and I was waiting in their parking lot for a trooper to pick me up. Despite the Lord’s warning (I doubted it was Him I was hearing), I stepped out of my hot car. I locked the vehicle so I’d be ready to go as soon as the trooper arrived. I was reading a book when I heard voices and saw (what looked to be) drug addicts—one male and one female—rounding the corner of the AST building. I knew they were the danger the Lord had warned me about. The man started hitting on me, and they were both asking for my name. My pepper spray and keys were in my purse, and the police building was locked. I told them to leave me alone twice, but my voice felt weak. The Holy Spirit fell on me and went out like a shield. I felt when He reached them, and He stopped them in their tracks. The girl turned on the guy and pushed him away from me, yelling, “She said to leave her alone! She probably knows cops!” They went out of their way around the building and out of sight. God snapped me out of the shock by telling me to get in the car NOW. I had time to dig out my keys and get inside and lock the doors. Minutes later, they returned to their path and walked by without noticing me. God is the only explanation of why they stopped approaching, why the girl turned on the guy, and why they left their path long enough for me to get in the vehicle. (I told the trooper what happened, but they were long gone by then.) I didn’t know it at the time, but I was pregnant with Lydia.

Days later, I started to consistently hear the Lord say, “I raise the dead.” It would happen at the most random times: while I was brushing my teeth, folding laundry, etc. The human part of me felt fear, wondering if this constant warning was a sign I was going to die, but my heart felt hope. Then the Lord told me to read John 11:37, where I found the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Then—just to really make the point—I looked through the bathroom window and found a bird in our backyard. It was mangled, its feathers ruffled. It looked like a dog had gotten a hold of it. I felt bad for it and ran to Matt; he told me he’d get to it in a few. I went back to laundry in the bathroom when I heard the Lord: “I raise the dead. Look out the window.” I jumped to the window and watched the bird rise to its feet and hop into the woods! I told Matt and, being that he’s a logical person, he said it had probably just hit the window. I insisted that it was dead, given its appearance and distance from the house. At first, Matt disagreed. But after all the other miracles that happened in the months that followed, (I think) he came around to see that the bird really might’ve been dead.

A few days later—still May!—I told Matt that Lydia was on the way. We were expecting our second child!

Now, given how wonderful of a person I knew Lydia was (and would become), I thought my pregnancy would be gumdrops and roses. We were in for a shock, because the Lord wasn’t only going to give Lydia life through this pregnancy—He was also going to save me from death.

Starting around mid or late June, only a couple of months along in pregnancy, I had a horrible gut feeling. Something was wrong. I wept and prayed, but God only confirmed my feelings. He put it on my heart to tell my doctor. So, during a prenatal visit, I told him something was wrong. He is a big believer in “women’s intuition” (though mine’s a gift from God), so he took it seriously. He informed me that my thyroid levels were extremely high, so he found it odd that I was so tired. I had so much thyroid hormone I shouldn’t have been able to sleep, but that’s all I was doing whenever I got a chance.

We agreed to re-do the blood testing to confirm that the lab hadn’t made a mistake.

While waiting for results, something alarming (too private to share here,) happened with my body. I called the doctor, and they said I needed to prepare for a miscarriage. I should make myself comfortable, and I should probably cancel Chloe’s birthday party that was happening the next day. I got off the phone and told Matt. We cried together, and he watched Chloe while I rested.

I saw a bird out the window and heard the Lord: “I raise the dead! You’re not losing that baby! Get up and get ready for that party!” Instantly, the medical issue stopped!

I started cleaning like crazy, and Matt asked what the heck I was doing. I told him what God had said, and he watched in marvel.

A couple of days later, I read a quote by D.L. Moody: “The world has yet to see what God can do through one person who is fully committed to Him.” The words shook me, and I asked the Lord to break me and rebuild me—to do whatever it takes to mold me into the person He wants. Into someone who is fully committed to Him.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Continued in Part II.

Michelle ~ “We love Him, because He first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19

Find Behind Heaven’s Veil, Part 1: Emergence on Amazon!

Read FREE chapters here.

(Image sourced from pexels.com. My go-to for photos that are generously shared without asking for attribution or royalties.)