Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Her Story

Have you ever had the privilege to sit and listen to someone who seems to have been put through the worst kind of hell on this earth, but who turns it all into a beautiful display of praise for her King? Well, I did this morning, and the perspective it has given to me is indescribable.

Michelle and her precious family have been at our church for a few years now, but back in early 2007, her sweet boy, her only boy, had an accident with a gun which resulted in his going home to be with his Jesus. For reasons so far beyond my comprehension, God allowed Michelle to be the one to find her 12 year old son afterward.

I can't even begin to tell you of the pain that went through our church like a tidal wave. It was such a devastation and our hearts ached uncontrollably for these amazing people. I never really got to know Michelle, but the amount of times that she has been on my mind to the point of weeping have been countless (and I am far from the only one).

Today, she bravely....oh, so bravely....stood before a pretty largish group of women and took us through her journey thus far. She took us through the trying times before that day (which were some very serious trials in and of themselves), and how God brought her family to our church knowing that they would need the support of it later. She took us through the accident and the raw emotion...the intense pain, the guilt, and the deep depression that followed. But all along, you could see how the Father's loving hands were holding her. Even in the darkest places, He was holding her and gently guiding and molding her.

Then one day, at one of the worst points, she says she was "dragged by her hair" to a women's retreat by her friend, where she stayed locked up in her room for most of it. Finally her friend asked her to come down and pray over her because she was about to speak, so Michelle reluctantly did, and then kind of "had" to stay to listen to the next speaker.

But just like God, He reached down and met her at the bottom of her pit, because one thing is for sure, He never-ever leaves His children there.

She said that as she listened to the speaker teach about the account of David and Goliath, a story she had heard 65 million times before, God gave her a fresh understanding. She was able to picture, with clarity, the utter enormity of the giant that was before the young boy, David, as he bravely spoke these words:

"You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...." 1 Samuel 17:45.

It was then and there that God spoke to Michelle and she realized that her Goliath was her depression and that God had given her the Rock of her faith to conquer it (she told us that she even carries around an actual rock so that she can be reminded).

She said that just as the Israelites ran scared of this giant, she was running scared of hers and allowing it to intimidate her because of it's massiveness. Then she challenged us to face our giants....to gather up our Rock and to stand boldly in faith because God has equipped us.

Which is why I am writing this all out, bloggy friends. Of course, I need to have this here for my own remembrance, but I also wanted to share this with you. Our Goliath's may not be as monumental as Michelle's have been, but they are real, and they can make us go bury our heads in the sand hoping that they will just go away. They won't. Even I can attest to that truth.

We have to be willing to step out in faith and BATTLE the things that the enemy wants to overtake us with....and the GREAT news is that we are already assured the victory. I hope you will chew on that for a little bit today.

Thanks, Michelle (even if you never read this), for your courage this morning. I can't even begin to tell you how it spoke to me...

17 comments:

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I love that no matter what the specific circumstances, God's faithfulness covers them all.

DidiLyn said...

I loved reading this. Her story, her journey and truth reach even beyond what she sees and helps and encourages God's people in places she doesn't even imagine.
Moms losing children....I can't imagine a worse pain.

Gotta GROW with it said...

ya know, all the bloggin i read and write seems so pointless and small at this moment. THIS here post is truly what this privileged tools is about. sharing our hearts and thoughts and encouraging one another on in our relationship w/ God.

i absolutely loved the sentence you wrote about how God never EVER leaves us in that pit.

as much as i love a good laugh and story about life as we live it, this was a great one for me today! thanks gayle!

carrie said...

that is heartbreaking. And so good of her to share how she's getting through it.

thanks for sharing it with us, Gayle.

Emily said...

ugh. Crying again. I'm so emotional lately!
What a total awesome lady. I for one am private, and it's hard to share junk with others. Often I just carry it around, so it's EXTRA brave to me...that she gets up and is real to everyone about her experience.

I have an only son. He's 12, and hunting for the first time this year. I was literally thinking....this could be me.

But I love how you phrased it, he went to see Jesus early. He would have went later....he just went early.

I wish I could hug her and bring her dinner. Even if it was a year ago. It's new to me.

Emily said...

does she have a blog?

Leanne said...

Wow.

I have a 13 yr old son, and I think my world would come apart if something like that ever happened to him!!!

The thing I read recently on another gal's blog is that there are no 'what if's' in God's sovereign timetable.....There is no such thing as premature death for those who are in Him and who love Him.

That sure is hard for the ones who have been left behind, though!

I admire Michelle and hope one day to do the same thing she did. I have a burning desire to share my becoming with ladies in a group setting.

Maybe someday, Lord.

Thanks for sharing that.

And if you EVER come here for a visit, you had better let me know so Gayle and Emily don't get all the fun!! Maybe we can have a girls night out....

LOVE
Leanne

Kent said...

You did a great job writing all that down! She truly is inspirational and courageous and I know we were all blessed to hear her testimony this morning.

Heidi said...

I hope none of us walked out of that room the same yesterday! She did such a wonderful job relaying everything that God has done through all of this...and you did a great job at recapturing it for those who weren't able to be there! Glad I re-found your blog :)

Duckygirl said...

What a powerful story! Knowing that God will never leave us in the pit is a reminder I think we all need to hear...thank you for passing this along to all of us!!

-Laura

Andrea said...

Thank you for writing about yesterday...I am going to link it to my blog, so that my private readers can "hear" it!
If that's OK?

Also, I love your writing below...so beautiful.

Halfmoon Girl said...

I have a few posts to catch up on here, as I have been away for a couple of days.

Wow, this is a powerful one! Amazing, heart breaking story. There is a lady I know who had her 4 children, husband, and nephew drown in a boating accident. She is now in her 70's, and you would never know the amount of pain she must have lived through. Her demeanour is full of light and grace.

I will remember to pray for Michelle and her family. What a brave woman.

Lemire Enterprises said...

I remember when that horrible accident happened, I remember the horror I felt for Michelle (I only knew through your asking for prayer for her family, Gayle----and pray I did!). I am amazed at the grace God gave her to be able to stand before a group of women and share of her pain. I am grateful that He is giving her victory. I am so glad for her, also, that she has sisters like you who hold her up in prayer and share her pain whether she is even aware or not.

I am CONVINCED that one of the most precious ways God gives us victory in our battles is the prayer support of our brothers and sisters who recognize the necessity of it, and actually DO it.

You are one of the most important of those soldiers for me girl, thank you for standing in the gap for me in prayer so many times!!



Okay.....comment #2 - totally unrelated to this blog, but in the interest of time and the fact that I just glanced at your picture up in the corner and I know there is some technical bloggy name for it that has escaped me at the moment....run on sentence....where was I....oh yeah, I love that picture of you and recent or not, its not that old and I think you should leave it till you're 90. So there.

Holly said...

Wow--what a mighty Goliath for Michelle's family...and what a mightier God to help her "thus far." I will be praying for Michelle and her family.

We have a friend in Little Rock, whose son had that happen and he is still alive, and going to college with a bullet in his head. It was such a miracle.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I loved the story...I also love the fact that Michelle still carries around a rock to remind her...we all should because we all have our giants we shy away from or intimidate us which keeps us from being who God truly wants us to be....

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story! God Bless

~Beth~

Anonymous said...

Sweet Darling!!!! I thank God you were blessed by what our Mighty Lord has done in my life. I am completely humbled by the support and by the fact that He can use me in any way! What an honor! Thank you for your love and prayers. I would have never read the Blog if it were not for another Blogger who said that she hoped I was seeing the responses.... I had not seen or heard anything and this was such a blessing. I love you and the mighty power of your payers help to keep me strong in the Lord. I do have a blog, which I have not updated lately it is http://web.mac.com/mgoodner1/Site/Welcome.html.... I will be more faithful in keeping it going. Thank you for sharing ;-) love you!!!
Michelle Goodner

Anonymous said...

Sweet Darling!!!! I thank God you were blessed by what our Mighty Lord has done in my life. I am completely humbled by the support and by the fact that He can use me in any way! What an honor! Thank you for your love and prayers. I would have never read the Blog if it were not for another Blogger who said that she hoped I was seeing the responses.... I had not seen or heard anything and this was such a blessing. I love you and the mighty power of your payers help to keep me strong in the Lord. I do have a blog, which I have not updated lately it is http://web.mac.com/mgoodner1/Site/Welcome.html.... I will be more faithful in keeping it going. Thank you for sharing ;-) love you!!!
Michelle Goodner