loss

I think the most interesting thing about loss is the way each one is different. I lost my Mom suddenly in a car accident in 2006 and my Dad slowly through cancer starting in 2017.  And a month ago today we lost our baby in the womb to miscarriage. It is so weird to me to even type those words. Regardless of the different types of loss the main theme to me is how the rest of the world keeps going. Summer is rolling strong here in Missouri with trips to the pool and camp starting today. If you look outside its as if nothing even changed. But for me I am no longer pregnant, no longer looking forward to our “Christmas baby.” 

When we found out we were pregnant with our first baby I asked my husband, “Should we share so early?” Our first was our honeymoon baby and so I knew for sure when I was pregnant. I had never had my body feel quite like that so I knew for sure I was pregnant. Of course I got the test and took it and we celebrated. Right away my husband wanted to tell the world and I was more cautious. “Well, what if we lose the baby, then what we will do?” He just said so confidently. “Then we will tell everyone and those same people who celebrated with us will then support us. We don’t get to decide if the the baby will grow to a full term baby, God decides that.” Or something to that effect. I love my husband. I love his thoughts on things. But I thought he was slightly wrong, yet I still went along with it! So each of our babies we have shared pretty much as soon as we knew. 

So as soon as we saw the positive pregnancy test with number four we put a BIG SISTER shirt on our youngest and had her wear it around her 3rd birthday party! What a sweet day to celebrate! We felt surges of Joy to be having another Wick baby around here. It was just the kindest gift from the Lord! I didn’t always want to have another baby in all honesty. The year after my third was born was probably the hardest year of my life or at least of my motherhood and marriage. I had three kiddos 4 and under and almost all in diapers in some way shape and form. I was juggling a lot and to top it off my husband had three wrist surgeries that fall and couldn’t even lift our three month old. To say I was stressed was a complete understatement. 

The Lord might have asked me to consider another baby at that time but I was for sure not listening. But in the last year He had been putting it on my heart. I called this season a time of weakness and surrender. I was trying to come to a place of YES in my heart but it was a struggle. Most of my struggle was a harsh judgement against my motherhood. I have fought self-hatred deeply in my life. I was in a court of my own doing accusing myself and holding against myself every failure of my mothering. It really boiled down to “Why? Why would you give me another baby when I failing so massively with these ones I already have.” I guess I was not very convincing in my arguments. He had shown me areas where He wanted me to shift to kindness and gentleness. Areas where I had failed and He had forgiven me. But He wasn’t holding these things over my head. He tenderly told me. “I want you to see what I see when I look at you!” Just like a song I wrote years ago and the line says “Let me give you My eyes for just a minute so you can see what I see!” (https://music.apple.com/us/album/untold-stories-ep/1304662440)

So at the beginning of 2022 I said Yes and gave up my case against myself. I sat in some of what He wanted to tell me about me. He is so KIND and GRACIOUS. He is LOVE! By March I had given my full yes and we found out we were pregnant at the beginning of April! We took the kids and even saw the heartbeat on the screen all together! I then posted that video on social media and everyone rejoiced with us! We spent all of those weeks celebrating Baby Girl or Baby Boy as our daughter referred to the baby.  I had a sweet name of “Joyfilled Surrender” as a name for the baby since it had been such a wrestle to get to this place for me. I was pretty sick during the pregnancy which wasn’t completely unusual for me but it seemed a bit extra. But I am also 3+ years older than I was since last time I carried a baby. In complete transparency this time was marked for me by small hints that I may miscarry the baby. Little whispers that I wasn’t sure where they were from or even a knowing. I was encouraged to pray against them or to stand in faith (and this was not bad advice) but I also wondered if God was preparing me. 

In May I went to the OB with all three kiddos while my husband was at a meeting.  The doctor wanted a more detailed sonogram and then it was confirmed. The baby had stopped developing at 8 weeks. I was supposed to be 10 weeks along at that point. I cried all the way to ChicFila and cried at the table with my husband while my children played in the play place. But something shifted as we talked again about why we share early. And again he reminded me about how God decides. I thought it would offend me and make a unbridgable chasm between us. But it surprisingly comforted me and reminded me that God had been telling me this whole sick, stuck on the couch time that this pregnancy that I had wept for would not go full term. I had never even spotted during a pregnancy let alone lost one of my babies. 

I was surrounded. We started sharing with people and meals were brought and prayers were prayed. Again just like he said. The very people who rejoiced with us were now the ones crying with us. It was just stunning and I love the body of Christ! I mentioned in the beginning of this post that each grief is different. Losing my mom was devastating. I could barely function for the longest time. I was single and absolutely lost without her. But this grief I felt surrounded and prepared in a way that I just can not explain. I am also 41 and not 25, so that may have something to do with it. Am I grieving? Yes, very much but its been a very gentle grief that sweeps me up in moments.  Grief is honestly a mystery. I feel like I have a grip on it some days and then I acknowledge I know very little and every single persons story is different. 

The Sunday after I found out about our baby not developing I decided to go and sing on my team anyways. I felt like that was where I was supposed to be. And I sang a spontaneous song that just really described where I was at during this whole process. I want to share it with you and let you hear my heart before the Lord! 

Surrender Video

I am going to have to make this a two part post because I ran out of time to share about everything else. God bless you for reading this far. Please check out the Youtube video and reach out to me if you want to talk about grief, loss, Jesus, or miscarriage. I know so many people have lost loved ones and babies and I hope this blessed you! 

vulnerable

Where do you go when you are in pain, sad, frustrated, hurting. Who do you run to? I often run to food, send a voice mail, numb out on my phone. Last week I spoke at a conference and found the words tumbling out of my mouth. I challenged everyone listening to pause in those moments of grief and anger. Just stop and go to God. Tell Him about it first. Invite Him into the hard of it all. Now here I am with waves of grief hitting my heart being tested by my own challenge and instead I ate an extra cookie and muffin. But there was still a little reach in my heart. “Help…God…” I say at the sink as I load the dishwasher. I heard Him say in response. “Worship me.” So as I moved to the bedroom and folded the big pile of laundry I sang the song that literally carried me through my Dad’s death last year. 

“All my life you have been faithful. All my life you have been so so good!” And my 5 year old came in and started singing with me. I saw the ripple. An hour before that I had been laying on the couch searching info about something on my phone. My face mostly covered and not looking available. But here in my room I was weakly singing and folding and he joined me. What happened when I reached out to God. Something shifted. I think though my self -pity/victim rut often makes it even harder for me. (Not that I am the only one who struggles with that but it runs deep with me.) Because when I am hurting I do not want to work for healing. I want to hide. I want to tuck in and protect. It takes effort and work to reach out and be known. Be vulnerable. 

Eating my feelings has been a timeless way to hide. Intermittent fasting has been a beautifully exposing way to find freedom and to know God in the hard. (More on that in another blog, but I will say I started IF to lose baby weight and God 100% highjacked it and it has been one of my favorite gifts from Him!). “Come of out hiding and know Me. Know true comfort. Know the only one who can heal Your heart.” We can talk, declutter, read books and try and try and “do” all the right things to heal these hearts of ours. But I can attest to the little reach of my heart saying “God…help… I am hurting, I am mad, I am sad.” And every time if I let Him I am met by the Holy Spirit. Often I am challenged to find higher ground with Him. “Let’s do something different sweet girl. These things and ways are not serving you anymore. Let it go.” I hear Him when I let Him speak into the challenging places.

I promise seeking Him with a holy heart is the way to go. So today as Mother’s Day causes pain for some of us I know He is waiting to talk about it with us. Patiently present in the hard  moments. I have been just counting the wins. When I do not get angry about something ridiculous. Because those angry moments have a ripple affect too. They mark and hurt others, especially those we live day to day with. Who will still love us after but still what if we have. a part in changing the story.

Today I ache with the thought that it has been almost 16 years since I physically saw and hugged my Mom! That kind of separation leaves a mark, an ache. Death is so permanent. In some ways it does not hurt on the daily like it used to. But when it hurts it can sometimes catch me off guard and knock the wind right out of me. Then I can be cranky instead of vulnerable and tender. “God, I’m hurting. I miss her.” Simple prayers that change things. “I know.”  For years I honestly did not even know how to do this or even that it was so necessary. I was a push through and do it myself kind of gal. But when you find yourself married with three little kids and you are just yelling and you do not even remember why anymore you start getting desperate for a change. 

2019 was my hardest year of marriage and motherhood. But I have learned so much from that year. And I mean that. I have also learned I do not want to go back there. But I know what shifted more for me than anything else. The little prayers. “God help…” 

“Michelle, do you know that I love you, even like you right now. Right now in your hardest moment. I see you and know you even in this moment and I delight in you.”

“So you can come to me any way you are, every way you are. I am here. I will give you rest. I am what you need. No post, hack, suggestion, friendship, program can do what this can. Just you and me. Me and you.” 

Maybe you don’t hear God talk back to you when you pray those prayers of help. I had to delete social media apps for a season and turn off the YouTube shows I watched. Resist the initial urge to voice memo or Marco my friend. I had to get a little bored and uncomfortable. I had to read a chapter or more of my Bible everyday (I did and do miss days). I had to make space for His voice. Read His word to know what to listen for. Tune into His frequency to be able to hear more clearly. Let’s make space for His healing to flood in or drip in. However it happens I KNOW He will meet us in these vulnerable, weak moments. I have set my heart to not just invite Him or talk to Him when it is easy or makes sense. But in all the difficult moments when I just hid or muscled through before. 

For 7 years after I lost my mom I stumbled with this seemingly gaping hole in my heart. I longed to be healed from grief and immature decisions and just ached to be whole. I didn’t know as a single woman in ministry if I would ever get married or get to become a mom myself. But I decided to take things into my own hands. During a season of raising up partners for my ministry. I honestly stopped caring if I raised up financial partners (although I did need to pay rent and all that.) But I reached out to the ones who were willing to meet with me and said “would you pray for my husband?” Everyone I asked seemed excited to pray with me and many of them are dear friends to us today as a couple. I had to do something. I had to change my story. I couldn’t just wait and hope for something to change. And honestly the minute I started praying and asking for prayer my life changed forever. 

But guess what?? That awesome husband God gave me. He didn’t heal the hole in my heart. I know its a bummer. But its true. And he honestly doesn’t want that job either. I have tried to give it to him. (lol). Only these bit by bit prayers and invitations of weakness have healed my heart. It has a been a journey of healing and obviously its still ongoing! Let’s make a change! Be the change we want to see! No one can make my negatively go away! No one can help me ask God for help. But I know I can do it! I can change my family tree in this way. These little moments really are where all the difference is made! “Help God…” I would venture to say me crying out to God when I feel achy, broken, weak, angry, etc are His favorite moments with me. 

Let’s pray for ourselves!

Father of Glory, give to me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of your Son. Open the eyes of my heart. God give me wisdom on how to bring my pain and anger to you. Give me revelation on how You see me and who You say I am. Give me a legacy of healing and intimacy with you to pass to my children. Write a new story for them. A story of knowing You in every moment of their lives. Give us the Fear of the Lord. I love you and I am so thankful to be growing into love everyday! Meesch

weakness

This has been my theme this past season. We got the “big sickness” on Thanksgiving this and I just could not fully get back to myself for many months after. Each month I would find myself battling a head cold. And with a full schedule of homeschool, singing, and life it was frustrating at times. I prayed and asked the Lord to heal me. Others prayed. But in the midst of it there was a sweetness. His voice cutting through the noise, His love carrying me. 

I posted something on my Instagram one day knowing that some might misunderstand. But it was a risk worth taking to share with those who feel this constant weakness. (post here) He said to me “I want you weak.” Over and over I have felt His invitation to come to Him for the answers. There is something that intimacy with God can do that Google or your best friends can not give you. It may seem ridiculous to think that God has the recipe to the meal you need to figure out tonight. But He is waiting, longing for you to come to Him with all of your needs, cares, wants, challenges. Your weakness. 

I can not tell you how deeply I feel this right now. A call to my friends, especially mommas to take our questions to God. There have been shakings. There are more to come. We have to work this weakness muscle. Not just to get answers. But to realign our hearts and minds to the source. The source of peace. The source of true love. The source of wisdom. So when we feel these tremblings and others are scrambling to find steady ground we are not shaken. We may be weak but we are rooted. 

Let Him remove the excuses for not reading your Bible or taking time to sit at His feet. Put the first things back in first place. The every day devotion that will not always be glamorous or filled with emotion experiences. But He knows what you need. His word, His voice, His leadership. Fully submitted. He might even surprise you and tell you what He sees when He looks at you. This can be your foundation of life versus your list of failures and unfulfilled expectations. 

Permission to be weak. To not have it all together but yet walk out life with joy and purpose. I can not even explain how good it feels to be in this place. Although I warn you I am so tempted to go back to pushing against this place. As if worry and anxiety will keep the world going and will solve the problems in my life. I was singing on a set last week and after a bit of worship our chorus leader, Miha, started singing out of Isaiah 40.  I had just written in my journal, “Weakness” and I had written down all of the verses in the back of my Bible’s concordance under the it. I had written that word because once again I was feeling weak and decided to turn to the Lord and acknowledge my need. He answered so quickly. 

She sang this chorus “I shall run and not be weary, I shall walk and not faint.” And then she sang an oracle about it. Then Andrew added his own song. As we sat there in this sweet moment I heard this revelation drop into my heart. I heard the Lord say that when I choose to trust Him in my weakness that is a HOLY decision. Not only does it move His heart but like intercession it brings heaven to earth. It shifts things not just in my heart, my life, my family, my home, but it shifts things on more levels here on earth than I understand. So as we soaked in that moment I felt to release it in a chorus. I heard the lyrics and melody from my heart but it seems more from Him than from me. So sweet to me. 

Here is the full moment with Miha and Andrew: https://youtu.be/F3EO-RRpxj4

Here is my chorus on it’s own: https://youtu.be/mS2ZGcKHm5k

Then last night my 3 year old woke up crying around 3am which is not usual for her. She had a bad dream about dragons and so I brought her to my bed. I realized that a song was in my heart as I comforted her. I had tried to remember the chorus I had sang on but just couldn’t get the melody locked in. But here I was at 3am in the morning and I heard the Lord singing it over me. It really was His song all along. I love when that happens. 

“When you trust Me in your weakness, your doing something holy, your bringing heaven to earth, when you let go of fear.”

I can phone a friend, I can google it, I can try to process it with a friend, I can push through and try to ignore it, but our hearts are crying out for God! The source of life that never runs dry! There is not a planner out there that can stop this weakness and need we have for Him!  Be blessed! God is with you and for you!! 

Full set from that night is here: https://www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/#asset/event_site_68FBe1c2dE_9271_5118/auto/true

seasonal devotion

I am struck today with the beautiful fall stormy day. These are the days I long for a hot chai latte and a good book or time with Jesus! But I felt Him stir my heart today and say to me “I am not looking for your seasonal devotion!” Whew that really knocked the wind out of my Fall Lovin sails! I would say this is a weakness of my devotion to God. And I would venture to say I am not alone in this. 

Where is our devotion in the “in between?” After the 40 day fast or amazing conference? What about the longing to wake up early or read the word long into the night? Where is our consistency even in the mundane or the challenging seasons. I believe there is always something going on in the background but the Lord longs for time with us everyday of our lives. What about when I am cranky or I forgetting what He said to do? I believe this is where I have been derailed every single time in my life. Not knowing how to maintain devotion in the “in between” has taken me out more times than I would like to admit.

I believe this is why I writing today. The Lord is challenging me to see every single day the same. Every single season the exact same. As if they were stripped of all of the glory and the mundane and they were the same day. Get up, seek me, seek me, seek me, and go to bed. Repeat. I know some will see this as religious or too simplistic. But if this were my goal everyday then I could make it through the good, bad, and ugly. I can see success so much easier. I have been taught practicing the presence of God. I know how to talk to Him in the middle minutes of my day. I have not always had hours in His presence during these past seven years of motherhood. And even before that I did not always make time to seek Him or read His word. So here I am saying YES! I will seek you first Lord. No matter if the leaves are falling or the sun is shining or it seems like a good time to take a picture of my journal and latte. 

Every day is a good day to seek you. I am going to strip it all back. Simplify my imagination. Make it easy for myself. Today is a good day to seek the Lord and tomorrow will be more of the same. Until I breath my last breath! I am setting to love the Lord in normal every day no matter what. I will not love Fall more than I love Jesus! I will set my heart to not have any idols or any other lovers above Him! He is my one thing! 

Psalms 63:1 NKJV. “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”

I wrote this chorus one day a year or so ago and sang it into my “mini recording studio” as a someone called it recently. Aka my smart phone lol. And this past week I put some chords and more words to it. It is still a work in process. Enjoy! And God bless you as you seek Him first!