Today, Michelle speaks to us about Sabbath, PlusOne Parents, and the life-changing moment she knew God was real.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: God has been highlighting Psalm 91 recently- one day a couple of weeks ago I had 4 prompts to go and read it! I’ve been studying it more intently and understanding more and more what it means to rest in God’s protection.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Sabbath. It started with really protecting a day of rest, but now it’s turned into taking moments of rest throughout my day. I have a tendency to strive and practicing Sabbath helps me keep that in check so I abide instead.
“I have a tendency to strive and practicing Sabbath helps me keep that in check so I abide instead.”
Profession/Mission: President/CEO of PlusONE Parents, a ministry that helps single parents overcome overwhelm to rebuild God empowered lives and raise up a new generation.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? I wrote an abuse recovery devotional in which I share some of my story- it’s called Safe Haven.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up in church but never really had a relationship with God. I was afraid of God and was always performing- following the “rules” and checking the boxes- so I could feel that He would approve of me. But at 25, none of that was cutting it anymore. I was plagued with anxiety constantly and began to worry that God wasn’t real. I cried out to Him one night, “If you are real I need you to show me!” And in an instant, the peace of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me with calm. I knew at that moment that God was not only real but near, and my life has been different ever since.
“I was afraid of God and was always performing- following the ‘rules’ and checking the boxes- so I could feel that He would approve of me. But at 25, none of that was cutting it anymore.”
How would you describe Jesus? Jesus is love. He is the mercy and majesty of God, His grace and truth, in the form of a human. It’s just incredible to me, that we might have some glimpse of God living and moving among us, in ways we can’t otherwise understand. In our humanness, it is impossible for us to imagine all God is and does. But in Jesus, we see His goodness, kindness, and faithfulness in a way we can better comprehend.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? The darkest time in my life was during my divorce. I felt so broken, so worthless, so disqualified. But in that season, God showed me that He did not see me that way- I heard Him call me, “Daughter,” for the first time. Little by little, I began seeing His redemption of my story as it unfolded. In the process, He has continued healing me, restoring me, and setting me free. I’m not the woman I was before.
“He has continued healing me, restoring me, and setting me free. I’m not the woman I was before.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Consistency. The quality of our relationship with God is something is directly related to the priority we give it in our lives. And we experience the quality of that relationship as shalom- peace with God that gives us a sense of well-being, wholeness, and harmony within ourselves and in our relationships with others.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I recently finished Strong in Battle by Susie Larson. Spiritual warfare is absolutely a real thing, and it’s so important that we are continually strengthened and equipped, that we would not fear but stand in the authority given to us in Christ.
Top three essentials: Bible, prayer, worship!
How did God speak to you recently? God is constantly speaking, but at specific points in my life, God has used cardinals to confirm things to me. They will show up at the most interesting times, and they always remind me that God is right there!
Hobby: Pilates. I love how it’s gentle but challenging- feels like I’m being kind to my body in ways my workout routines in the past were not.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Be in the Word – Even a little something, everyday. Jesus says that His sheep know His voice, and that’s how we train our hearts to hear Him. Be with God’s people – We all need spiritual family. Being in community has been especially huge for my kids and I in this season of life. Be still – So often we get so wrapped up in our own thoughts and ways of doing things. When we get still with God, He gives us what we cannot possibly strive for on our own.
Favorite person in scripture? Oh, so many! But I really love Ruth. Her story shows just how abundantly kind and generous God is, and what can happen when we are willing to leave behind what we know and trust Him to come through for us.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to know just how kind and compassionate He is. So many of us have been hurt by people in ways that have caused us confusion about who God is and who we are to Him. I hope people see something in me that makes them dare to believe that maybe there’s more to God than they have previously believed!
How do you engage with your community? We do life together. Family dinners, working on projects in each others’ homes, prayer nights, kids’ playing together, serving together, etc. We really are the hands and feet to one another and it is so beautiful to have a group of people I know I am accepted by and can be myself with.
Favorite holiday? Christmas has always been a special time for me and my family.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Domestic violence. The Bible condemns it and God hates it, yet so many victims suffer in abusive relationships because they receive unbiblical advice that favors the perpetrator. 2 Timothy 3:5 could not be clearer about how we are to deal with abusers: Stay away from people like that.
What does your morning routine consist of? Coffee and quiet time with the Lord, including a Bible passage and prayer. In my prayer, I ask God to show me what He has given me grace to complete that day, that I would not spend time on or worry about completing things He hasn’t called me to that day. Then it’s on to breakfast, getting the kids up, and getting the day going!
Define Christianity in a sentence: Living the Way of Jesus, to become more like Him.
For more Michelle:
Until next time, keep witnessing!