I’ve been thinking a lot about my friend Michelle the last few weeks. She’s been gone for several years, and it makes me sad that she never had the opportunity to meet Ryan. I think they would have gotten along so well and I know in my heart she would have “approved” of our relationship. I met Michelle when I was in high school and she was singing with a local Christian rock band. I fell in love with their music and became somewhat of a groupie. I followed them around and from time to time was lucky enough to be asked on stage to do the rap part of the song “Jesus Freak”. (I’m so glad there is no video evidence of this! Haha!)
Michelle and I became pretty fast friends when I embarrassed myself on the radio talking to her and the rest of the band. She encouraged me so much in my walk with Christ. She never judged me, she always listened. She was just one of those incredible people who shined like Jesus. She helped me through some of the darkest, hardest times of my life. We were pretty transparent with each other about our struggles, and our joys. We talked and talked and talked. I’ll never smell a skunk and not think of Michelle and smile or see candy corn hit the stores early fall and think about her.
Michelle was sick the entire time I knew her. She struggled with a pretty rare liver disease and went through 2 transplants in the time that I knew her. She rarely, if ever complained. She pushed herself to keep singing and keep ministering through her music until she just physically couldn’t anymore. The day Michelle died was one of the hardest days I’ve ever had. I was angry that God took this incredible person at such a young age who had so much to give. I was angry that God took my best friend. Selfishly, I wanted her back even though coming back would mean more suffering. I’ve grieved and am at a place where I still miss her, but I am so thankful that she is in Heaven, celebrating every day at the feet of Jesus! I still have Michelle’s music. I’m so lucky to be able to hear her voice and listen to the words that she wrote. Her music was a gift to so many people, but having her music will always be one of my greatest treasures.
Michelle and I would often talk about when I would get married and have kids. She felt called to a life of being single, so I told her that I would live the “married” life for the both of us. I always promised that if the day came when I was blessed to have a daughter I would name her after Michelle. She would smile and we’d carry on with wherever our conversation would lead. The closer Ryan and I get to the possibility of being chosen by a birth mother and expecting our first child, the more I hold that promise close to my heart. Ryan and I have settled on a name for a boy and a girl, we’ve gone back and forth a bit but one thing that hasn’t changed is that if we have a daughter her middle name will be Michelle. Not only will this honor one of the most beautiful, selfless people I have ever known, but it’s fitting that the name Michelle means, “gift from God.”
My favorite Christmas song was a song written and recorded by Michelle and her band at the time (3PO). It’s called, “God Child” Every Christmas I play it on repeat more times than I can count. I get to hear her voice. For a few minutes, I can go back to the times we had together. For a few minutes I can sing along with her. She was such a beautiful person- inside and out. Life is sweet, and I’m so thankful for this journey that we are on to meet our son or daughter. But the thought of Heaven is beautiful because I’ll be able to hug my friend again and tell her all about the life that I’ve lived since she’s been gone.
Below is a link to the song, “God Child” that Michelle wrote and recorded with 3PO. It’s seriously my all time favorite Christmas song. The video isn’t high quality.. I have NO IDEA what I’m doing when it comes to creating videos. It’s the words that make the magic in this song.
Merry Christmas & Enjoy!