Once upon a time, I went to Africa to work on a big white ship. I used my skills as an OR nurse to help hundreds of people who needed their physical brokenness to be healed. 

What lead me to this big white ship? I found the blog of a lady who served on that same ship. She had been there for years. She’s a pediatric ICU nurse by profession. Her blog grabbed me and made me feel things I didn’t even know I could feel. I ate up her words and prayed to God to make a way for me to go serve on that ship too. 

In 2011, I sent in my application and was accepted! In 2012, I joined the ship with a great group of folks I trained with. Ali was not on the ship when we arrived. She was on maternity leave with her first baby. But in the spring of 2013, after going home to Florida and coming back to the ship, she was back on board. 

One day, we were both at the pool on the top deck of the ship (yes, a pool, made from an old shipping container). I was sitting right next to her when I sheepishly said, ” hello Ali, my name is Michelle. I’ve been following you on your blog for years. You’re one of the reasons I’m on this ship. ” And she replied, “hi Michelle, I’ve been following your blog too.” Haha! We had a laugh and a nice conversation after that. It was so great to meet her in real life and thank her for her words. 

When I came home from the ship that fall, Ali learned she was having a second baby. Babies aren’t allowed to be born on the ship because of weird citizenship issues. So in the spring, she went home to NJ. At 25 weeks, she had a routine ultrasound that turned her family’s world upside down. Her new baby was diagnosed with Heterotaxy syndrome. Which is a very complex syndrome that cause internal organs to be mirror imaged. 

Her dream of living on the big white ship for the rest of her life was ended. And the new chapter was filled with terrifying possibilities. But the grace of God, has carried her family through!

I still follow Ali here in the USA. Now the adventure is all about her family and her boy, Ethan. And can I just tell you, she still inspires me. Her faith is stronger than ever. Her words inspire millions of people around the world. Best of all, her Ethan has lived and thrived through 4 open heart surgeries as a brilliant surgeon in Boston has built him a real, normal heart from Ethan’s own heart with a few extra bits thrown in there. I am in awe of how God has brought this child through! I can only imagine the plans God has for this family. And they’re huge!

I recently completed the Heterotaxy Anyway 5k in support of my friend. All the proceeds go to research for this syndrome so more kids like Ethan can have a chance for life! This is dedicated to my friend Ali for Ethan. 😊


Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! 

Proverbs 3:5-8

I don’t need or want to lean on myself. I get things wrong all the time. All. The. Time. But the Lord gets me. He gets my life right. And he’s so loving, he makes my path straight even after I make it crooked. I tend to always race for the path of least resistance because I’m fearful. This is why faith is my word for the year. I’m focusing on trusting the Lord. Someone said the only good reason for fear is to run from physical danger. That’s it. So I’m praying God will help me remember this and that I fully trust and lean on him. Amen. 

Happy Thursday!

Sharing with my friend Lyli.



Well, it’s the middle of January. How are you doing with those resolutions so far? Do you make resolutions? I believe statistically, this is the point where people already start to give up on resolutions. I’ve never really been a huge resolution buff myself. I’ve been doing the one word thing for 3 years now. This year, I’m living by faith

At the end of November, I went hiking, slipped on a boulder and broke my ankle. That incident threw me in the middle of the worst anxiety attack I’ve had in 2 years. This led me to examine my heart, which led me to realize I had been basically living in fear since July when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly I realized I was caught in the middle of enemy territory with no hope of escape. 

But God. He spoke to me in the middle. He never left me. 

“Elisha’s servant got up early, and when he went out, he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. The servant said to Elisha, “Oh, my master, what can we do?” Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.” Then Elisha prayed, “LORD, open my servant’s eyes, and let him see.” The LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭6:15-17‬ ‭NCV‬‬

And in that moment I repented. I turned back to God. To fix my eyes on him. To know he is good. Always good. He has a plan. He has my life figured out. He walked with me through the middle to bring me safely to the other side. To choose faith over fear. I’m so very thankful to know him. 


Happy FiveMinuteFriday!