About the Author

A three-time tongue cancer survivor and mama of children from “hard places," Michele Cushatt is a (reluctant) expert on pain, trauma and the deep human need for connection. Her most recent book, "Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves", wrestles with the dogged presence and affection of...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Michele,
    I echo your sentiments that this world can be excruciatingly hard. I think, early on, that I had a distorted idea that if I was “in Christ” that somehow life would be easy. That’s prosperity religion. In order to be made more like Christ we must endure what Christ endured….and that is suffering. Each of the trials I’ve been through gives me a small taste of what Jesus endured for me. Suffering and trials also have helped usher in a more eternal perspective. If we think that this life is all that there is, well then I could see how many of us would be pessimists, but God promises something so glorious that our finite little minds can’t even comprehend it. If we aren’t living with a homesickness for heaven then maybe we need to reevaluate that in which our hope is placed. God faithfully does not leave our struggles in a heap of ashes….He always brings some form of beauty from them. He also gives us sufficient grace in the heat of the fire. He has proved to be faithful so even if I don’t understand that trials of the moment, I trust Love’s heart and that He has a firm hold on the larger picture. Thank you for daring to be honest and vulnerable so that others would not feel alone in their struggles.
    Bev xx

  2. I love this gritty truth: “Although we have little control over the number or condition of our days, a day filled with God’s presence and our exceeding joy sits at the other end of them.”
    Thank you, Michele, for your courageous choice to focus on the marvelous promises of God even in the midst of uncertainty.
    Blessings to you in 2019!

  3. your writing on the new year and what may be ahead has came at the right time for me.as the long life God has given me i see so many times wondering and yes being worried about so many things—not just for myself but friends and family. finally at 80 i have learned we are in Gods hands and is said “i will never leave or forsake you” this i knew but still put things on myself. finally i lay it at His feet and look for a year of hope.

    • I find I have to lay my worries and my unknown tomorrows at His feet again and again and again. The beautiful gift? His grace meets me there every time. May our Lord bless you and keep you in 2019 and beyond, Frances.

  4. I feel like this was written for me personally. I’m holding rather loosly my 2019 word because although on the surface it’s a positive word, it’s the underlying possibilities of future causes that has fear lurking at the edges, leaving me wondering which side of its meaning I’m headed for. 2017 was such a hard year and so recent that I’m wary. But the one thing I’ve learned every year I’ve held a new word is that you never let it go, because it never lets you go. It becomes a part of you and your living. Thank you for this timely reminder, because my 2018 word was Hope.

    • “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

      With you, sister.

  5. Michelle,
    Thank-you for sharing your honest words……I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through, my prayers are with you for a year that brings you good health.
    The New Year offers a clean slate that brings all that is new. Although we don’t know what that is, we can be reassured that we can trust God that we will be renewed.
    Isaiah 43:18
    “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”
    Blessings to all,

  6. Michelle,

    Praying for a healthy year for everyone. No more cancer, sickness or surgeries. Life down here on Earth is tough. So much hatred & divisiveness. People doing what pleases them. Almost like Sodom & Gomorrah again. We will endure trials & tribulations. Take heart for God has overcome this world. God uses our light afflictions to give us a special gift of His own design. We can bet the bank on His promises. Lately I’ve been truly homesick for Heaven. I hear songs about Jesus coming back & whisper come now I am ready to go. Just tired of all the “crap” going on in this world today. I can’t wait for the one day, you and I wake up to a beautiful tomorrow with Him. It’s a day that will never end, and it will deliver a joy far greater than any other.

    Blessings 🙂

    • “Homesick for heaven.” Yes, I feel that way quite often. I find great comfort in Paul’s words:

      “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” (Philippians 1:21-26)

  7. I really enjoyed your post. Having moved to a new state in the last year has been a new learning curve for me. I dont choose “a word” for the new year nor do I set goals because I’ve learned that I “may make many plans but the Lord’s purpose always prevails.” I too entered 2019 with a lil trepidation and fear. But I dont want to live there. Thank you for your wise and comforting words: that no matter what we may face this year that we can always have hope in Christ’s coming again for us. God Bless you in this new year.

  8. We are only 1 day into the New year and I’m already dready and hesitant about the day and New year…..feel like I’m fearful and lonely rather than being joyful…….I asked somebody’s thoughts as we were approaching the New Year….and they said they thought it was going to be awesome! Wish I was thinking more along those lines! Don’t know why I’m so dready but I’ve seen enough of trouble that things can go wrong…….my mom’s getting older….Im not getting any younger and Im searching…..for stability!!!! May we all lean into Christ in the days ahead!!!! He is our only anchor!!! Hope you (and all of us) can find refuge in the safe arms of Christ!!! The days ahead might not be certain, but Christ and his glory are! God bless you ever so much in the days ahead! Love in Christ, Lauren

  9. I noticed that many of my Facebook friends claimed they were “done” with 2018 and all its inherent trials and were now going into 2019 with the attitude that it has to be a better year. “No it doesn’t,” I thought, worry filling my mind for a moment. Then I opened my Bible and “decided” to read Psalm 73. In that Psalm, the author admits to doubting the goodness of God at times…in fact, he almost resorts to preaching God’s supposed disappearing act to others. He’s seen enough of the lack of punishment and the care-free life of the wicked. Where’s the justice in that? he wonders. But by verse 23 he makes a decision. He WILL trust God no matter what…and some of that is in his looking back at his life, and how God has come through for him. In fact, it’s a theme in the Bible. God’s people do suffer and wonder where God is at times, and then they look back and remember what he has done…in history…and in their own lives. And they have hope. That’s what I want in 2019…continued hope and finding joy in the smallest of thing day by day.

    • Yes, you said it so well, Linda. It’s often a choice I need to make every day, multiple times a day. There is so much mystery around God, so much we don’t understand and can’t complain. But I must decide: Do I believe He is real, and do I trust Him even when I don’t always understand Him? The answer to those questions (over and over again) determines whether or not my faith will stand or fail in the places of pain.

  10. Thanks for this… much needed. I have so enjoyed your words of wisdom as you go through life. You are truly courageous and filled with the Lord. We aren’t promised it will be easy, but the heavenly rewards await! I thank you for reminding me when things get tough, like last year, to live in Gods word and the positives around us. Happy New Year to you!

    • You are so right, Carolee. We aren’t promised it will be easy—in fact, we are promised quite the opposite! (John 16:33). We have to decide where we will focus our eyes … what is temporary or what is eternal (2 Cor. 4:16-18). So difficult, but the only path to true peace. Happy New Year to you, too, sister.

  11. Michele,
    Love following your posts!! C. S. Lewis quote seems relevant here, so I’ll share.
    ‘ Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done ‘ I’m a suffering saint of 63 years and still need this reminder that our Father goes before us. My husband and I live in rural Maine where community is scarce. Thanking God daily for this loving community of women and I sometimes see the occasional man. Gods blessings on you Michele. Dee

  12. Thank you so much, Michele, for sharing the profound struggles in your life along with your hope. It was just what I needed to start the new year. My sufferings do not compare with yours, but I have been celebrating the Christmas season and the start of the new year with two broken bones. I thank the Lord for my sufferings but certainly would not have chosen them as I was very excited about “my” plans for the holiday season. I have had several broken bones in the past two years, along with a diagnosis of breast cancer almost 4 years ago, asthma exacerbations, etc. They do no compare with what you have suffered. I thank the Lord for you, and pray for continued hope, strength, perseverance, and peace for you in the new year. The Lord bless you and give you peace. With love and prayer, Laurie

  13. Michele, I was lucky enough to ring in the New Year in severe pain that caused me to be transported in an ambulance to the hospital. I have struggled with health issues most of my life but this was a whole new level of unexplained pain. My husband was angry, frustrated and said to me “why can’t we catch a break” but I heard the Lords voice echo in my head, “will you trust me even in this?” I have learned to stop trying to understand how/why things happen and just pray for me not to miss the lesson and the beauty. I’m thankful for the caring, swift paramedics, the wonderful nurse and doctor who cared for me. I know this was a test on if I’d be tempted to throw this whole year to the wind because it started out so terribly. But I resolved in my spirit, No, not today, not this year. I will no longer be robbed of my peace and joy. Thank you for your authenticity and sharing of truth. It was the encouragement that I needed during this trial and very scary start to the New Year. Blessings and prayers lifted up for you today!

    Much love,

  14. As a cancer survivor, thank you for these words. Yes, I struggle to “celebrate today” because I have a number of problems calling for my focus. Saving this post to read again and again. Thank you!

  15. Michele,

    Thank you for your beautiful words and encouragement. My word for 2019 is Hope and boy did your words give me Hope. I thank God for you and will be praying for you. I am looking forward to seeing you in that Beautiful Tomorrow! God Bless!

  16. “We must keep our eyes glued on God’s promised glory.” Truth for today and every tomorrow. Yes. Thank you for this, friend. You walk the journey well.