When God shows up at ER

I spent last night in the ER. I did a number to my finger. Needless to say, I didn’t want to be there.

It wasn’t how I envisioned my evening. I had planned to hunker down with “Call the Midwife,” a glass of vino and build IKEA furniture for my elderly neighbour.

Now I was here, in the Rapid Assessment Zone.

My Doctor has told me ample times to avoid walk ins and ER’s at all cost. Ive heard his horror stories about bad docs, wrong diagnosis’ and botched surgeries- so, I prayed continuously to ease the anxiety:

Get me in quick. Give me the best doctor possible. Give them full knowledge of the issue and how best to proceed.” Simple and to the point, but It gave me peace.

A young ER doc walked in. He was cold but did the job. At one point, he admitted he couldn’t see the full extent of the damage and wanted a second opinion, but no specialist was available. Neither was the one on call. So, I prayed again:

Give him discernment, Lord – tell him what to do.

He made an executive decision and went with it. I felt peace.

“I’ll give you the number of a specialist to follow up with in a few days. Be right back.”

Then he returned.

“Did you say your GP’s name is this?”

“Yes,” I replied. He grinned large…

“Oh, just go see him! He’ll know what to do. He specializes in practically everything.”

I felt relief. And then he added:

“And he trained me! I graduated under him.”

I laughed out loud… Of course he did!! Three cities away, in the middle of the burbs and my city-dwelling doctor gave this guy his stamp of approval- quite literally. God clearly has a sense of humour.

We shared a good laugh and I had him write his name on a piece of paper. I knew My doctor would want to know who stitched me up.

I might be biased, but I trust no one like my own doctor. He has years of training and he runs a department of a large city hospital- plus he trains other doctors. He’s legit. So when I’m out of his care, I worry. And believe me, I have reason to…. I’ve been the bad case study and the one who slipped through the cracks. I couldn’t have my doctor, but God gave me second best. Plus I was in and out of ER in under 2.25 hours.. their average is 5!

A glass water bottle is the culprit. It shattered in my hand and got down to my bone. I cut an artery and nicked a nerve. Needless to say, it was a blood bath and my two year old, bore witness. It’s wasn’t pretty.

I’m grateful for community who came running. My nurse Neighbour examined me and my girlfriend played house while I was gone. She even cleaned the murder scene!

The full extent of damage is not known yet. I won’t know for at least a few days. I would love your prayers though: for nerve growth, for full recovery of functionality and speedy healing.




What do Perfectionism, Control, Vulnerability and Love have in Common?

My pregnancy was the beginning of an unravelling – of finding the end of my rope – and the battle grounds to surrender.


I was blinded by my own abilities and talents, by my self-discipline and self-motivated ways. If something needed doing, leave it to me. If something needed changing, give me the steps to follow. From my career, to my marriage, to my health and even my faith, I had everything “under control.”

But the problem with control is that it’s simply an illusion, because we are only ever “in control” when things are within our ability to control them!

Read that again.

We are only ever “in control” when things are within our ability to control them!


And what is it we can control? Our thoughts, our perception, our attitude, our response and reactions. But that’s about it.

And the problem was, I spent 80% of my life worrying and striving to control things that were out of my control.

DSC_0086DSC_0098DSC_0107Preemie Baby NICU

I strived to be perfect in everything: to have the perfect career, be the perfect friend, daughter, wife and Christian woman; to have the perfectly clean house and cook x number of days a week; to have the perfect body, eating habits and work out routine; to never get mad, angry or frustrated with people (to their face); to help out and give (time, resources, money) even when it was at the determinant to my personal priorities; over commenting in fear of letting people down; marking every Christian “check box” to keeping and progressing in my faith….


I was bound by (my) laws and rules and if I broke even one, I believed I was a terrible person- a failure and surely I needed to try harder.

I tried – and tried some more- until I nearly died. 

And if I boiled it all down, it was all simply an attempt to control what people thought about me and whether they liked me; things that are completely 100% of our my control!
The accolades and achievement were striving to feel worthy. The over committing was striving to be liked. The helping and giving was striving to be accepted. The perfect marriage and body were striving to be wanted. And the perfect faith was striving to be loved.


But what was the real motivator behind my behaviour- the master that held me slave to my striving: FEAR; Of People seeing me – really seeing me- of being found out, rejected and ultimately unloved.

Do we see the vicious cycle?
The reality is, perfectionism – the chase for perfect – is entirely unattainable because we cannot control the uncontrollable. And when we spend 80% of our energies trying to control what isn’t within our abilities, we have no energy left to work on what we can control. And we ultimately end up feeling like a failure at everything!


Perfectionism is a myth and a lie. It’s completely and entirely impossible to achieve and in chasing it, we’re setting ourselves up for failure in every area of our life. We will never win the race, we will never arrive and we will never find lasting peace, joy or contentment on this journey.

And every area we struggle in is an arrow pointing to a genuine problem with our heart- a referral pain to the deeper issue down below:
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Achievement
  • Accolades
  • Addiction
  • Workaholism
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Stress
  • Glorifying “Busy”
  • Indecisiveness
  • Sexual Strongholds
What do all these things have in common? Control.
They were an attempt at grasping for control. And while I attempted to balance the spinning plates for years, they kept me blinded to the real problem – pain I’d simply kept pushing down deeper.


The problem with pain is that when unresolved it continuously resurfaces in our life, many times deceiving us, because it looks different the last time. 

My perfectionistic ways were simply masks – armour I was using to protect myself from being seen- from having to acknowledge and own the pain from my past.


When we choose to hide our real selves from the world- when we omit the messy hard parts of our lives and keep them hidden the world – we cloak ourselves in shame.


Shame is a word we all struggle to connect with or we reserve for people who have done “really bad things.” But the fact is:

Shame is universal. We all have it, but it’s triggers and how it manifests itself behaviourally looks different for everyone.

What it does have in common for all of us is feelings of fear, anger, sadness, depression, blame, disconnection and loneliness.


So if we look at the areas in our life where we feel like that, we’ll discover that truthfully, were blanketed in shame; there’s something we’re running from or something were choosing to hide, maybe even from ourselves.


And the key to removing the cloak – to breaking free from shame-  while simple in theory, can be extremely difficult in practice.




Vulnerability is the key to breaking the chains of shame- of all the negative feelings we’d rather run from.


If we imagine a graph, shame on one end, and acceptance and love on the other, then vulnerability is the dial the moves us from one to the other.


When we choose to allow our selves to be seen- when we have the courage to own our stories and share them with others no matter how marred or messy- we give others permission to own their own hard parts.

When we can learn to sit in our own dark cave and not run from it, than we can sit with others in theirs.

And what does that do? It connects us.


And connection is the key to feelings of love, acceptance, belonging, joy, meaning and ultimately purpose.
16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God …they suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence.  Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
So what does it take to do this? How can we begin to embrace vulnerability and own our stories?
It starts with taking an honest look in the mirror.
  • What do we struggle with?
  • What do we dread others finding out or seeing about ourselves?
  • What parts of our past do we want to hide or are ashamed of?
  • In what ways do we beat ourselves up, harm ourselves or push our selves into “behaving?”
It starts there, with a pen and paper, writing them down and choosing to no longer hide them; to own who we really are, right now in this current season, and trusting we’re not alone.

Take just one thing, go and share it with someone.

Might I suggest God first?
He is faithful and just to forgive us, heal us and make us new when we seek him with our whole heart.
 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
 DSC_0129Kailey-Michelle Photo10
But we must remember, our lives are in a perpetual cycle of learning, growing and ultimately of surrendering control; moving into a deeper relationship of trust and intimacy with The Lord.


God knows what we need and when. He’s not impatient or hurried to see us smarten up and get our act together. He is patience, steadfast, gentle and merciful, seeing us not for who we are now or defining us by our circumstance; he sees us for who we are in Christ- for the women we will become and for all he designed us to be.


The ultimate rose cored glasses if you will. Not because he’s a fool in love [but he is that too!] but because of our inheritance in Christ- the ultimate gift we’ve been given through his death.


God is slowly at work in our lives, ever refining us, purifying our minds and transforming our hearts to be more like Jesus, until the day of Christ’s return.


My graduation… from Counselling

I could hardly keep from smiling as I read the post – the words I had typed in bravery over two years prior – confessing my inability to handle death, pain and grief. And I’m sure God was chuckling along with me. Not making fun of me, but in a playful “I told you so” sort of way.

Because I’ve never shied away from praying scary prayers; the bold ones that take courage to even muster out loud and leave you shaking in your boots hoping God chooses NOT to answer them! And I had done just that. As I carried my child in womb, I begged God to heal me from my greatest fear: death, pain and grief.

They kept me from loving well:

……running away when people needed me to run to them

…. Distant when others needed me close

…..Going when someone needed me to stay, to sit and to listen


But the reality is, we can only give away what we have first been given ourselves.

And in this case, I couldn’t love well in the midst of hardship, having never dealt with my own pain from my brothers death.


It was a pain I hadn’t touched in twenty one years, preferring to gloss over and pretend like everything was fine.

So that’s exactly what I would do with others.

Avoid the subject all together. Never ask specifics. Pretend like everything was fine.

And while it wasn’t a true reflection of my heart, it communicated disinterest, ill concern, a “could care less” attitude and a cold lack of compassion.


It wasn’t until I gave birth to my daughter, that the trauma came full circle and the band-aid was ripped off, leaving my wounds wide open for cleaning.


God used a traumatic child birth experience and 9 weeks of darkness to show me I needed to heal, once and for all.

“Burying the hurt, wounds, and scars of your heart and soul does not make them go away. You cannot eat them away, drink them away, ignore them or hide them in your work or relationships. Eventually, they re-emerge (often with habits that are harder to heal than the wounds themselves).” – Jo Saxton 


Oh, was this my reality!

While I’d come a long way in my healing journey, I’d relied almost entirely on my own strength; every self-help book read, philosophy learnt and self-discipline method mastered. But still I was wounded and what I’d done was merely bandaged up the hurt and learnt to cope for a while, until it re-appeared again. (Many times looking different than before, tricking me into thinking this new habit and my unresolved pain were not related.)


With 6 months of counselling behind me and victory on my side, I now stare at the page of things I’ve overcome-  the things I had run to for countless years to mask the hurt and pain.

Like any addiction. These were mine:


Now here I am on the other side, a completely different woman.

(Thanks to the Grace of God, much prayer, an incredible counsellor and hours upon hours of self -reflection and the hard work of change.)


While I could write a book about all that I’ve learnt and discovered on my road to healing, my most profound revelations are this:

  • The pain of our pasts never leaves us until we deal with it, no matter how old we get or how great we get at “coping”  (A good sign you’re coping rather than healed: the issue continues to resurface throughout your life unexpectedly)

  • We either walk inside our story and own it (the hardest, ugliest and messy parts too!) or stand outside it and hustle for our worthiness. – Brene Brown

  • It is our weaknesses not our strengths that connect us with others and it’s in our willingness to be vulnerable that others are drawn to us and a deeper bond/ relationship is formed

  • Your mess will become your message if you give yourself the gift of healing

  • God can and will use you to bring others hope and help set them on the path to freedom, victory and healing… (and that has brought forth the most AMAZING sense of purpose and meaning I’ve encounter in life yet.)

  • The dark looses its scary factor when you embrace it, even when it’s uncomfortable.


Because once you can sit in your dark cave and not run from it, you can sit with others in theirs and be ok with it…..

You can love them well in their broken and messy moments, when they need most to know they’re not alone.


Note:  I do not believe we ever “arrive” or that healing and freedom means we will never have to work or consciously choose to fight the temptation to fall back into old patterns. Instead, that those things that used to hold us hostage and control our thoughts and actions, no longer have the same paralyzing grip on our life.



Please don’t go through this alone! If you have never shared your hurt with someone, please start there by confiding in someone you trust. If you have no one, please email me at hello@kaileymichelle.com.

And secondly, I would strongly suggest you reach out to a counsellor and invest in yourself there, even if only for one session. I invested in 6 months of weekly  counselling with FREE TO BE COUNSELLING, and it was the catalyst and accountability I needed.


A hint of who you might be

Lately, my minds been whirling with new heart discoveries, a shift in my thinking and focus and the realities of feeling a new season of life approaching.

Truth be told, Dave and I have been sensing this change for a bit now- the soft, steady push into a new and unknown stage of life. We feel as if we’ve left the young adult stage and suddenly entered adult-ville. And the reality of the unknown is, it can be scary.

What do I know of Holy

No longer do your decisions affect only tomorrow or the next year. But in their place are ramifications on your future and the future of your one- day children. The decisions we make today, have the potential to guide and shape the course of our lives in very distinct ways.

While in the midst of my busiest season of work, we’ve been given opportunity after opportunity to put our faith to action and lean on God, with full force and might. Resisting temptation. Weeding out the “lesser good options” in an effort to stay focused on what matters most. And most unnerving [for me anyway] is multiple new opportunities – big choices that effect our home life and our professional lives, for potentially the next 10-20 years.

The reality is i’m scared and anxious. We and I alone, have made choices in the past that were not God’s will and without fail, God revealed each time, we’d taken paths not meant for us. We’d gone into territory and ventures, he had not anointed us for. We’ve learnt our lesson and vowed to do everything we can, in trust, prayer and faith, to move only where we feel God is calling us. But here’s the thing… it requires  trust, patience and faith- fulling leaning on God and not our own abilities, foresight and judgement.

God has made is vastly clear,  this year in particular, that even when I think I “get it”, and see what he’s doing, I’m always slightly off course and never see the picture crystal clear. Why? Because his plans are always SO MUCH better than I could ever conjure up on my own- they’re more joyful than I can usually anticipate- and in reality, they most times cause me anxiety as I anticpate all “I need to do” and “is expected of me.”  **Yes. I’m laughing with you at my ridiculous “I got this God” ways!!

See my problem.. I’m still learning to let go.

But the beauty in that reality is that with each finger I lift, and slowly release the grip of my control, I see God more clearly. His glory shines brighter and His power magnifies.

Yesterday, the words of a song I’ve listened to a million times, pierced my heart as if I heard them for the very first time…

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven, But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small. I never feared You at all!
If You touched my face would I know You? Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page

Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

-Addison Road | What do I know of Holy

And before I knew it, I was drowning in tears of repentance for my self-reliance, yet again. For putting him in a Box and thinking his ways were not mysterious. For thinking my relationship was alright when half the time I talk WAY TOO much and then run off to “do another thing or make a decision!” I must be getting close to the “end of myself,” no?!

I have far from discovered what it truly means to fear you, my father. But I will not focus on where I need to go, but rejoice in how far I’ve come, because of you and your patient refining.  You will surely complete the work you have started, in me….


PS: To remind  us how good, merciful and trustworthy our God is, Dave and I started a thanksgiving cup.  Each time God answers our prayers, whether it’s little or big, we write it down and full the cup. In times of doubt, uncertainty and overwhelm, we can come back and see just how much God loves us and cares around every little thing that concerns us! Nothing is too big or too small to bring to God.

“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. ” Psalm 23:5

Sleep to move mountains


Years back, a friend of mine spent  hours {upon hours} trying to show me the importance of sleep….sound and deep. He’d say things like,

“You’ll never loose those last 5 pounds.  “You’ll never be fully present.” “You’ll never reach your full potential.”  “You’ll never be as happy, calm and content and you can be.” 

And as the self-professed “work until you drop,” kind of gal that I was, it irritated me. Who has time to sleep, I’d think, while I gracious humored his care and concern. But, as I got older and my dismissive ways caught up with me, I became over-worked, over-tired and over-stressed. Soon, my anxiety rose to sky rocketing levels, that kept me house bound and paralyzed in fear for close to five months.

Stress Breakdown, they told me. At 21?!  Are you kidding me, I thought. 

But what I learnt in that time was powerful beyond measure…. I learnt the need for moderation and balance between work and pleasure; that sanity was more important and that success was not worth the empty hearted efforts, deprivation left me with. I need to live, to breath and to embrace this life I have been blessed with.

And so began my journey back to faith.

My desire is to remind you of that simple pleasure called sleep. We need it. Embrace it. There’s always tomorrow. And trust me… it comes sooner than you think, always. 

So take the time tonight, to turn off the computer (or the TV) play with your kids, read a book before bed and unwind into a peaceful slumber.

For when you wake, vibrant and refreshed, you will move mountains!