Sunday, November 2, 2014


All  other things considered, November could well be my favorite month. I like the word November. I like the season change that sets in, the crispness of the air. I like having to turn the heater on to remove that chill, being able to wear cardigans and sweatshirts. I am a very warm person and much of the year I can't do that comfortably. I love November also because I live on top of a hill with a view of the San Francisco Bay. There are seasons in which I can go for weeks without being able to see across to the other side of the Bay because of the haze or the fog, but the clearest of days come in November, after the heat, before the rains. On those days it is possible to make out all the buildings lining the opposite shore.  It is a beautiful sight, like a necklace lying on the water. During the day they look like a string of pearls, and then once the sun sets they are transformed into diamonds.

November's full moon is called the Mourning Moon, and so it is. It was in November that my daughter was kidnapped. But it was also in November that I last saw her. This was our last season together. This was the air we breathed when we last talked, when we told each other "I love you."

As November dawns this year, I find myself really struggling. Recently I read Elizabeth Edwards' "Saving Graces," in which she talked about the death of her 16-year old son, Wade, who was killed when a gust of wind swept the car he was driving off the road. In this book, she delved deeply into her grief, and her grief sparked something in me, because I recognized it as something that I have not been able to experience. She watched and tended at her son's grave, but I have not been able to do that. I have no grave to tend. I have not been able to fully mourn. I am not allowed to, because I have had to hang onto hope. And I have not allowed myself to feel the full impact of my grief. I have busied myself for the last 26 years, wrecking havoc in my own life and the lives of those around me in my headlong rush to deny and avoid that black hole in the center of my life. But as I read Edwards' book I felt it fill me, and I just wanted to take a month, six months, a year, maybe the rest of my life, and just mourn my own loss, to grieve for my child.

I then read "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman. She is the wife of Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman, and she wrote about the death of their five-year old daughter, who had been killed when she was run over in the driveway by their teenage son.  Then I got the album "Beauty Will Rise" by her husband, a collection of the songs he wrote after the death of his daughter. I listened to these for days as I drove back and forth to work, and I felt myself slow and fall into them until one day as I drove across the bridge I just quite simply exploded. I am not a cryer. I will sit with an ache in my chest rather than cry. But on this day, the tears and sobs just broke out uncontrollably. Actually, I will admit, I actually screamed right there in the car, and not just once. The song that spurred this outpouring was "Heaven Is the Face."

There is a verse that says,
Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams....
This verse filled me with the memory of the last night that Michaela spent with me, when I woke up feeling cramped in my bed. I reached out and identified the cause of the overcrowding as I ran my fingers through Michaela's silky hair, along the contours of her head. I had thought about sending her back to her own bed, but I didn't. I let her stay, allowed her that comfort, that protection from the fears of the night. And this was it. This was what had me screaming and asking God, HOW COULD YOU? YOU GAVE HER TO ME TO LOVE AND PROTECT, AND HOW COULD YOU HAVE ALLOWED MY CHILD TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF EVIL LIKE THAT? How could this have happened? How could this even be true?

Another of the songs on this album, Jesus Will Meet You There, was also breaking my heart:
When you realize the dreams you've had
for your child won't come true
when the phone rings in the middle
of the night with tragic news...
Whatever valley you must walk through,
Jesus will meet you there. 

Just as the seasons change in the world, sometimes bringing clouds and haze, and sometimes sparkling clarity, so too are the seasons of the spirit. At least Pastor David tells me this is universally true. I look at others and they seem so strong and firm in their faith, but one day when I was crashing I told Pastor David that I just didn't think I was worth anybody's time and effort, and he told me that there is not a person I admire, who I consider a role model, who has not felt that way. Well, I'm not sure that they have felt that way as often as I do. But I've been in a slump. Awhile back, on my other blog (, I wrote to myself from the mountaintop, because I knew it would not last and I wanted to remind myself of how real it had been, that mountaintop, and how crisp and clear everything had been, when God touched me, lifted me, and showed me things I had not even asked to see.

Now ... now I am muddling along at the bottom of the mountain. I am praying, not even for myself or my own family, but for a couple of children and their families, and I am begging God please, answer, heal these children. Heal them for their own sakes and for their families, but heal them also for me. Let me see the glory and power of the Lord in the smiles on the faces of these children. Please. Show us your  love. Show us why.

So I'm going to end with one more song from the Beauty Will Rise album, probably my favorite:
This is not how how it should be
This is not how it could be
But this is how it is
And our God is in control....
Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control.

God bless you, my friends, my family. God bless you my little girl, wherever you may be. Remember who you are in God. Remember who you are in my heart, always and forever and ever and ever, a shining light in the darkness of my broken heart.



  1. Blessed “November”....GREETINGS EVERYONE,

    Dear SHARON, In the midst of heartbreaking struggles and devastation you kindly share deeply personal reflections, illumination, inspiration, beauty and encouragement….as well as ministering books & inspiring songs.
    Your genuine expressed life experience writings continue to be deeply touching & have an empowering impact on my slow rising wounded spirit… and no doubt touch the countless lives of others.<3 Thank you, God Bless and ..
    Write On!


  2. I personally hate November because it is so rainy, cold and dark here. Well, I could say this is a cold country. You would feel the difference immediately.

    But I also feel like when November and the whole winter have turned to spring, all the trails and moments of that time are gone, vanished. When that dark and cold season ends, and the nature wakes up here again, last November seems so unreal and misty.If something tragic or life-changing happened, it's like in March it still matters, but it feels so unreal and I have to remind myself that it actually happened.

    There are no words to say why God allows bad things to happen to good and innocent people. But one day He will give you an answer about Michaela. Praying for good answer of her been found, and this painful story would have a relieving and happy ending, and a fire starter to a new and better one. And you can even have a happy November again, which you haven't had for too long. I will tie a ribbon on the 19th and make some hope go with the wind.


  3. Once again your beautiful writing brings your spirit clearly to heart. The hope that, as you state, you MUST hold on to, the inner conflicts, the deepest of aches that no one can truly understand but God, and the anger that cannot be denied. Remember that you are never alone, nor is Michaela, wherever she may be; you are both much loved.

  4. I'm so sorry... from time till time I keep checking,praying hoping that you know what happened and for Michaëla's safe return


  6. Sharon, I've thought so many times about your continued suffering, I've thought about the fact you never get "closure" (whatever that really means) but I've never thought about the fact that you haven't even been able enter into grief because you still have hope. Can grief and hope coexist?

    1. “Hope is grief's best music. ~Author Unknown”

    2. Hope is the physician of each misery. ~Irish Proverb

  7. Off-topic but deeply touching! Though filled with heartache You kindly posted about a wedding fundraising campaign some time back for a young woman you knew with Cancer .I viewed today that $12,000 was the goal and a generous. $14,111 was raised!
    This abc7 NEWS VIDEO of Cherise and Erik’s WEDDING shows the wish was met in a tender and beautiful way <3…” Bride's wish comes true, despite cancer battle “ … <3

  8. p.s .Question about the wonderful wedding verification news link I just posted.
    May 5th was when you posted on Michaela’s FB about the young woman with terminal cancer & her last wish for a wedding. Do you have any CHERISE health or life experience updates to share with us???
    Prayer Intercessor

    1. Judging from the photos, the wedding was beautiful. It was untraditional, with the bridesmaids and groomsmen in basic black with brilliant color accents. Cherise is still undergoing therapy but hanging in there. I know her only distantly, but she just touched my heart.

      I have posted a couple of other fund raisers recently. One was for a ten year old boy who has been in the hospital in a coma for I think three weeks now, cause unknown but thought to be a brain virus, and another to help pay the funeral expenses of a young man killed in a car accident when a big rig lost a wheel and it hit his car. Neither has reached its goal. I know I always feel as though I can do so little it doesn't matter, but if each of us did that little that we can do, mountains would be moved.

    2. Oh and both of those families are personally known to me.

    3. Your Concern, Efforts & Love Matters! I very much appreciate the heartwarming Cherise update. I recall at the time prayer started it was thought there would be a short amount of time on earth left :*( and the wedding day was pushed forward. Now 6 months later you kindly report she is “ undergoing therapy but hanging in there” !!! Very blessed news <3

      I will include the grievous issues the two other families, who are personally known to you, are tending with:*( I would like to do a special intensive Prayer Vigil (as was done for Baby Will) for the 10 year boy in a coma. May I please have a first name? or first and last name initials.?

    4. Nicholas” what a special name! Wiki describes why:” Nicholas or Nikolas or Nicolas or Nickolas is a male given name, derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), [ The name can be understood to mean victory of the people.”
      I will begin preliminary Vigil preparation today and do an Intensive tomorrow.

      Over 20 years ago I was told by a Neuro Surgeon I would pass “in a short time”. Intercessors stepped in & petitioned on my behalf. Since then, living by Mercy one day at a time, multitudes of impossible seeming situations like my own have been Vigiled for. Many have gone to Glory surrounded by immense love -following series of blessings to the patient, family and loved one’s. The majority of others have risen to be a living Sermon In Shoes.

    5. WOW!! Thank you for posting the special UPDATE 4 hrs ago on Michaela’s FB pg about BABY WILL!! <3 <3

    6. Vigil continues....(Isaiah 53:1-5) …..”He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
      ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
      But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and
      with his stripes we are healed.

      Holy Spirit Rain Down (worship video w/ lyrics

    7. I Am Weak but You are Strong

  9. <3 <3 <3 ……….. CHORUS I thank God for a mothers love……… <3 <3 <3
    Disney Mothers - A Mother's Love