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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  1. Michele, Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. I had a flood of thoughts and emotions reading this. Too much to type. But, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to say Thank you! 🙂

    I am so so sorry about the cancer, and so very sorry about your other losses too. But I am oh so very thankful for the blessing you have been in your family and community. And I am so very thankful for the blessing you continue to be!

    Keep on loving and keep on shining for God Michele! The best is yet to come, by His grace 🙂

  2. Michele,
    What a heart-stirring, beautiful post! I can just taste your sweet chocolate cookies. And your loss is not little. I lost my sense of smell and taste for a month, post-surgery, and it was AWFUL. It truly made me feel depressed. We don’t realize what a blessing taste and smell are!! I wholeheartedly agree with your post. I have been mourning the loss of relationship with my two adult children, so God prompted me to open my heart to others who are missing people in their lives. I have adopted Kathy as my sister I never had. Valentina, from my crossing guard job, has taken a liking to me (we have matching homemade friendship bracelets). We have a standing sled riding date if/when the snow comes. She’s my adopted grand daughter. Charles lost his wife two years ago. He has no children and no living relatives close by. He comes over for Sunday dinners and brings his senior beagles (we have a beagle). Both of our dads have passed so Charles is our adopted dad. I have a couple of adopted daughters who don’t have good relationships with their moms….you get the idea. It’s hard and a bit uncomfortable putting yourself out there, but it brings blessings on both sides of the equation! Wonderful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Dear Bev,
      I totally agree with you with reaching out & making relationships with people God brings into our lives. I have always wanted a sister but God brought 2 amazing women into my life that I’m closer to than most friends. In fact with one of them my husband also is very close. I also mentor to 3 young women my daughters age whom I love so much.

      I do want to encourage you though & I’m sure you’ve tried to mend the relationship with your adult children. I know you must agonize daily & bring the relationship to the Lord. My husband’s brother was very upset with me five years ago for something I said very innocent. He is a pretty rough guy & had been putting me down for days while here on his visit. He got angry with me & quit talking to me for years. This totally troubled me because I’m the type who wants to be friends with everyone & will do whatever I have to do to mend relationships. I was nice to him each time he came to visit (he lives in another State but his Mom lives near us). Finally after much prayer & so much time had passed I wrote him a letter apologizing for being insensitive to his feelings. He did write back but the relationship still wasn’t great but at least now he’d say hi to me. As time went by the oldest brother (there are 4 boys & 1 girl in my husband’s family, his sister died at 26 years old from cancer) got sick & I think this made him think about relationships. He claims to be a Christian also. Anyway, last year before Christmas he came down to our area & we all met for dinner (except the oldest brother & his wife) & he was 100% different to me & very friendly!!! I was so happy! Turned out about a week after my husband’s brother went back home (12 hour drive north of us) the oldest brother passed away. None of us knew how sick he really was, whenever we’d invite them to family gatherings they’d decline with some excuse.

      We hosted Christmas Eve & Christmas at our home with 15 people & everyone got along. With saying this I don’t know anything about your situation but want to encourage you to mend it with your children, ask God for wisdom on how to do it but having them back in your life even if it’s thru a phone call would help you heal & feel better.
      Lord bless you Bev!!!
      Barbara

      • Hi Barbara,
        Thank you so much for your care and concern. I HAVE reached out and extended the olive branch many times. I’ve written a letter to my daughter asking for forgiveness in my part in our estranged relationship. I’ve offered for all of us to go to an objective third party counselor and I’d pay. I’ve invited them both over for Thanksgiving & Christmas (to see their grandmother who has been nothing but a blessing to them) and nothing. I send random notes or cards just to say I love you. I’ve expressed being open to talking and trying to work things out. I’ve tried calling and texting and it’s not moved the meter. I HAVE prayed for wisdom and having tried everything I know to do, I see that this is going to have to be a work of God on their hearts. I will continue by sending each a card for Valentine’s Day just to say I love you…I know God is able and this might have to be His doing. I have forgiven them in my heart for the terribly disrespectful way they’ve treated me over the years. Their father (my ex) was verbally and emotionally abusive and sadly, I think in some ways they are like him. This is more than a misunderstanding…it’s been a repetitive pattern. But thank you for your insight and praise that healing has taken place in your situation.
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

  3. Hate the cancer, but love the beautiful ministry it has brought to you. I want you to know your words touch many hearts.

  4. Joyce Meyer continually says, The greatest thing you can do when you’re hurting is to go and help others. Sounds kind of crazy, but in 2012 I went through an unwanted divorce and my ex made my life a living hell with the court system. In 2015 God called me to a year of service for it was his way of healing me. I started volunteering at a Recovery Center and my friends and I started a cupcake ministry. Once a month we baked cupcakes to celebrate the members birthdays and sobriety milestones. Today we’re known as the cupcake ladies.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. I know what it like to loose some close one minute there here the next there gone. You look around and say why are they not here. You can ask all sorts question. But it get you no were. I don’t even know I have to trust I will see my Mum in Glory with Jesus on day that she said the sinners prayer. I did pray for her. But you couldn’t tell her she needed to begin saved. I now have to be big and brave now forgive all that happened in past. Do what Jesus would want me do pray for my family. Especially for their Salvation. Let Jesus do the healing in me. Live my life as Christian in front of them. Even though you can’t tell them they need to be saved. As through my Mum passing away God has shown me lost of things to do with my Family. That they will not change until they get saved. It just like people of the world. Most of them God showed me. They just think of themselves and don’t care about anyone else. As long as their own world ok. I have to remember to stand back at times love my Family like Jesus would that are not saved. Pray for them. Leave them in the hands of Jesus. Live my life as Christian in front of them. By watching what I say and do. Being the hands and feet of Jesus in front of them. Then one day in Gods timing my prayers will be answered they will see Jesus in me. Want what I have and that is Jesus as their Savior. I will have my healing then. Through living my life in front of them as Christian as they will have seen Jesus in me. As I will have got the best present my family could ever have given me. That is to see them saved. I don’t want anything else from them. So loosing my Mum has taught me to pray more for my unsaved family. As you never know the day or hour you could not be here. That makes it all the more important to be saved. I am so glad to be saved. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

  6. What a beautiful sharing! Thank you so much. I wonder if you have read “Life on the Line” about the famous Chef who had tongue cancer. It is a wonderful book and one of triumph too. Bless you as you continue to bake the cookies, because that is your way of showing love and God did that – so don’t stop! It is my language of love too and creating any good thing for others to enjoy is truly demonstrating love. We need more of that in our world and I am so grateful for your beautiful writing.

    • I’ve seen the book and heard great things about it, Donna. But haven’t actually read more than a few lines from it. I always love a good overcoming story. 😉

  7. Michele,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and your life. I have been “following” you since my class at Dallas Seminary (Wayne Stiles teacher). Your witness from afar of doing life, and faith, and family, and ministry—encourages me in deep ways. I have my own unwanted trials…but God is here too. Thank you for reminding me that setting my pain on the kitchen counter is okay. And that beauty will come from it.
    Much love, Seana

    • I remember well that day with Wayne! Such a great group. And I’m so touched that we’ve stayed connected since then. May our God give you courage and grace and unshakeable hope as you lead exactly where you are, Seana. Press on, sister!

  8. Michele, Loved your post, I needed it! January is a difficult month of loss for me so this post blessed my heart. ♡
    Blessings to you!

  9. Thank yoyu for the dear reminder of precious hearts. With hearing loss i found a gifti n looking at the eyes if others and lips seeing words even with s hearing aid. To look st othes closely takes me to tje heart. GOD BLESSES in pain and it is to His glory there is always a way. Hid nless you and God bless each cookie

  10. I have experienced the truth of this post, but I hadn’t thought of it lately. I appreciate your words and timing of reading this today. The Lord speaks to me so often through the things you share!

  11. Good morning Michele,
    I love your post, thank you for expressing your experience in living free from hurt, anger and sadness. This is a blessing to me, and healing do happens when the graves of our losses becomes our life-giving offering’s of love.

  12. Thank you for sharing your story and love through baking! I too love to bake and give it to others and I cannot eat it as I am gluten free and sugar free. But I love doing it and the recipients love getting it! I never thought of it as anything until you mentioned in your devotional “a love offering to those who need it most”. Thank you for that thought and that ministry! Keep on keeping on!! God bless you as you reach others through this needful ministry!

  13. Oh, Michelle, your words, and God’s words through you, have touched my very soul today. In a season of loss, my pain sometimes feels shallow compared to what others are going through. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty God wants to restore to me. I especially love your reminder we can love from a place of loss.

  14. Michele,

    What a fascinating post on loss & redemption. I’ve given up or lost work years. Some was unnecessary, but some will be redeemed. I quit a good paying job to be more available to my aging father. While I missed the money-I cherished the time we had together. God has shown me that my efforts will not be forgotten. One day I was at lunch with dad & he was having trouble eating. I offered to feed him. One of the men sitting on right side said “you will get jewels in your crown for this”. Evidence to me I was where God wanted me. Now I have a keen sense of how to care for the elderly population. I am ready with advice, if needed. Not only that but I work ICU Step Down clerical. Most of the patients are older & need extra care. Both my parents & my husband’s parents have passed. I can help others in their grief process. No loss is small. It may appear small compared to others. You still feel the loss & miss the thing/person. Don’t dismiss any loss as small or insignificant. God understands & will give you beauty from those ashes.

    Blessings 🙂

  15. I lost my innocence at the hand of an abuser. He took what was not his to take and for years and years, I felt less-than. I built up a wall around my wounded heart, thinking if I just didn’t let anyone close to my wound, I’d never be hurt again.
    And then….
    By the grace of God, through patient years of Christ-like, never-let-you-go kind of love, my husband finally reached me and I saw what my wall was really doing to those I love. I realized how much better my life could be if I tore down that wall.
    I glimpsed hope.
    It terrified me. The fresh air on that wound stung mightily. But oh the beauty found in finally letting God hold and heal that wound. I learned that the place where I had been so deeply wounded was the exact place I could experience healing through my most intimate relationship with my husband.
    And because I finally was open to acknowledging that loss, something else amazing happened… because God works wonders that way. My husband and I now lead a marriage ministry and I have been fortunate enough to stand before countless crowds of husbands and wives and proclaim HOPE.

    As you so beautifully put it, hope sings loudest within our loss.

    Thank you for that powerful reminder.