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Making Sacrifices We Didn't Want to Make: Bravely Following Jesus No Matter the Cost

By Kristy Mikel

Brave Women Series - Kristy's Story


2022 is a year I will not soon forget. Maybe that’s the case for many. For me, it felt like the year that tried to break me.


“Kristy,” came my mom’s voice through the phone. “Dad’s surgery is scheduled for January 24th.” We’d received news about his diagnosis back in October 2021—cancer. I hate that word. But the doctors seemed confident they could successfully remove it all without complications. Still, their confidence didn’t lessen the agony of the wait.


The earliest available date for surgery was January of the following year—over 3 long months away. Three months where the cancer could continue spreading for all we knew. Our comfort? Knowing there were a handful of other families walking through the same journey. We all held our breath, waiting for a cancellation to open up an earlier date or for the day of surgery to arrive. What a terrible club to be part of.


I should fill in a few other details. As all of this was unfolding, I was over 9,000 miles away, living in Thailand. I’m a full-time missionary, so this has been my home for 6.5 years. And even if I wanted to be home with my family during this time, I couldn’t. Covid travel restrictions and visa limitations in Thailand made it impossible. It felt like a perfect storm.


Those months felt agonizing. My dad wasn’t acting differently, so it didn’t seem we had much to worry about. But I’ve heard so many horror stories about cancer. It’s a silent killer. What were we supposed to watch for?


 

"My dad wasn’t acting differently, so it didn’t seem we had much to worry about. But I’ve heard so many horror stories about cancer. It’s a silent killer."

 

January 24 finally arrived, and I was ready on my knees in prayer, just like I had been all the months leading up to this date. I grabbed my phone and began dialing my mom’s number. “Just wait,” my mind begged. “Give them a chance to get through the morning before you call.” Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, things were not going as planned.


The doctors ruled what happened next as a stroke. I don’t like that word either, and it freaked me out when I heard it. But prior to being taken into surgery that morning, a stroke is what the doctors said he suffered. So surgery was, of course, canceled and it was back to the waiting game for a new date.


So much had happened and I couldn’t be there. I couldn’t sit with my mom in that hospital room to hold her hand while nurses frantically ran in and out working around my dad. I couldn’t be there to battle the fears right alongside her, and I hated that the most.


My mom had it far more together than I expected when I finally called her to check in on how things were going. With tears in her eyes, she told me everything that happened that morning, and all I could do was sit and listen through this tiny phone screen that reminded me how many thousands of miles stood between us.


I remember hanging up the phone in tears and crying out, “God, this is too hard!”


My “yes” to follow the Lord, to go wherever He sent me, my bold declaration of “Here am I. Send me!” was too much. I wanted to take it all back.


 

"My “yes” to follow the Lord, to go wherever He sent me, my bold declaration of “Here am I. Send me!” was too much. I wanted to take it all back."

 

Have you ever felt that? I have more times than I care to admit.


“Lord, I’ve already given up so much,” I cried. “I only see my family once a year, and it’s been almost three thanks to Covid. I should be there. They shouldn’t be walking through this alone!” My cries were desperate.


“I am asking a lot,” the Lord seemed to whisper back. “I want no less than everything, and nobody said anything about it being easy. But they’re not alone and neither are you.”


 

“I am asking a lot,” the Lord seemed to whisper back. “I want no less than everything, and nobody said anything about it being easy. But they’re not alone and neither are you.”

 

It was then the Lord began leading me back through familiar scriptures, promises He’d given me to hold on to. Anthems I needed to proclaim. We all need a good anthem or two.


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)


And another…


“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)


This was a year that challenged my trust, maybe more than any other. Later that fall, my mom faced major back surgery and months of painful recovery, and I couldn’t be there with her. Saying yes to following Jesus whatever the cost isn’t getting any easier. But through it all, the Lord continues to give me promises to hold on to and proclaim.


 

"Saying yes to following Jesus whatever the cost isn’t getting any easier. But through it all, the Lord continues to give me promises to hold on to and proclaim."

 

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)


Sometimes following Jesus feels too hard. Sometimes it seems He asks us to surrender too much, but always He promises to walk with us. He always promises to be faithful. I think we can all look back over our lives and see obvious moments of His faithfulness. Faithful is simply who He is (2 Timothy 2:13).


 

"Sometimes following Jesus feels too hard. Sometimes it seems He asks us to surrender too much, but always He promises to walk with us. He always promises to be faithful."

 

Sometimes I need those reminders that just as He has been faithful, He will continue to be. I need to surrender and take courage in the truth that He is with me wherever I go and in whatever I face.


 

"Just as He has been faithful, He will continue to be. I need to surrender and take courage in the truth that He is with me wherever I go and in whatever I face."

 

I’m happy to share that my dad finally had his surgery and the cancer was completely removed. He has now been cancer free for almost 11 months!


So Beloved, come close and surrender, because the One who calls you to lay it all down for the sake of following Him is faithful. And take courage as you walk one more brave step forward at a time.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto

Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story. And by the way...


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About Kristy


Kristy Mikel is a missionary who has served with Outpour Family Foundation in Mae Sot, Thailand since 2016. Prior to moving to Thailand, Kristy spent over 16 years in ministry and has served in 17 different nations through short-term and long-term missions. Her experiences, both in the U.S. and abroad, have given her unique perspectives, insights, and stories as she walks alongside women of all ages in their journey to the Father.


She and her co-author Kate Berkey recently published their book A Place Called Braverly: Daring to live courageously, dream boldly, and influence bravery. In it, they challenge readers to find their courage in who the Father is and who He says we are! If you want to learn more about their new book, you can find it online wherever books are sold or at aplacecalledbraverly.com.


Connect with Kristy on her website kristyjmikel.com or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


3 comentários


What an ordeal. How difficult it would be to hear of these events and be so far away! God bless you in your service to Him.

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Colette Lawrence
Colette Lawrence
01 de fev. de 2023

Thank you for sharing Kristy, such a powerful reminder that when we surrender all to follow Christ, He takes care of us, strengthen and sustains. Glad that your dad is healed and your mom is recovering.

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Jennifer Wier
Jennifer Wier
31 de jan. de 2023

Thank you for sharing this, Kristy. I couldn’t travel home during my dad’s major surgery either. It’s times like those when the cost of going really starts to set in. I will be sharing your honest but hopeful story with several friends.

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