It amazes me that the release of this Lauren Daigle song is falling on the day that I wrote about this song “Dry Bones” and how it had become such a part of our hospital soundtrack. Approximately 28 hours after writing about this song, our family had our final visit with Mike — all four of us.

We knew that we were holding onto each other, walking through the valley of those eleven days, relying on the Power of God to take hold of our fears. Then, the song took on new meaning, and the kids and I have held each other, as we have had to “step into the valley unafraid” and walk through this new valley — being Brave.

I’ve come to the reality that true Bravery is not void of fear. It is an active step that in SPITE of the feeling of fear, we walk through that situation anyway.
And guess what? The fear … subsides.
We’ve had a lot of daily practice on being brave this year. It is not easy, but The Present Help of God always arrives.
Always.

We had no idea that the images that Mabyn would soon take on December 1st would be our final family photo shoot. *She just HAPPENED to decide that morning to be my personal “latté fairy” and was there when the nurse snuck in our children to see him, saying, “I don’t care if their daughter is only eight; this man NEEDS to see his baby girl!”

As soon as she told us that we could call in the kids, Mike was like a little kid on Christmas morning, asking me, “Please make sure I look presentable.” And every ten minutes, he’d ask, “Are they almost here?”

I share that bit now, because our prayers, and our family’s prayers ran deep and around the clock, and I couldn’t think of a better image for this post.

Soon, I am going to write in smaller/topical posts about this song, The Church [a community of sacrificial Christ-followers, rather than an organization], Prayer [what it is, what its for, how to respond when it seems to go unanswered or given a “wrong” answer] — I have have much to share about so many things, and what this song and the scripture it comes from has come to mean to us — then… and today.

But for now, I am going to simply share with you my actual Facebook posts I made from the hospital about this song, this man, and our love for The Body of Christ to Awaken with the Life and Breath of God…

Just before 5:00 a.m., I posted this:

“I’ll give a detailed ‘here’s where things are physically’ report after we see doctors later in the morning.
Today, so many of you have celebrated Mike and an army is rising up with prayers riding on winds from all over the globe.
WhoEVER would have thought?

So I want to close my eyes tonight on the tiny palette on the waiting room floor by telling you two things about my husband that I believe are happening before my eyes, because of and in spite of these circumstances that are eluding logic, knowledge, and reasoning:

1) my name means “beloved follower of Christ” and when I was an itty bit, and ppl asked me my name, I’d say, ‘Ami Christina Sandstrom—beloved little follower of the Lord!’
I’ll never forget when we first were preparing for pregnancies, talking with Mike about his own name. He didn’t like the meaning of it (it’s awesome though btw), and the reason for that… Well let me tell it to you, and you’ll figure it out.

Michael Robert means ‘bright famed one.’
If someone said the phrase ‘bright famed one,’ would you immediately think of Mike?
Perhaps, but probably not.

I can tell you though that there is no one better I can think of for seeing through the convictions of ministering Christ to the family. The support he offers, the writings he has in his computer, there is MUCH in this man that I have believed someday will rise from shadows into the open to perhaps help many many more than he already does. His passion, if you know him you’ll agree, is the HOME. He fights hard for the home, whether ppl stick around him… or need his help for a small season and then leave. His ideal for what could be—a Camelot of sorts in living Community where everyone matters—never diminishes. His hope for your healthy home is strong. And if our homes become strong, then everything does. ‘Home’ beginning with each individual-person-home (one life finding himself/herself whole in Christ) to each family-home all the way to …. I see the home and church colliding in such a way that families are…. more.

Awakened.

Alive.

And the church with a big ‘C’ is renewed. I don’t know why this time of battling illness would happen, but as far as Mike’s personal life, I see him standing ground and holding on, and I believe that this is his defining moment. He has a world of things to say, but has always been hidden while serving the top leadership guys. And I know with absolute certainty that his interpretation of ‘bright famed one’ really is to reflect the True Famous One with and give Him glory and honor, not take it for himself.

So, I don’t know how or why, but I believe God is taking his voice while He’s about to give him a voice. Crippling his hands before He uses those hands for greater service, and cramping his feet in order to rebuild them to handle the roads and paths he will soon be walking in a destiny that matches the full meaning of his name somehow.

2) this movement happening with prayer right now is unexpected to our family. We are right now hearing the most beautiful prayers from people in Zimbabwe, Australia, Brazil, from right here down the road, and from all over the USA. As we just feel the need to keep asking ppl to lift up Jesus [not Mike per se], the army of people praying multiplies.

So many people that have given up on God are praying; people who have been hit with their own losses or stopped praying for whatever reason are praying again. We’ve read phrases such as, ‘thank you for getting me to pray! I’m addicted to this now, and I find myself praying for everything!’

People close to Mike will know that there are times when he uses this phrase, ‘I just want to take the Church and give it back to Jesus.’

When he has said those words, people look at him funny, like, ‘Aaaaaaallrighty then,’ and don’t really know what it means. As his WIFE, I’ve been uncomfortable with that phrase, not understanding why he keeps wording it that way.

I’m telling you now, I am beginning to see what that means, because all of the messages we keep getting from everyone are just that! There is only One Church — One Community — and people are uniting through prayer. It doesn’t matter if it is the ‘sending you good vibes Mike’ or the experienced and seasoned veteran charismatic, the heartbeat of everyone is alive, and as everyone focuses on Jesus, it keeps growing.

It’s as if a stage is being set, using the fight/struggle/pain over Mike, in order that people will call upon the Name of Jesus without fear or insecurity [even over the internet].

The longer the delay to the prayers being answered, the bolder people are becoming to shed fear and lift up Jesus.

I had a thought here on my palette through the night:
Tomorrow starts the season of Advent [when people await the coming of the long-expected Messiah], and the first candle that churches all over the world will light tomorrow is the candle of HOPE.

When you go about your day tomorrow, whether in church or not, will you please, with a renewed Hope, let expectation for Jesus rise up in some way?

Churches all have different programming, right? But there is only One to praise. So because I have NO CLUE what tomorrow holds, and with this determination each day, I am fueling my joy with expectation… Please, for one Sunday, let’s get back to the simple.

Praise Jesus.

Hold onto Hope; light it up if you need to.

If we raise ONE voice to praise Jesus together, then Mike’s biggest desire that no one—not even his wife—understands fully when he says it the same way every time, just may carry along a reality of truth.
And wouldn’t that be beautiful?

‘Come, thou Long-expected Jesus…’

Today we give You praise and we let it rise.

Let’s ‘take the church and give it back to Jesus.’

Today it’s not about your show, your desired perfection, any antics or creative wow-the-people-who-come moments.

You are the Church.
I am the Church.
We are a Community.
A Community of Homes.
And today, I give my all to Jesus.
In sickness and in health.
For better or for worse.
To get my way or to give up everything.
Nothing is worth my highest praise, but Jesus.
Only Jesus.

And then about 3 hours later, I shared these words along with the YouTube video link of “Dry Bones”:

“As I’ve mentioned, this song is one of the main anthems we’ve heard over and over and have sung in the room. It played in me throughout my entire rest on the floor palette. Dry Bones has become what Mike’s body looks like, but we are praying for both his body and The Body every time.
Dry Bones, come to life!”

Full Song Lyrics

Dry Bones (Come Alive)
By Lauren Daigle

Through the eyes of men it seems
There’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road
Where all the prodigals have walked
And One by one
The enemy has whispered lies
And led them off as slaves

But we know that you are God
Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith you’ve given us
We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah

As we call out to dry bones
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes
Let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

God of endless mercy
God of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter
Bring us back the wayward son
And by Your Spirit breathe upon them
Show the world that You alone can save
You alone can save

As we call out to dry bones
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes
Let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

Breathe, Oh Breath of God
Now breathe, Oh Breath of God
Breathe, Oh Breath of God now, breathe
Breathe, Oh Breath of God
Now breathe, Oh Breath of God
Breathe, Oh Breath of God now, breathe
Breathe, Oh Breath of God
Now breathe, Oh Breath of God
Breathe, Oh Breath of God now, breathe
Breathe, Oh Breath of God
Now breathe, Oh Breath of God
Breathe, Oh Breath of God now, breathe

As we call out to dry bones
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dry bones
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes
Let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive
We call out to dry bones come alive
We call out to dry bones
Come alive