Cracked not Broken

Written by: Mike Seaton

On January 12, 2022, I was asked to write this blog on the following topic: “After reading Matthew 14:25-33 on the Sea of Galilee, how has your faith grown?” The due date was October 19, 2022 (the day I am writing this). If I had written this earlier, it would have been much different. I believe God wanted me to write it at this moment.

Today is the seven-year anniversary of the tragic death of our beloved son, Michael. Our family still grieves our loss. Shortly after Michaels’ passing, I made a promise to God that I would commit to a journey of faith with Michael. That has not changed.

Approximately three years after that commitment, I felt called by God to visit the Holy Land. My wife, Suzanne, and I traveled to Israel with Pastor Tony, other Wesley Chapel members, and guests. My daughter, Ashley, gave me a journal to use along the way. The following is the note Ashley included in the journal:

10/1/18

“Dad,

I couldn’t be more excited for you. This day I have prayed for – long before you even realized. I know of God’s goodness, enduring love and relentless pursuit because of your walk. Your decision to just say “yes” and lean into the path he has called you to is an inspiration to my faith. I look forward to the day I get to tell the boys of how their Pa sought after Jesus with all his heart – and there he found a God that blessed him with supernatural peace that brought light into the darkness.

I pray that this journey not only shows you the ground that Jesus walked – but also shows you his character. His depth of love for you – his constant grace and his relentless desire to be in a relationship with you. To save you from the valley and take your hand to the high places of joy, freedom, restoration, and complete fulfilling love.

Dad thank you for being such a wonderful, loving father to me. But most of all thank you for deepening my relationship with my heavenly father by your own walk and decision to say “yes” – even in the uncomfortable.

I love you!

Ashley”

I made notes each night in the journal of the places we had seen that day. On October 6, 2018, I wrote:

Today we went to the Mount of Beatitudes. Here, Jesus preached to his disciples the “Sermon on the Mount.”

Next, we went on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee! WOW! One of my favorite things so far! I read Mathew 14:25-33 for the group. “Jesus walks on water!”

Next, we visited Capernaum where Jesus called “home.” He lived there in Peter’s house. He prayed and taught in the synagogue.

Then we went to where Jesus fed 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

Last, but not least, I was baptized in the Jordan River by Pastor Tony. This was part of my faith journey with Michael. It was a good day but it made me sad.”

The Beatitude I recorded was “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” The last night I wrote this summary:

“Truly, a trip of a lifetime. Each day was filled with more powerful revelations than the previous. My journey started walking in the footsteps of Jesus and ended walking with him. My faith has certainly increased as has my knowledge of the Bible.

Suzanne and I shared something very special together. It makes our love for each other stronger. We have made many new friendships during this journey. Tim and Susan Schmitt, Pete, Carol and Rene Miller, Holly, Sue, Bonita, Laura, Lisa, Ahnya, Diane, Dan, Samantha, Pastors Dick and Jim, Jackie, and many others. Friends in God.

Pastor Tony has been the major influence in helping me find God. For that I am forever grateful. My journey of faith continues. May God guide me and show me the way!!

Amen”

Upon returning home, my faith was real, alive, and growing. For the next several years, I loved coming to worship, teaching a small class on Sundays, and attending Ron Van Tyle’s class on Wednesday nights. On Saturday, March 5, 2022, I attended a Pray Through to Breakthrough Conference hosted by Sue Nilson Kibbey. The conference was captivating and inspirational. With my new Prayer Journal and five-minute egg timer, I set up a prayer room in my basement. Two hundred and fourteen prayers later, and I am still going strong. I have learned prayer makes a difference! My faith was at an all-time high.

Then, shortly after the Prayer Conference, I witnessed some church division while serving on the Servant Leader Board. It worsened over time, and I realized there was a deep divide among our congregation. The ensuing disaffiliation vote occurred and our church split. I have lost friends that I love. My faith has been cracked but not broken.

On October 19, I was at Mount Saint Francis sitting on the bench at the lake. This is a place I’ve been many times in the past, reading scripture, asking God to help me with my grief and renew my faith. I know God is here because he has been here before. Thank you, God.


6 Responses to “Cracked not Broken”

  1. Kim Hardin says:

    Mike, what a beautiful blog. I identify and sympathize with many parts of your journey. You have been a critical part of my faith journey and I am grateful for you.
    Your friend and fellow pilgrim,
    Kim Hardin

  2. Bonita Cadle says:

    Beautifully written. I feel so blessed to have shared that amazing trip with you. It certainly was life changing. I was inspired not only by our walk with Jesus, but also by watching you and Suzanne walk in love with one other. Thanks for your friendship Habibi.

  3. Bill Schuppert says:

    Mike, so well written from the heart of a true believer. Your devotion to your wife and family and to Jesus shines though you and your daughter Ashley. I do not know you and your wife personally but after reading your blog, I feel we are indeed , brothers and sister in our Lord and Savior Jesus.

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