Faith, Grief, Lifestyle

One Year Later…

January 8, 2018
Curtis Crum III

Two weeks before 2018 greeted us I started to become overwhelmed with anxiety as I knew that the new year meant I’d have to face the year mark of Curtis’ passing. My heart was hurting and I just couldn’t shake it off until the Saturday right before New Year’s Eve. I was watching the Hillsong Channel and God spoke so clear to me. You see, for months I had been getting this revelation about the word “trust” and “water”. I had no idea what that meant, until that Saturday when Taya Smith started to sing the bridge of “Oceans” by Hillsong United:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior”

I finally understood what God was trying to tell me. There is a level of surrender that my assignment, here on this earth, requires and my level of trust needs to be without borders. Jaw dropped and eyes wide open, the awe of how direct that message was, baffled me. To think, the new year was a little over 24 hours away, I was days away from the first anniversary of my husband’s death, and God was showing me this. What a gift.

As time would have it, here we are, January 8, 2018. One whole year later. In this past year, there were moments where time stood still, life wasn’t really making sense and loss became a norm. In 2017, I lost so much. Aside from my husband passing away, it was the year so many other family members passed on as well, I lost my apartment, I was left with debt, I had to start everything over again. Along the way I was reminded that God said:

“[He] will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..” Joel 2:25

And that:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

Some moments “seeing the light” in this, wasn’t even a thought in my mind. Then it slowly became a distant longing, until one day came and I realized that the light was always within me. I was the light in the midst of the real pain in my own life because Christ was abiding in me. God makes all things new and he is always close to the brokenhearted. What he did for me, he has promised for you too.

I want to personally thank my family, and friends that have become family. You know exactly who you are. You called, you texted, you fed me, you clothed me, you covered me, and never forgot about me and my basic and spiritual needs. I will do everything and anything in my power to forever be there for you in the same magnitude I have seen your love poured into me.

I want to thank my extended internet family and supporters for sending me a timely word of encouragement, beautiful comments and sharing life changing testimonies about how my words have challenged your heart on seeking God.

And to my love, gosh how I miss your hugs, smile and laugh. You were such a joy to love, a true gentlemen with the biggest heart. I am forever thankful to have been given the gift of being your wife.

Curtis Crum Michelle Ana Crum

Today is the 8th and in the bible the number 8 represents “new beginnings” or a “new era”. With that being said, as of today, I receive all of the new that God has made available to me. Know that I am only here today by God’s grace alone. He loved me back to life and allowed me to have this voice to share of how unfailing His love really is. Get ready ya’ll because, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”(1 Corinthians 2:9) That goes for YOU too.

love, michelle ana

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  • Reply Denisse Hernandez January 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing! May God continue to be by your side. May he give you the strength you need to go after what He has called you to do. Psalm 42:11 (MSG) ❤️

  • Reply Katie January 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    There is a beautiful purity about you, a heart willing to worship whatever the circumstances. A healing journey is never easy, but when you cooperate with the healer the possibilities are limitless! Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Kennetria Gilmore January 9, 2018 at 10:13 am

      i could not agree more. took the word right out of my mouth. you don’t see this often on our generation. what a encouragement and blessing.

  • Reply Maria Celia January 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    You need to be an author I need a book to read from you this seriously touched me in the most powerful way ever. God bless you and your strength❤️

  • Reply Rubi Then January 8, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    You are simply you because God made it that way, you’re an amazing person and this battle happened in your life , made you realized a lot that god was trying to tell you. Thank you for sharing your life experiences! You have no limits when you have him within you.

  • Reply Alexis Ball January 8, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    YASS YASS YASSS I whole heartily and genuinely believe this women’s ashes are being built beautifully. This is who God is and how God wanted us to handle tragedy. There is nothing we cannot come back from when we follow the one who made Love, who made us, who hand crafted every inch. She gives me hope for the future in the midst of storm and her platform is one I truly honor. He would be so proud of your Grace and what his death has brought although we wish it didn’t have to be in this form. This is God’s plan and God has written our story. Thank you for sharing hard times, hard moments and sharing that you don’t have it together all the time. This has helped me tremendously and made me recognize pieces of me that are truly me and not. You are REAL and RAW. It makes you stand out and unique and most of all your walk is displayed in a beautiful imperfect way just like God would want us all displayed BEAUTIFULLY IMPERFECT and STILL WORTH IT.

  • Reply Latecia Rockwell January 8, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Much like you I too experienced the loss of my husband and other family members in 2017. Thank you for being so transparent. I pray for your strength as I pray fo my own. Thank you for the encouragement. God’s grace is constantly resting on me. I sit back and I’m amazed at all that God has brought me through and to see his grace resting on you as well warms my heart. 2018 is the year of new beginnings for both of us and I’m excited to see what he has in store. God bless.

  • Reply Anita January 8, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you MichelleAna! I came across your YouTube posting of when Curtis first passed. Oh man did I cry along side of you! Almost a year later and I cried! So, I wanted to not only thank you, but remind you that you possess the power to touch so many people! You are a ray of sunshine that has chosen to peek around the clouds of sadness and grief. You continuously share the Lords word and remind the stray to continue to follow and believe. You gave me that gift and I am thankful. May the Lord guide you today and the rest of the days that you may feel great sadness or small sadness. You my friend are an incredible being. Thank you.

  • Reply maria January 8, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Love you Sis!!! beautifully written…

  • Reply B January 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Can’t imagine what you went through and are going through, but thank you for being an inspiriation. You are a true defintion of a woman who is full of Strength. May you continue to be light into this dark world.
    God bless you and continue to remain strong in the Lord!

    With love,

  • Reply Amy January 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    This is so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your life, your experiences sad & Happy, your emotions. Reading this has touched me so much. These past 3 years has been the toughest 3 years I’ve experienced in my life. But reading this made me realize that god makes us go through these tough moments to prepare us & get us where we need to be, god would not let us go through tthese tough battles we can not handle. We go through these tough moments in life because god knows we will over come them. You are such an inspiration to me & others. Your kind words lift those who are torn & broken. You have such a beautiful soul. May God keep blessing you.

  • Reply Nancy January 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve also experienced the loss of my husband in 2017, it hasn’t been easy for me as I also have my 2 beautiful little girls to be strong for… I must say though, God has blessed me with family & friends that have been such amazing support. I know God will always be there for me and my girls and he’s been giving me the strength to get through this storm. Dios te bendiga and may 2018 be a better year! ♥️

  • Reply Poleth January 8, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I love this .
    God bless you.

  • Reply Asia Moore January 8, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Sugh an amazing example of Gods love for us. Thank you for sharing! Definitely needed.

  • Reply Jazmin January 8, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Thank-you for being so open. Thank-you for reminding me (& us) that everything that happens He has a reasoning/learning behind it. God bless today & always!

  • Reply Susana January 8, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Hola Michelle,
    Al igual que a otras personas, tu historia me ha conmovido… aunque pudiera decir q me ha conmovido de una manera diferente… en mi caso, siento tanto resentimiento hacia mi esposo por su abandono emocional… que creo q tu vivencia me ha motivado a perdonarlo cada vez … no es tan mal como parece… pero si me siento triste porque no nos hemos unido y fusionado como manda el Señor en su palabra… gracias por tu compartir .

  • Reply Diana January 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Wow…what can I say? May, the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace!…
    And if you’re ever near Philly…I want you to come to my church!!! I’ll take you out to lunch!

  • Reply SmilesBehindLupus January 8, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I will continue to pray that God continues to provide inner peace , strength and comfort

  • Reply Lois January 8, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for opening up your heart and soul and share something so deep and personal. You have a wonderful gift of consolation. I know i need to trust God without borders. I have lost alot.

  • Reply Prisca January 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Praise God! This was absolutely beautiful! You are an unremarkable women. Thank you for your transparency.
    You have inspired and motivated me in my trust God. You have thought me the true meaning of the saying “It start with God and it ends with God”. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. May God continue to use you for his glory. You are a such a blessing. Again, thank you so much ! Bisou xox

  • Reply Kondwani January 9, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Michelle I thought of you yesterday on my birthday even as I celebrated. I pray for you and I love how God still clothes you with strength and a smile that’s uplofts others . Your posts on instagram warm my heart. In 2017 God allowed me to know that a strong powerful woman like you is alive . Trust me I have learnt so much from you and your experience and walk with Christ. Thank you for been a source of inspiration in my life. May God forever continue to shine his light upon you.
    “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”
    -‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:8‬‬
    “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
    -‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:11‬‬
    continue being a blessing .

  • Reply nicole January 9, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Wow! I couldn’t help but cry! Through your words, i can seee the light and power of God. I pray God continue to comfort you and that you keep trusting him the way that you do and even more. Thank you for sharing your testimonies with us,thank you for not
    only showing us the good part of your life like others do but also the difficult moments. And you’re not just sharing, you’re also encouraging a bunch of us, so thank you! ❤

  • Reply Yvette M. January 9, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Thank you Michelle. You are forever in my prayers. May God continue to comfort you.

  • Reply Ebony Heath January 9, 2018 at 8:57 am

    To God be all the Glory. May He continue to move in the lives of all of us. Love you Michelle. ❤

  • Reply Brenda January 9, 2018 at 9:37 am


  • Reply Denise Reynaga January 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    You have been through so much but yet still abel to be postive your husband is looking at you and he is so proud I myself have lost so many people that I love but I like you am strong also the Lord has our backs never doubt the love that he has

  • Reply Mzikazi January 9, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Michelle, you are God sent. When my brother was dying of cancer, my mother told us that he kept on singing the exact Hillsong that you are mentioning in your post. As a result I am unable to listen to that song without crying. My mother told us that he left quoting “Sorrow comes at night, but Joy comes in the morning” I am left here assured knowing very well where he has gone to which is heaven. Our brother left us in October 11, 2016. He was the youngest and he was in bible school determined to work for the Lord. I don’t understand his passing, but I am trusting God. Thank you for your for being open. Your posts on instagram have healed me my heart. Stay Blessed.

  • Reply Kennetria Gilmore January 9, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I whole heartedly receive this entire message. Michelle, you eximplify what it means to be selfless and allow God to be in your heart and to live thru him. Not one part of your message was selfish or about you or a selfish benefit toward you. But every part of it was telling how Gods lessons, love and blessings were let into your heart and allowed to penetrate your life without a fight or resistance. Wow. Just Wow. Being transparent, that is often my own weakness. I allow my anxiety, past hurts and experiences, and frankly my “God not showing up when i wanted him to” moments to keep me in a selfish place. Maybe that’s why God has me in the place he does now. Your message has allowed me to have a self reflection moment. Wow is all i can say. Amazing feeling when you have a moment of clarity.. I thank God for you Michelle. Thank you for your example of what it means to live your life for Jesus Christ. I love you. Praying you get a chance to read this, as your message has helped me in ways you will never know. I’m praying for you and your soul. I know this cannot be an easy time for you. Send love and positivity your way. Comfort your way. And the reminder that always helps me; God will Never leave you, Nor forsake you. ❤️❤️ I love you Michelle. Your sister in Christ, Kennetria. God bless you and your family.

  • Reply Gema January 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Crying over the hope that you are sharing with each of us! God is so so good and I love but hurt with you over your story. Thank you for saying yes to Jesus when it took everything to just breathe each day

  • Reply Khanyisana Mnisi January 10, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    You are such a beautiful, blessed soul. The work that God is doing through you and your platform is absolutely insane. Thank you for continuing to share and just being.

    God bless you girl.

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