How Suffering Helped Michele Cushatt Embrace Her Mortality

How Suffering Helped Michele Cushatt Embrace Her Mortality

Have you ever thought, “There but for the grace of God go I?” I certainly have. In today’s post, I am privileged to share the journey of Michele Cushatt, one of my heroes. Her life reminds me to be grateful for every day, every breath. I have never faced the kind of suffering Michele has lived through in the past year. There but for the grace of God go you or I.


I first met Michele at a speaker’s conference in 2012, and again at the Platform conference in November 2014. I was immediately taken by Michele’s artistry with words. She is a phenomenal speaker and author, using her God-given gift of expression to inspire others.

Michele has survived three cancer diagnoses. THREE. Her most recent diagnosis was cancer of the tongue. Through nine hours of surgery, two-thirds of her tongue was removed. Imagine…a professional speaker losing most of her tongue.

Michele describes her journey as being taken to the brink. Her suffering is beyond what I can fathom. Michele’s transparency through her journey has been deeply moving. I most admire her willingness to share the lessons she has learned with gut-wrenching honesty. In particular, Michele describes how suffering has taught her to embrace her mortality.

In her blog post 5 Lessons I Learned From the Brink, Michele writes in lesson #4:

“The only way to embrace life is to equally embrace death. We may turn our heads or squeeze shut our eyes, but death will not be denied. It’s reality, for every living, breathing human. Like it or not, I had to come to terms with this far sooner than I imagined. But rather than crushing me, it freed me. My main aim is no longer to extend my life, whatever the cost. Instead, my aim is to LIVE IT. To use the gift I’ve been given, for as long as I can. I will not let fear dictate my days. Will you?”

I’m pleased to link you to a four-minute video clip of Michele sharing her perspective on how she learned to embrace her mortality. It really is worth your time. This is an excerpt from a recent podcast episode of Michael Hyatt’s This is Your Life. I share it with permission.


If you’d like to watch the entire podcast, click here. You can learn more about Michele at And finally, I highly recommend Michele’s memoir Undone—Making Peace with an Unexpected Life. It will move you deeply…guaranteed. As I have learned from Michele through her book, life can be messy and unexpected, leaving us feeling undone. Yet, undone is beautiful. Undone is where God does his best work.

QUESTION: Have you learned to embrace your mortality? Will you please join the conversation by sharing this post via social media with your comment using #mortality?

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