Losing a loved one through medical malpractice has to be one of the most difficult experiences in life. This is Ami Shroyer’s story, and she would say she was loved for 100 years in 20 by her beloved Mike. Not everyone gets to experience a love like this. As a traveling teen musician, she met the love of her life. They start their marriage in love and soon after, they started their family. While serving the Lord as a family, preparing land for a new ministry, her husband Mike inhales some debris. Through a series of misdiagnosis and careless medical practice, Mike passes away. Ami brings us into that season of her life, the love, the pain and the beyond. Her name means, ‘beloved little follower of the Lord,’ and as her story unfolds, you will see her uncommon faith, from just a little girl, to this present day. She is resilient, and has an affinity for daisies, which reminds her of the love of her husband, Mike Shroyer.
Hebrews 12:1-“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Beloved little follower of the Lord
Creative child whose wings were clipped
Lived in 21 different houses before 21
Jesus clubs and writing music
Friend-zoned Bill Gaither’s nephew
Skipped graduation to travel around the country singing
Severed parental relationship made right
Meeting the love of her life
“Miracle of Mercy” Mike’s life song
Quick & happy marriage
Working at Andy Stanley’s church, their Atlanta years
Starting a family wholeness center
The 5/11 Wholeness Journey
Mike gets suddenly ill
The Doctors fumble his care
Medicinal toxicity and dehydration sets in
One last visit
Loved for 100 years in 20
Fields of daisies
Name on the front of the building
A voice for strong homes
“I always want purpose, not closure. You can’t close off a love like this. We are not meant to. We need to continue to live wide open with purpose.”
“It literally feels like he is on a trip before we get there, but he just got there first.”
“The night that he passed away my daughter said ‘Mom, now it’s even. And I said, ‘what do you mean?’ And she said, ‘Well the two babies that are in heaven have Dad, and you have us. It’s even.”
My son said, “I’ve been thinking, I could be really angry with God that I am 12 and Sadie is 8, and that this would happen, but I got to thinking, if this were going to happen some day anyway, I would rather that it happen when I’m 12 and Sadie is 8, because if it were later in life, you would be all alone, and right now you have us.”
Elizabeth Elliot “Path of Suffering”
Ami’s Website: https://amishroyer.com/
Journey Through Fields of Daisies (on her website)
For more inspiring stories: https://lettersfromhomepodcast.com/
Purposely. Your life. God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com.
Meg Glesener: Wonderful news. Letters from Home has recently joined the Krista family in Seattle, Washington, and we are now part of the Purposely Podcast network and channel. Thank you for celebrating with me, all of you current listeners, and a special welcome to all of you new listeners. To give you a great sample of the stories you can expect or may not have had a chance to hear yet, we are doing a From the Vault series of some everyday extraordinary faith stories from the past. Here is Ami Shroyer’s story titled Losing Her Beloved Through Medical Malpractice.
Ami Shroyer: It literally feels like he’s on a trip before we get there, but he just got there first and the night that he passed away, my daughter actually said to me, mom, now it’s even. And I said, what do you mean? And she said the two babies that are in heaven have dad, and you have us. It’s even.
Speaker: And now for the next episode of Letters from Home, sending encouragement to your doorstep by capturing the heartbeat of God’s people. One story at a time.
Meg Glesener: Hi, this is Meg. Loved for a hundred years in 20. Not everyone gets to experience a love like this, but Ami did. As a traveling team musician coming off of a rough childhood, she meets the love of her life. Mike Shroyer. They marry and start a family while preparing land for their new ministry, a family wholeness center, her husband inhaled some debris, and through a series of misdiagnosis and careless medical practice, Mike passes away. Ami brings us into that season of her life, the love, the pain, and the beyond. As her story unfolds, you will see her uncommon faith and that of her children. She is resilient. And has an affinity for daisies, which reminds her of her once in a lifetime love. You’ll be so encouraged. Here is the extraordinary faith story of the everyday. Ami Shroyer.
Ami Shroyer I’m so happy to have you on Letters From Home today. It was such a joy meeting you. I still remember in the podcasting group that we were in together the day we talked about introductions and what we all had going on in our lives, and I thought when you shared Ami’s got a hard and amazing story and I have had you on my heart, on my list of people that I really wanted to hear their story. So thanks for popping on today. I’m so glad to have you here.
Ami Shroyer: I’m so excited to be here.
Meg Glesener: I know you’re right in the middle of a move and , all these things, so it’s just great that we can get to your story. So Ami, let’s just get right into your story. What was it like to be little Ami growing up in your home?
Ami Shroyer: Okay, little Ami, I loved my name. My parents were big on what our names meant, so they told me very early on that Ami, Christina meant beloved little follower of the Lord. And I don’t really remember a time when Jesus was not real to me. It was just I don’t know if it was because when someone would say, what’s your name?
I would say, Amy, Christina Sandstrom, beloved little follower of the Lord. Like it all just came out . But that set the stage for a steady, that God knew that I needed through some very difficult childhood years and teenage and I don’t know, I feel like I’ve been on a very up and down journey, but with tons of gratitude and a lot of the presence of God.
So I can’t complain, but my kids say to me a lot, mom, your life. Because it’s been so different for them. And I’m so thankful because that’s what we want, is the next generation to have the freedom. Growing up as little Ami, I was very creative and imaginative. And my mom, she just told my son the other day, she lives in a nursing home now. She said I was mad my whole life. And she was mad mom.
Meg Glesener: Oh, your mom was?
Ami Shroyer: She was very. So creative Ami had my wings clipped a lot, and my parents were in ministry, so we were always surrounded by the church. And my dad was an enthusiast. Very, music ministry was his thing, choir directing.
He always involved my family. But when the four of us would sing often, that was our thing. We sang as a family. My dad would be bellowing his big, hearty laugh and super encouraging. And my mom would say things like, Ami, it would’ve been good if you had held the microphone closer to your mouth, or if it was very challenging.
I, I had a lot of conflict with my mom growing up in those early years, and thank the Lord, he has healed that over the years. But it was a difficult season of life. Struggled a lot. She had a hard childhood and they were married when they were 17 and 19 .
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: Yeah, they were babies. They were starting off and trying to figure out life as well, and, so they were still learning to heal. And I think my brother and I just got a lot of the fallout from that. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I loved being raised in the church. I loved being around music and vibrant people.
We moved a lot. My parents switched churches a lot, and I actually lived in 23 different houses by the time I was 21.
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: And sometimes it was in the same town. My mom just wanted a different house. And so we would live in four houses in that particular town and ugh, I hate moving. So right now the kids and I were gonna be moving and I’m like, oh my goodness.
Packing boxes and going through things is not fun.
Meg Glesener: Very trick triggering. You’re moving .
Ami Shroyer: Yeah, it’ll be fine. But yeah, so we had a very unsteady growing up and I had relatives in the south, in Texas and Arkansas, and they were solid. My brother and I would oftentimes be sent away for the entire summers because my parents needed to work on their marriage.
We didn’t know it at the time, but now as an adult, I know that’s what they were doing. And we had amazing, great aunts and great uncles and a great granny, and all these people who really, it was the village was raising us and surrounding us. And so I got a lot of deep conversation about Jesus and the Holy Spirit and walking with Christ and learning how to pray.
When I was eight years old, my great-aunt who, her name was Janine, that’s my daughter’s middle name, she prayed with me at the side of the road and was explaining to me how the Holy Spirit gives us gifts. And I do believe that in that moment he filled me with a very uncommon faith. It was very much a gift from the Holy Spirit that he knew that I needed when I would go back home.
And it was just, it led into very turbulent years. I think, when you step out and you say, I wanna be a light for Jesus , the enemy’s not very happy about that. And my middle school years and different seasons were very difficult because of my faith. And there was a lot of ridicule and there was some hard years in there.
But again, I don’t have anything to complain about because it just was part of the story and made me stronger. And I used to read my Bible before going to school and say, Lord, I just wanna pray for those people, these people that are not treating me well when I get to school. And you say in your word, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
And I’m gonna do that every day. I would go in and they would do very mean things and I would love them anyway. And again, we moved a lot. So I lived in that particular school about three years. And when I left the girl who had started a lot of the bullying came to me and. Had some very profound things to say that were positive, that they were really gonna miss me.
And I of course, thought, oh, you, you won’t have anyone to pick on, right? But she said, they’re doing to me some of what they did to you, and I don’t know how you got through it. And I was able to tell her about Jesus and invited her to my youth group. And so I was always that really weird kid who, I was starting the groups that would meet at eight o’clock by the flagpole and pray.
And I, I would do bible studies for little girls outta my house for third through sixth grade girls. And we came up with all kinds of names and for our clubs, our Jesus clubs. And so then when I was in high school, I was already starting to write music and my mom and dad wanted me to go to college and they wanted me to marry a Gaither.
I was very good friends with Bill Gaither’s nephew, and they were devastated that I gave him the let’s just be friends, speech and
Meg Glesener: Friend zoned .
Ami Shroyer: Yeah. He was in the friend zone and I didn’t end up going where my parents wanted me to. I actually skipped my high school graduation because I had concerts scheduled and I went and had bought a sound system and put it in a van and traveled around and sang my Jesus songs, , wherever anybody would listen, which my kids think is hilarious now.
Looking back, I was really young. I would not want my kids doing that. What was I thinking? But it was an amazing time of just seeing God provide and. Being in some really crazy little towns and crazy places. It just was so fun and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world either.
It’s just great. And that’s how I met my husband.
Meg Glesener: So was it a band?
Ami Shroyer: No, just me. I would play the piano or the guitar. I don’t really play the guitar as well. And I made some recordings and so I would have the accompaniment tracks to those and it took a long time for me to feel confident enough to do my own music.
I was going out and doing other people’s music, and then I felt like I needed, I had written this one song called Holy God, and it just felt like God wrote it. I just happened to be in the room. I shared that live one night and it got the most response. And the Lord convicted me that, he was giving me songs for a reason and I really shouldn’t hide them.
So I started to do those and then everything changed. It just I started to record music. Now I look back on it and , I think it’s dated and some of it’s a little embarrassing. The lyrics are wonky or whatever. But it was a lot of passion and I’m so thankful for those years and to have had the opportunities. I saw a lot of miracles.
Meg Glesener: What a determined young lady. So here you are walking with the Lord, , starting Bible studies and clubs. Just going out on the road ministry as a teenager and even skipping your high school graduation. That’s pretty crazy. So it sounds like your parents were pretty supportive, but were they also like to step back and let’s let Ami do her thing?
Ami Shroyer: I don’t really know. Like I think our relationship was a little severed there, in that the end of my high school time we had a really rough season, I would say, from which, which probably played into it as well. I was ready to get out of the house and go find my way. There was some orneriness in Ami at that point too that I’m not proud of.
The Lord convicted me. I was about 21 and I really felt like God said, take your mom with you on this trip. And so I asked her and we, I was, I had concerts and I was gonna be traveling from New York state all the way to Texas and then back, and so at concerts for about four and a half weeks. And I invited my mom and , I was terrified and I said, Lord, this can’t be, and I just really felt you need to.
And she said yes. And then I was like, no. Oh my gosh. But I knew that we were gonna drive away with one relationship and come home with a different relationship. And while there were still moments after that I’m so thankful that we did that because it was much needed. And I knew, sometimes when you’re in conflict with other people, being in the car is the best place because you don’t have to look at each other.
And you can play music or you can talk. But a lot of guards come down driving in a car. And that was a great road trip and she got to see me in a different, Light. And I think she started to respect my quirkiness and my randomness wasn’t maybe as random as she thought. And my husband even said that in our early marriage years, I was still doing concerts.
And he said, Amy, do you realize that your prayer time at the end, cause I would end at a concert and that I would stay in the front. And I would always say, I believe in the power of prayer and anyone who has a prayer request, please come forward and I’ll pray with you. I’ll, I believe that God can do a miracle in your life.
And sometimes that portion of a night would be longer than the concert was itself. And my mom got to see that, that, that time with people. And it was really beautiful.
Meg Glesener: Just a small question, I. There wasn’t Airbnb back then and , did you get paid for concerts and you just arranged a full-on trip like that instead of all the locations? .
Ami Shroyer: I would contact churches and it was crazy cuz I didn’t have a cell phone. We still had paper maps, . I don’t know how I survived it honestly.
Meg Glesener: You met your husband on the road?
Ami Shroyer: I did. I was asked to come and lead worship for a youth camp event and I got there and he was one of the program directors at that youth camp.
And it was an intense weekend because it was not a youth camp that I was used to. They had a smoker’s pit for kids and it was really interesting. It was ex an extremely liberal place. I wasn’t used to that with my southern roots. I was there to sing my Jesus songs and I didn’t think they were gonna like me at all.
And so there was this tall, skinny guy and everywhere he went, he had a whole entourage of teenagers wanting to be around him. And his countenance was so loving and gentle. And I just remember watching him and thinking there’s something cool about him. But we were so busy doing what we were doing in our separate zones that we didn’t really meet until I was getting in my car to say goodbye.
And he came to my car before I pulled away and he said, thank you for coming. Cuz he was the one who set it up. He wanted to make sure, cause I had been up all night praying and talking with kids. He said, I wanna make sure when you get home ,cuz I had a few hours to drive that you made it safely. Could you please call the camp and leave us a message because I’ll be praying for you.
And at the end of our conversation, for some reason we were talking about the new Stephen Curtis Chapman CD that was out and he said, my life song is on that disc. And I said, what song is it? And he said, Miracle of Mercy. And I got in my car and I drove the camp, had this winding road that went all the way to the top of the hill before you went out on the highway.
And when I got to the top of the hill, I stopped my car and I dug through my CDs and I got that cd cause I had to know what in the world with this 23 year old guy pick that for his life song for. And I listened on repeat to Miracle of Mercy for my, almost my entire ride home. Thinking about him. And then they had me come back for another event and then we really met.
Then it was like, okay, you’re pretty amazing . And so our entire relationship was that one event and then a year passed, and then we met again at another event. And from that it was about two weeks later, we had our first date and we dated for three and a half months and he proposed, and then we were engaged for four and a half weeks and we were married.
Meg Glesener: You just knew.
Ami Shroyer: And in typical Ami fashion our invitations were telephone calls. Hey, what you doing on November 23rd? You wanna come to a wedding? And it was crazy. Our entire ceremony cost under a thousand dollars. And it was the most fun. We got married in a retirement home that had , it had a, it was like a nursing home retirement place, but they had just built a new chapel.
There was this beautiful little chapel. We were like it’s not being used. Let’s get married there. And so there was this loft area and these old people were up at the top, like spectating over this young couple that was there to get married that day. They were so excited and it was so funny. It was so fun.
Meg Glesener: Just bonus, people at the wedding . So tell me about early marriage. What was it like?
Ami Shroyer: It was just so much fun. We unplugged. It was like our first year was, hi, nice to meet you. I wanna know everything about you. And everything I’m learning I love you even more. And the other way around, like it was just, it was an awesome first year and that set the stage for everything.
Meg Glesener: I’m so glad you had a great first year. That’s unusual. Usually you hear people coming back saying, oh, I’m with the same person all the time, or the physical part wasn’t as cool as I thought, or stuff like that.
Ami Shroyer: Yeah. In my later high school years, I had dated some people that were not healthy for me at all. And so the enormous contrast with Michael and how much he cared for every detail of me as a person and treasured me. That just, I needed that so badly. I used to tell people all the time because he was also, he, his background was in psychology and he was becoming a counselor and doing counseling.
I tell people all the time, God knew I needed a therapist. And so those first couple of years there was a lot of healing that took place because he had such an easy breezy life up to that point. And so he lived struggles vicariously through his now wife that he got to hear, cuz I had, I was carrying the tail end of some eating disorders. And so I was like this Jesus loving girl who was very strong personality, but I had a lot of inner turmoil and a lot of residue that I just had to heal and work through too.
So I definitely was not anything perfect in any way, shape, or form.
Meg Glesener: Yeah. It’s, there’s so much life that happens. And what’s your doggy’s name?
Ami Shroyer: Ugh. My dog is Ellie Mae and I’m so sorry. She gets jealous when I’m talking to people on the computer and she’s over by the window.
Meg Glesener: Well Ellie Mae, you are on the podcast, so we just wanted to introduce you, and so that when people hear her happy little noises, they’ll know it’s Ellie May.
Ami Shroyer: Yes.
Meg Glesener: It’s funny that we introduce her and then she
Ami Shroyer: goes crazy.
Meg Glesener: Yeah, might have to leave that.
Ami Shroyer: Long story short, we ended up packing up a U-Haul and moving down to Atlanta and working for Andy Stanley’s church. And we were there when there were 1800 adults plus youth and kids. And in four years, that church exploded to over 18,000 adults, plus youth and kids and three campuses.
And it was just this time of church growth.
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: And we were right there, amidst it because when we moved there, we were in a staff of 24 people. So we got to know people very well. Mike was the one of the children’s pastors there, and then he worked with middle school and it was just an amazing time.
So our Atlanta years were where we had our first pregnancy and had a miscarriage. And then a year later we had my son, Jeffrey Michael. And during that whole season, as far as ministry goes, we got more and more into working for a ministry. We grew less and less ministering to people. So it became less satisfying.
As wonderful as that was, it was not for us because the way that we were wired, it just didn’t, it didn’t wanna be a small cog in a big machine. So the Lord gave us a vision for family, for the home, for, not looking at a stage in the professionalism of a stage, but what’s really going on in the names in the homes, the people behind the mailbox.
If we were to pull back the curtain, is your home okay? That’s really important. And so we prayed for a few years and we ended up leaving Atlanta, moving to North Carolina to start a new ministry, to reach the homes. We were still serving in a church in North Carolina when we first moved here because they, that’s how we ended up here.
A, a church found out that Mike had left that church and we didn’t wanna get into another church again, . So they waited over two months for Mike’s answer and we ended up saying, wow, they’re really waiting a long time. Maybe we should do this. And , we ended up moving here and I’m so glad that we did because this area, when I first was here, it felt like a small town that little Ami loved and grew up in.
And once we got out of the traffic of Atlanta and living our lives around traffic, we didn’t wanna go back. We spent a couple of years trying to figure out, okay, we’re serving this church, but Mike has about three years of children’s ministry left in him. This family thing is really what we’re all about.
And that church knew that. So we served there for three years and then we started this family wholeness center, and in time we ended up on a 47 acre property. And we didn’t own it, we were just leasing it. By this time we had Sadie. Now she’s three and a half. When we moved onto that property. This was supposed to be like, if you tell, you see how God rescues you from different things and I spent a lot of time in almost ministry moments.
Like a ghost writer for a children’s ministry. I can’t tell you how many companies out there, Mike and I wrote curriculum for. We were always part of something but this was the thing. This family, home to home, this was it. It was exhilarating. It was awesome. You would think that God would have the story go longer than four years.
But, unbeknownst to us. We were in the fourth year on this property and that summer I had a surprise pregnancy and it was amazing. My daughter especially was so excited to get a little brother or sister. Then about, it was about the 11th week, so right before the second trimester, I miscarried that baby.
. And that was so sad. So we had a memorial on the property and it was just, and Mike was in the middle of doing a lot of ground clearing for the land to prepare it for outdoor events. And he had his first couple of weddings to host there and to marry off some beautiful people. And he was working around the clock on this land and he breathed in some debris and we just couldn’t clear his sinuses with it and it got really bad.
So we went, we ended up in an urgent care and instead of listening to him show here I’m pointing here and here, and I can feel something lodged could, if you could just get it out. They gave him shots and they were very powerful medications that he didn’t need, and his body did not respond well to. The other part of this that I didn’t tell you is my mom was addicted to prescription medication and so that was a lot of her troubles.
And because remember I told you that I would spend those summers with other relatives and some of those relatives taught me to seek holistic ways of life and taught me about nutrition and put me on a search. So through I think maybe my eating disorder got a little bit off kilter with that, but I so badly did not want to end up in the spin cycle that my mom was in.
So our entire marriage, we did not even have an ibuprofen in our house. We did everything with herbs and essential oils and nutrition, and we were so to be in this situation where we’re in an urgent care and he can’t breathe, and they gave him shots in his legs. He had not had medication since he was nine, and his body did not do well.
Then, because the debris wasn’t getting addressed. It was a few weeks. . And in that timeframe we kept having to go back. We went to another, we went back to the urgent care. We went to a different hospital. We went to an emergency room three times. It was, no one was helping us get that dislodged.
And instead they, the MO the is, here’s a checklist. You tried this drug, then this drug. And they were using the medications to try to diagnose the situation and his body was spiraling out. So we were so excited. We had just announced to all of our ministry families that in a couple of weeks we were signing finally the papers to the ministry would now own that property.
And then instead Mike was gone in two weeks. So he died and it was 11 days in the hospital. And that whole time I felt like there was a lot going on that spiritually there was a lot going on, but the whole medical versus non-medical, what the body needs, the human body, there was a lot happening and it was like a big locomotive got rolling and there was no way to stop it.
And in the last, I mean that talking all about his hospital time would be a whole other book or podcast for sure. But I remember sitting there in an empty room with a body that they had worked on in coding for 20 minutes and then they called his time of death five 11. He was born May 11th and he died at five 11.
And all of that year I had been traveling and doing a wholeness talk called the Five 11 Wholeness Journey. And it had nothing to do with anything about his birthday. It was about the five body five senses, helping you identify illness in your 11 body systems and how you could address your whole self, spiritually, mentally, naturally.
It was just, it was this whole thing that I was teaching. So when the doctor called the time at five 11, it was so fast in my head, like in that moment, my brain went, God has something in this because that’s not an accident. Because I immediately thought he was born on five 11 and I’ve been talking about five 11.
Why did he die at five 11? Why did they only work on his body for 20 minutes? That’s so not normal for a 42 year old man. It was crazy. And all of his, like the whole thing in the hospital was, his vitals were great and all of his tests. They did tens and tens and tens of blood draws and tests, and there was nothing wrong with him.
So anyway, I sat there with his body for three hours in a room by myself, and occasionally someone would walk in or walk out from behind me. But I couldn’t believe that God wasn’t gonna raise him up like Lazarus. Like I, I literally felt like little Ami who believed in the power of prayer, and I just was waiting for him to come back to life.
It was the weirdest, it didn’t feel like three hours was more than three hours. It felt like 15 minutes. This is gonna sound morbid, but his body was going hard and cold and changing color , and it’s not like it is in a movie. And in that moment, I knew I, I had to tell myself God’s gonna do something different here.
He’s not coming back. And, I didn’t know I could make the sound that came out of me when my girlfriend Jen Thurman was wheeling me out of that hospital in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk like I I was loud. I had just noises and sobs that I didn’t know were in me and I went back to the ministry property. Now I had not left his side. I’d been in that hospital for 11 days straight.
Meg Glesener: Were the kids able to visit your husband in the hospital and get to see him and talk with them or prepared for that day at all?
Ami Shroyer: None of us knew he was gonna die. It was a shock to everyone, even the medical people. Like no one expected it. The day before, he had a really great day because the doctor who was now over his care in the medical ICU, she finally saw that there were two pockets of debris or something that was lodged in, was causing him to not be able to breathe. Now, by this point they were surrounded with a hardened mucus, but a nurse got those out with a very simple, deep suction.
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: And his entire body filled with oxygen. His, the tips of his toes got pink and warm. I thought, this is it. They finally got that out. Yay. Now we gotta deal with all this medication mess that he’s in, but we can handle that. It’ll be great, because he had been saying over and over to the people caring for him where is the oxygen?
Where’s the nutrition? I’ve got nothing. I wanna help you help me, and I’ve got nothing. He went from 214 pounds to a death weight of 164.
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: The mortician said that he was the most dehydrated body of any body he had worked on in 43 years. And that man’s very first day as a mortician was Mike’s actual birthday, May 11th, 1972.
There were so many details that were intricate like that, that just would stop me in my tracks, and it was like the Lord was whispering, this is awful, but I’m in this. And I’m gonna show you the most bizarre details to constantly remind you not to be afraid and not to question my sovereignty in your life.
Because, and there was only one extremely fleeting moment, and it might have been in that time period where I was sitting with his body that I heard this thought, that wasn’t at all like me in the back of my head, and it was saying, what if everything you’ve believed is a lie? What if prayer hasn’t really been answered by God that you’ve seen all of your life?
Because what’s happening right now, it was definitely the enemy. But it sounded like my own question in my head. But I immediately stopped that. There wasn’t it, there was something inside of me that would not allow myself to go there. Because I knew that was a lie. And I don’t really know how to explain it other than that, but that was the only time that I even started to question.
Meg Glesener: Can you, can I go back just for a second to the moment when you said oxygen filled, and he had, like pink toes and how was his spirit and was there a conversation about that? Was he so excited that he could feel a difference in, was he pretty coherent in talking about all that? Yes.
Ami Shroyer: And here’s what was happening. We knew it was the medication, even though no one believed us because we were watching the clock. And they would put the medications in the IVs and he would go paralytic his fingers and hands would shrivel up and he would look like a, like he would, what’s the word? Not cocoon, but there’s almost like comatose, but I don’t know what the word is I’m looking for.
He would just freeze. It was a shock state. He would be in a shock state and sometimes his eyes would be open, which was really creepy, and sometimes they would be closed. It got to the point where his body, he, his eyes would not blink his, he was creating no saliva in his mouth and no water in his eyes.
It, he was in so much discomfort. And I asked him, I said, when you go into those shock episodes, w do you, are you aware? Please tell me that the Lord just takes you somewhere else. And he shook his head no. And he said three words, Ami, agony, pain, desperation. And so what would happen is enough time would wear off those medications.
They would be leaving his system and he would start to function again and he could bend his fingers and things like that. And so we would tell the nurses, do you see this? Like he’s coming back. And they would just, because they were told and it was on the chart to do they would stick the stuff in the IV and he would freeze up again.
But we couldn’t get anyone to see it, and no one would believe us. And I sounded like the crazy naturopath wife who thought she knew more than the doctors. And they don’t like, they didn’t like that I had knowledge with no MD to my name.
Meg Glesener: And so Ami, after you said he went through all that pain and those three words that you shared are so hard to hear, it must have been so hard watching your beloved, your husband, your precious loving husband, suffer like that. And was there a change in his, how he felt once the oxygen, once that lady suctioned out those obstructive items? Did you see a big change?
Ami Shroyer: Yeah he was so happy. The biggest thing for him was he wanted to see the kids.
because at that point it was like the ninth day. So he hadn’t seen the kids since we had first arrived. They came in, they were able to visit him early on, but then they weren’t allowed in the medical ICU cause they were too young. Jay Michael was 12 so he could visit him, but he stayed with his sister, so he needed to see his kids.
And so they brought his, they brought the kids in the next day and the nurse that we had that day said, I don’t care if they report me. I’m letting your daughter in because he needs to see his kids. She was great. And , he was so precious. He just kept saying to me, do I look okay? Do I look okay?
Do I look okay? He was so concerned at how he looked. For them to see him like that. And actually a girlfriend of mine who’s a professional photographer, she was the latte fairy that morning, and she brought me a coffee and she was there when my kids arrived. So with her phone, she filmed the whole visit and took pictures and little did we know that was gonna be our final family photo session.
We prayed with him and everything, and at that point, his body was sweating. It was trying to rid all of that toxicity so badly that he was drenched, but he was never running a fever. It was just, it was a very strange collection of things that were going on with him. Now, when I research all those things after the fact, it’s all medication toxicity.
If you look at, if you watch medication toxicity, death by dehydration, death by starvation, it spells out completely what happened to his body. But. No one wanted to look there because what ended up happening you were asked the question earlier that the reason why things didn’t change from that point forward was the doctor who finally believed that he didn’t need all the medications, went on her leave for a couple days, and she was our only person who believed us.
She was the one who finally saw the two blockages. There was a team of doctors and they were all in disagreement with each other, and they were all competitive. They were trying to treat Mike who’s gonna win? Who’s gonna figure out this House episode? And so there were a couple of men and they kept pushing the drugs and so we knew she had left Mike, this doctor she had before she left for her leave, she took Mike’s hand and she said, I’m gonna see you in a regular room when I get back because I have ordered that they start detoxifying your body.
That never happened. . And so I heard that from her and watched medications continue to come. And I started to relax a little bit too and go down and try to get some sleep at that point. And I would come back to the room and he would be in a shock state. And I would go crazy saying what happened? Who? And the nurse would say, oh, it was time for this drug.
And I would say, no, this doctor said that was all stopping. Why isn’t that stopping? And so it was just, it was very frustrating. So in that last bit of time when his resting heart rate was so high and his oxygen level was so low, they ran a spinal tap and they missed it and tried four times on a spinal tap.
And the reason why they it wasn’t working was cuz he had no fluid in his body. He was dehydrated. They did it’s a neurology test where they stick pins all over your body and test your neurological pathways and stuff. And it was just awful. And all the medications that they did for those procedures, a doctor in the hallway said to me, your husband has the liver of a horse.
We gave him more sedation. It was enough to sedate a rhino. Any normal man would not survive. And I said, you’re terrifying me. And Mike went into an episode and never came out. So during that time, I had, I was exhausted and when I took a nap, my, a friend of ours was sitting with Mike and I found out a few weeks after Mike died that he was really gibberishy he, in that point, really restless, but he came to and had a conversation as clear as can be, and our friend witnessed it. And he said Mike got totally still and was looking at someone who Andy couldn’t see and he gave a really sad sigh. And he said, okay, then what’s next? And those were really Mike’s last words.
Cause he wasn’t, well other than to me, when I came back in, his heart rate had been over 160 or 170 for an hour and a half. Things were just going wrong. And he said to me, something’s wrong. Like his tongue swelled up like an anaphylactic like his, it just, it was all terrible. And so at that point I looked around that place, and no doctor or nurse was recognizable.
Now we’d been there 11 days and it’s like all the shifts had changed and all of these people were total strangers and didn’t even know us. So when I ran out to get a doctor to help. . It was no one that we knew. And so this doctor came in and he literally was, you know how they like to get caught up on a person and find out there wasn’t time for that. And so he was as frustrated as I was, but he said, what do you want me to do? And
Meg Glesener: Are you kidding me?
Ami Shroyer: I shook his shoulders and I said, you are the D A M N doctor. You tell me. And I really think that I was yelling at the doctor when Mike died, . It was like there was no lovey-dovey oh, I’m, here’s my last words to you. That was, it was just the most horrible little ending there, because that’s when the code happened and we were sent out of the room and I watched everything from the window. It was awful.
Meg Glesener: Oh, Ami.
Ami Shroyer: And, I remember all of those details. I went through his 917 pages of medical records with friends that are in the medical field. I tapped and highlighted and questioned and made notes of so many things. And then there were several more things that came after that because they didn’t do a toxicology report, so I made sure that they did. And the toxicology that I requested were those drugs at the end, and they didn’t include those in the toxicology report.
So I ended up in meetings in person with the vice president and the president and the CMO, the big dogs of that hospital gave me three meetings and they were spread out so long in my having to wait. And the statute of limitations is two years in North Carolina. And my last meeting where they were supposed to tell me what they had gotten from second opinions from other hospitals all around. They supposedly had sent Mike’s stuff to, for confirmation of what they thought, cuz they kept telling me he had cancer. But his autopsy report showed no cancer cells, no infection, no bacteria, no fungus, no autoimmune diseases.
Like he was the mortician I talked, not the mortician. I talked to the pathologist myself who did the autopsy, and he said, I couldn’t believe how clean your husband’s organs were. It was really astonishing.
Meg Glesener: And I know, we’ll get back to that. It’d be good to hear where that all goes. But what was it like when you came home to the kids because it was so unexpected and they had just got to see him and you, he was looking better.
So how did it go when you got home? Were you able to go home that day?
Ami Shroyer: Oh yeah. After I went home right away and my entire body was shaking, I couldn’t stop. I mean like shaking hard. Yeah. I couldn’t control myself. It was crazy. So I got home and my kids were spending the night with friends, so they weren’t there when I walked in.
So I got in the corner, we had a big sectional in our family connection room. And I got in the corner of that and I, I had been there for 11 days, so I changed my clothes really quickly and I put on one of Mike’s Superman shirts and just curled up in a big superman blanket that somebody brought to the hospital.
Cuz a lot of people equated Mike with Superman because that’s just how he lived his life. And so I am, in the Superman blanket and the superman shirt curled up in the corner. Of the couch and when the kids walked in, I didn’t, I couldn’t get up. So they came to me on the corner of the couch and they could see it all over my face.
It was the most horrible moment. And I just had, I just said to them, he’s gone. And they both, oh gosh, I haven’t thought about this in a long time. They both just doubled over and were crying one on each side of my lap. And we didn’t really say much of anything. We just cried. And I don’t think I left that spot on the couch for hours. Like people were coming and going cuz this was a ministry house that we lived in.
Our worship room was on the other side of our master bedroom. So we lived in the place where all of these families came and did life. So it was a constant rotating door of people. . And for hours I was just in the corner of that sofa falling in and out of sleep and just ignoring everyone. It was very surreal.
And our army of friends, oh my goodness, they were just like, they activated meals and every single thing you could possibly imagine needing to be taken care of with my children were, was happening all around me. There was an army all around me and I sat on the sofa. Now, I didn’t stay there forever, but I was there a long time and then family members from out of town started to come in and, we had to plan a memorial service.
We, I had to go and do things I never thought I would have to do with paperwork. And then of course, we were expecting that was around the day that we were gonna be closing the purchase papers on that property. And all of that came to a halt. And this is really crazy. So a couple days after he died, a man came to the door that was a businessman who had gotten himself in some trouble and he had been suicidal and Mike helped him.
And he came and he doubled over sobbing. He said, I wouldn’t be alive today if it were not for your husband. And he said, I have some extremely lucrative things happening right now, and I’m going to set up college funds for your children and donate a million dollars to the ministry. And so in that moment I thought, did it really take Mike’s passing to then begin all of what we really wanted to do?
Then that guy ended up in jail so that six weeks later, that didn’t happen either. So there was such a strange season of oh, it was just very confusing. But God was so steady and so I imagined in my mind I wanted to stay on the property. I didn’t wanna leave. Mike was everywhere there. The baby that we had miscarried was there in a beautiful little prayer garden.
Like I didn’t wanna leave there, but everyone, including our board of directors and stuff they’re all like, Ami, you can’t stay here. You need to go. You can’t afford to be here. The kids and I had to leave and I pulled up the computer one night at the end of January. Mike died on December 2nd, and so it was the end of January.
And I said, okay, Lord, give me enough strength to take a step. I didn’t even say like multiple steps, , I just said a step and I opened the computer and this stuff in thoughts in my head were clear as a bell. What, where to search the zip code? What size house? What dollar amount. I just, it all came into my mind and so I looked it all up and I found this little cute little bungalow.
Needed some TLC, caught my attention. And long story short, the kids and I bought this place and we nicknamed it Writer House, and it was, it’s on a corner lot and it’s in a city, but it doesn’t feel like it’s in the city. But it gave us a place to write and to be therapeutic in expressing ourselves and crying and living with each other in this little huddle.
It was like a writer house huddle. And for five years we’ve lived here and I have done all kinds of renovations to this place, and now we are selling it and we’re going to shift and have a clean, fresh start. But this writer house served its purpose because, we needed to huddle and heal, and now we’re ready to be wide open again.
Now we want to be in a space where people are coming and going, but we had to shut ourselves off for a while and I really struggled with that because that didn’t feel like ministry to me. But sometimes you gotta do that.
Meg Glesener: Absolutely. So what happened with all the paperwork in the hospital and the malpractice and all that?
Did that have some kind of an ending?
Ami Shroyer: Unfortunately, in our very last meeting, now president of the hospital said to me, the only way that you can have your questions answered is to take legal action. And I didn’t have enough time. I did have an attorney come out of the blue. It was total God thing.
I wasn’t seeking it out. It came to me. I thought that was gonna happen. And then that door closed. There was a lot of, wow, God is so miraculous. Oh no, that’s not gonna happen. Like it was a very up and down time with more questions than answers, most of it. But a lot of conversations happened and I know they remember me.
I know that the one doctor, cuz she even said to me, she cried and she said, not a day goes by that I do not think of Michael Shroyer. He changed how I do my job. I think of him every single day when I come to work. And I know she’s not the only one because we were different. We were a couple that, I mean we were told you guys are like the one-hundred year old couple who like, you’re not even that old and you act like we’ve just never seen a love like this before.
And so we know we made an impact, and I know there’s more to the story. I went into those meetings and I said to all of those doctors and supervisors and heads around that table in that boardroom, I’m here to build a bridge and not a case. Mike said when he was counseling families all the time, build bridges, not cases.
That was one of his catchphrases. So I, I wanna build a bridge and I believe there were a lot of bridges that were broken in the patient family voice in screens versus stop looking at my vitals and look at me like intuition needs to come back as an art in caregiving. Where is that? Like how can we bring caregiving and intuition back into medical care?
And what about the holistic? Why was his body so dehydrated? What went wrong with why did no one who walked in the room know anything about diet and nutritional value and vitamins? There were so many bridges. I would love to be able to help. What can I do? What can Mike’s story do to make a difference?
And in the end of it all the president said to me, nothing unless you can make a public statement that he received the high standard, the high gold standard of care here, then we cannot build a bridge with you.
Meg Glesener: Wow.
Ami Shroyer: And I said, . I actually said, wouldn’t it be better if the woman who should be so angry is willing to build a bridge? Doesn’t that tell a more striking story? Let’s work together. I wanna help you in spite of what happened to him. And so it, it’s funny, I, the kids and I are gonna move to that city, right where that hospital is. You would think I would wanna move far away, but I don’t, I wanna get closer. I feel like there’s something more that still needs to happen.
And the Lord is guiding us right there. And in one of that, in the second meeting, that guy who’s now the president, had given me a card with and he hand wrote his home phone number on it. I’ve never used it. I feel like I just keep praying and asking the Lord, should I use it? Should I call him?
And just say, it’s been five years and I still would love to see bridges built. What can I do to help? And just see if something opens up, if I’m brave enough to do that .
Meg Glesener: Yeah. Ami, do you, have you forgiven them? Have you forgiven this staff?
Ami Shroyer: I think I have, they don’t owe me anything. And that’s really what forgiveness is. I said to them in the very last meeting, I said you can’t, this hasn’t been about money. There’s no way to compensate, there’s no way to, he can’t come back. What’s done is done. And so I actually said to all of those men, my, this is the very last thing I said in the last meeting.
I said, when my husband would come home from jobs in ministry, which is nothing exactly like what you do but he would come home to his wife and say, if this, then my job could be better. Or, oh man, I really wanna help people but this. And he was a champion. He would champion for people. And a champion died here.
And I know that if he were to say anything to you guys, he, first of all, he would honor you for the work that you’ve done to sit in the seats that you sit in. Because that is nothing to take mildly. Like you’ve worked really hard to get where you are. . But then you know what he would do? He would give you a champion talk and he would say those things that you take home from work, that bug you, that keep you up at night that, oh, if only we could do this differently in this medical field or in this system that we’re in.
Champion for those things. Learn from this, whatever it can help you with and be the champion. And I said that’s what Mike would say.
Meg Glesener: Wow. I love that, Ami. So your and Mike’s desire as a couple and as a home and really one of the great themes of your lives and marriage was home from the inside out. So how did Mike’s passing affect your ministry and what does that look like today?
Ami Shroyer: I hit the pause button hard and just put any ministry thoughts into little blog posts or little, not even blog posts, more social media posts, Instagram posts and thoughts or random Facebook posts. I just started a podcast last year, and it doesn’t have very many episodes yet but Mike’s voice is still part of what we do.
And so when I started the podcast, my first episode, I wanted him to be the guest, to have his voice in there. And I don’t want it to leave. Like I, I would like to go in that direction for a while and I don’t know if it’s something that I need to do just for, I always want purpose, not closure.
You can’t close off a love like this. We’re not meant to, we need to continue to live wide open with purpose. I want wide open purpose is what I want. Yes. So I’m looking for ways to take like we have eight years of family curriculum, yearly themes, family challenges, children’s curriculum, children’s story books, all these things that we’ve written together that are just sitting inside the computer.
He wrote a piece called Name on the Front of the Building, and it’s to address people in ministry who have chosen to protect the name of the organization over the names of the people that they serve. And people who’ve walked away from the church hurt to realize it was not God who hurt you. It was the system and the people within the system, whether they meant to or not.
So come back and make things right with the Lord because he loves you. So I need to finish that book. And then out of that I would love to have a voice for strong homes. We live in a culture and a climate right now where the home is so weak. And a lot of people have been quarantined away from church gatherings and now they don’t know if it’s worth it to go back or what that’s even gonna look like in this new season.
What is church? What are gatherings? What are we gonna do? And so to have all this information and stuff that can help people inside their home, around their table with wide up in conversations about the God who loves them and to celebrate him and each other and to connect with him and to each other.
I would love to help families with that. And it’s all there. I just need to figure out a strategy I guess, or just start . I don’t know.
Meg Glesener: And Ami, just from talking to you, I can tell you your kids seem amazing, like they’re one with you in heart and that you have a good relationship, I’m sure they’re kids and they probably struggle with too much internet or all the things kids struggle with, but how have you seen their journey and how have you helped them and their journey with missing their dad?
Ami Shroyer: We talk about him all the time. One of the things that they were naturally worried about was that they would lose their memories of him and that he would seem more and more distant. Cuz Sadie was eight and J Michael was 12. And so we talk about him all the time and do things in his honor. We go to restaurants that we would’ve gone to when we all celebrated as a family, we go and we celebrate as a family.
I also have some recordings of Mike, and so for a while we would put a little speaker in the middle of our living room and our three bedrooms are around that room, and we would play those messages and I would just have the whole playlist on repeat. So we would fall asleep listening to Mike’s voice and we would wake up still listening to Mike’s voice.
That was helpful. We also are all very creative. I feel bad that I’m passing along all of my bad habits to them, like procrastination and the flightiness, because Mike was the one who brought structure to our home and did so very well. And so I know there’s a lot of things we would be better at if Mike were here to balance us , but he’s not.
And so we’re finding our way, but we find it together. We have conversations, we keep it open, and we talk in the car. And I’m quick to say that I’m so sorry that he’s not here. And what can I do to help? Like one of Mike’s phrases all the time was, what can I do to help? What? And that goes a long way.
If someone’s having a bad day, instead of trying to figure it out or tell someone what to do, just say, how can I help? And it opens them up to express. So we’ve had a lot of expressing together. I don’t know that we’ve done it right, or if there is a right way. I do encourage them if they want to go to counseling.
I think that there are things that they probably need to work through aside from me, but I am I wanna find just the right person for that because the Lord has already done such great work in them. I don’t wanna undo some of the things that the Lord has already done so well. One of my favorite books was by Elizabeth Elliot.
I didn’t read very many grief books because I didn’t want to, I didn’t think a formula is accurate because all of those stages, they can happen all at the same time, or completely out of order. And so I and Elizabeth Elliot, she and her husband were in ministry together and she lost the love of her life.
And so I knew I would relate to her. And she wrote a beautiful book called Path of Suffering. And she was so positive and hopeful and I really resonated with that. And one of the things that she said was the, for her, the five stages of grief didn’t work right. And she said I never fu fell into where it was or could figure it out, but what I knew was that I had the power of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection power of God getting me up every day.
And it just, it was such a beautiful, she always kept the cross in front of her. And if Jesus knew suffering to an extent that he’s never gonna ask us to take on the sin of the world. We’re never gonna have to suffer that much. If you put our own suffering in that light, there’s so much to be thankful for.
And so talking with the kids about Jesus and about the cross, and about what his sacrifice has done and about how to walk in resurrection life, that’s really beautiful and it helps a ton. And so they’ve both been very strong in their faith. And Mike was very good at instilling an eternal perspective to them.
So it literally feels like he’s on a trip before we get there. But he just got there first. And the night that he passed away, my daughter actually said to me, mom, now it’s even. And I said, what do you mean? And she said the two babies that are in heaven have dad, and you have us. It’s even.
And my son said maybe a week or two after it all happened, he said, mom, I’ve been thinking, and I could be really angry with God that I’m 12 and Sadie’s eight, and that this would happen, but I got to thinking if this were gonna happen someday anyway, I would rather that it happened when I’m 12 and Sadie eight. Because if it were later in life, you would be all alone. And right now you have us.
Meg Glesener: Okay, you’re just like, okay, I’m blessed in the midst of all of this.
Ami Shroyer: Whew. Yeah.
Meg Glesener: Ami, you’ve been through so much and, at the same time, what a blessed woman you are. Is there a verse that means a lot to you and that meant a lot to you and Mike and the family? Or a verse that means a lot to you and the kids?
Ami Shroyer: There are so many scriptures that I have clung to, but I think the one that I loved as a child that has resurfaced today in a totally different way is Hebrews chapter 12, where it says, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight in the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance or perseverance the race that is marked out for. Looking to Jesus or fixing like affixing, like cement our eyes on Jesus, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I think everything is there. I think of all of the people that he talks about in Hebrews who didn’t see what was promised them, but they’re considered heroes in the faith because their faith was there, even though they didn’t see the promise come to pass fully in their own lifetime.
With Mike, he didn’t see what he thought was gonna happen through his life happen, and he’s in that great cloud of witnesses and I think that if they truly can look in and see us and our lives, they see what we’re going through and they’re always cheering us on.
And they would say, don’t be afraid. Don’t let insecurity hold you back. If you could see what we see, if you could see what we see, you wouldn’t be afraid. You wouldn’t give into that sin. You wouldn’t be in despair. Lift up your eyes to the hills. Where did your help come from? Rise up today.
Meg Glesener: Before we see a love the envelope on this story of encouragement. I have prepared bonus material for you that we like to call the PS, sure to make you smile and be moved within your heart as you see a bit more of the heart and personality of our guest.
Speaker: Here is your PS.
Meg Glesener: Are you ready for some bonus questions Ami?
Ami Shroyer: Hit it.
Meg Glesener: One reason I do the PS is because, we are not our hardest day. I know You’re a fun mom who loves to laugh and be silly and play basketball with the kids.
Ami Shroyer: Absolutely.
Meg Glesener: Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks?
Ami Shroyer: My most ridiculous one is that I worked at a country like Country Western Radio Station as a DJ for a while and
Meg Glesener: knew we should be friends.
Ami Shroyer: You listen to yodeling music long enough, you start doing it. So I’m a very bad yodeler, but I can yodel . I’m not gonna show you though. It would be painful to your listeners.
Meg Glesener: Any pet peeves?
Ami Shroyer: Whining. Lying and whining, but I think whining might take the cake.
Meg Glesener: Oh, that’s a good one to have as a parent because then you don’t get the kids coming back to you 10 times cuz you’re like, no. When I hear whining, my, my button of, I will never respond to whining. You get absolutely nothing.
Ami Shroyer: We used to always say, leave the room and come back when you find your happy heart and your teachable spirit, .
Meg Glesener: So is there a person or character in the Bible that you really admire or relate to?
Ami Shroyer: Sometimes I feel like I’ve got the strength of belief that Elijah had when he called the fire from heaven to soak up all the water and everything. But then he hid in a cave and I do that too. I’ll hide in a cave right after I see God to a miracle. I’m like, I’m so afraid of tomorrow. And I don’t know why I do that, but. I’m glad to know that Elijah did because he’s super amazing and sometimes we need to know that. Really amazing faithful people hide in caves too.
Meg Glesener: Absolutely. And it’s amazing the stories that God has put in the scriptures of all the things like we, we need to hear about all the failures, all the quirks, all the things.
Ami Shroyer: Because it shows that goodness of God.
Meg Glesener: On to a more serious that you shared how your church came around you after Mike passed and how helpful they were with meals.
So for our listeners, for maybe have someone who passed away, what is not helpful, what was not helpful for you through your healing process?
Ami Shroyer: It was honestly our homeschool community that surrounded us with the most helpful things because it was active, it was, we’re gonna do a grocery run and take the kids and they get to pick out what they want from Costco because we want to speak into their lives and give them a choice.
And like people that just naturally are in that homeschool thing, with their own homes and their kids seem to think of the kids a lot, which is super great. One thing that was not helpful was that people began to expect some sort of closure. Like why are you posting about Mike again? It’s been a year, or so that you can feel that impatience sometimes when people expect you to seek out closure.
In the first year, you’re hitting all of your firsts with milestones. And so you got a lot of adrenaline. You’re dreading your first anniversary or your children’s birthdays and things like that cuz you gotta get through it. Year two you realize, oh my goodness, we’re gonna be doing these years for all the years.
It’s not gonna stop. And that’s sobering, but people are still around that second .Year three, no one means to, but they’ve really gotten, they’ve gone on with their lives. They’re not thinking about your loss the way that you’re still living in your loss. So those people who stuck around and intentionally got into my life in years three and four were amazing.
Like still in year three, every once in a while, getting flowers at my door or just, how are you doing and what can I do? Those really, I’ll remember those forever because it just shows that people still, anytime people share a memory of Mike it’s wonderful. I think the, probably the biggest thing is when people don’t know what to say and in trying to not be awkward, they say nothing.
Don’t do that. Be brave enough to tell a person, even if it’s the same story a hundred times, the fact that you remember that person and you wanna talk about them is a blessing and don’t think it’s awkward.
Meg Glesener: That’s really good. Thank you for sharing that. Ami, you’ve already shared some of the special things about Mike, but was there anything else?
What do you, what did you love most about
Ami Shroyer: Mike? I can answer it with this. When you sit at a table and you think that you have a piece of pepper stuck in your tooth, or you feel like some food is on your lip or whatever, and you say to the other person, do I have something on my face? His answer was always just beauty.
And I would say no, really I need to know , am I drooling the sauce? And he would just smile and say, just beauty. So I love the fact that he loved me and saw beauty through imperfections.
Meg Glesener: That’s so precious. That’s amazing, Ami. So what do you love about each of your kids and are there things that they each do that remind you of him, whether it’s their personality or their smile or their quirks?
Ami Shroyer: Mike’s stature is all over his son. He walks like him. He stands like him, so that’s amazing. His smile is the same. And Jay Michael is full of peace. He was born with such peaceful sounds. And I just remember looking at his little teeny tiny, six pound, seven ounce body and feeling overwhelmed at the fact that he was spectacular.
Had nothing to do with me and Mike, but this little baby was sent by God to this earth. And I honored him like I was honored to be his mom. And now that he’s older and he’s a deep thinker and he helps lead worship and helps his friends and is such a listener like his dad was, I am still even more honored to be able to have a front seat to that. And I know he’s gonna just bring such peace.
Meg Glesener: Do you think Jay Michael knows that? Does he, can he sense and remember his dad’s kindness and spirit and feel that he does have that? Does he recognize that ?
Ami Shroyer: He can. He just turned 18 two days ago and we were in the car together and he actually said, mom, I know that God has destined some things to come out of my life through all of this. And he was thankful for it. And he can’t wait to see whatever that is.
Meg Glesener: That’s so special. And how about your daughter?
Ami Shroyer: So she’s a firecracker. She’s very spunky and the best word for her is light. She is radiant and just full of light and she just vibrates in this lively space and it’s just bright and beautiful.
And so sometimes if she has friends that kind of live in that teenage drama, dark melancholy world, it’s, you can see the stark contrast and struggle with her. So I’m always telling her, just remember your light and just stay buoyant and let others rise up to where you are cuz you’ll help them that way you don’t have to you can go and you can reach them, but don’t stay in that place for yourself.
And she does a really amazing job just encouraging others and being spunky and lively. She’s me without the clipped wings. She, I want her to spread her wings as far and wide as she possibly can.
Meg Glesener: Aw, that’s so great. A mother’s heart. , this is our last question. What would you say is the great message and theme of your life?
Ami Shroyer: This is gonna sound strange, but Jesus. I know Jesus was with me as a little girl in a sometimes very scary home. I know that Jesus was with me through those teenage years, and it was by relying on him that I grew through that and I know. There’s nothing that I want more than to help others see the presence of God in their own lives.
And that comes through Jesus. And so I know he’s in my past. I know he’s presently helping and with us, and he is our future. If there’s anything that I would wanna be known for its Jesus. And I know that sounds very Christianesey, but I don’t mean it that way. I mean it very deeply and personally.
When I was a little girl, I would close my eyes at night and it’s like I could see his face and I don’t ever wanna lose that.
Meg Glesener: I trust you are encouraged by Ami’s story as much as I am. Yes, she went through some very difficult things. It’s so hard to hear some of the things that she shared, but just when you hear the faith and the words of her children, how very precious. People all around us are going through very difficult things, and I so appreciated what she shared about how to come alongside someone who has lost a spouse.
Ami is doing amazing things today, and I am praying for us all. No matter what really difficult situations that we are going through, we would find that same strength that Ami has found to rise up and go forward. To close out this episode, I have a very special audio clip for you. It is a clip of Mike Shroyer with permission taken from Ami’s podcast Journey Through Fields of Daisies.
And it is the episode that was June 22nd, 2020. Be and Become: A Conversation with Michael Shroyer.
Speaker: Be and Become from Michael Shroyer’s heart to yours.
Michael Shroyer: I’ve had three big ahas, life-changing ahas since I’ve married Ami. I’ve had lots of little ones, but I’ve had three life-changing ahas since I’ve known Ami. I promise there’s a point to this, so please stick with me. The first aha I had was the night that I proposed to Ami. I had not planned on it.
I didn’t have a ring, didn’t have a place to live, was making very little money. Yet the night that I proposed to her was literally the worst day we had ever spent together, and it hit me that night that the worst day with her was better than the best day I had with anyone else. And I just didn’t want to let her go, and so I proposed to her that night.
Speaker: Links from our guests will be in the show notes for more everyday extraordinary faith stories, go to our website, lettersfromhomepodcast.com, and click subscriber follow on whatever platform you’re listening to. 2 Corinthians 3:3. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.
Until next time, go in peace.