From the Heart – Dr Michelle Byrne

Michelle knew from a very early age that she was a child of God. Not only by the fact that she was a regular Sunday School attender, participating in many Church processions and other activities, but having a very strong faith, in many ways based on deep personal insecurity. This feeling was compounded and made real when her much-loved dog died and it made her realise her mum would also die at some time in the future. By regularly praying the “Our Father”, Michelle became much more secure and happier.

Even as a teenager, Michelle enjoyed going to Sunday School as well as avidly watching religious programmes on television, especially “Songs of Praise”. It was after a local doctor encouraged her growing faith and took her to Flixton Fellowship, which she found to be a wonderful experience, that her relationship with God really grew. After reading the “Foundation in Faith” booklet at the age of 19, Michelle’s faith became even more real and alive.

Despite suffering from asthma as a child and a massive array of other complicated medical conditions throughout her life, Michelle’s strong faith has never wavered. She has always found that every need has been catered for by God, even during the most life-threatening situations. God runs through Michelle’s life completely and he has nurtured, supported and loved her throughout. Michelle believes strongly in “God-incidences” and believes God has been there so many times when she was desperate for help – “I gave you the gift of life – why are you surprised” is an oft-quoted saying Michelle strongly believes in. Michelle has never felt alone and trusts God implicitly, despite her poor parental relationship, on-going serious health problems and survival “against all the odds” history.

After graduating from Medical School, Michelle went to work in hospitals and a GP’s practice between 1999 and 2002 when, at the tender age of 27, she had to retire due to her medical conditions. During her working life, which she loved very much, God was still with her and she leaned on Him enormously to cope with her own illnesses as well as the gruelling physical and emotional trauma which the long hours and working conditions forced on her. At the age of 30 and having no-one else to depend on, Michelle’s faith was further reinforced when she accepted that God is the only perfect person and became even more dependent on Him to walk by her side. She also realised the real meaning of God being the Father and what a proper father should have been.

Despite her many trials in life, Michelle is happy and contented knowing that God is constantly with her, even in the most adverse of situations. She sees God’s hand in all aspects of her life.

Apart from when she’s at church, she is never happier than when she’s spending time and looking after her “Reptilian Family” 13 terrapins and tortoises who, needless to say, are all named after biblical characters!

Some of Michelle’s reptilian family.

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