Abby Michlovitch: From heartache, a joyful rebirth
By Doug Dowty
Abby Michlovitch suffered through the sudden deaths of her unborn child and a close loved one. She stopped going to church in 2005, drank and cried a lot, “anything to numb the pain,” she recalls.
For years, the young mother in Liverpool wondered: “What’s my purpose in life?”
Sitting in her garage smoking a cigarette, Abby saw a Bible collecting dust. She’d never really felt close to God, but wondered: “Why not? What can it hurt?”
That 10-minute discovery in 2013 led her on a spiritual journey she never believed would happen. She doesn’t remember what verse she read, but it planted a seed for her going forward.
A couple months later, a childhood friend invited her to come to the Vineyard. Her husband and childhood sweetheart, Paul, was surprised. He’d always been more in touch with God, but the couple hadn’t gone to church.
Michlovitch immediately felt the presence of God. She didn’t feel alone.
“I had been putting all of it on [my] husband,” Abby recalls. “But God was always there for me. That rejuvenation made me feel alive.”
She was hooked, going back to the Vineyard each weekend.
“It has just been this whirlwind of adventure, this spiritual high,” she says.
In addition to home-schooling their four children, she has volunteered in the Vineyard’s office and food pantry. She’s also on the prayer team.
Within a year of going to church, her mother-in- law died. But instead of falling apart, Abby felt something else.
On the way to the funeral, she turned to her husband: “Why did you not tell me that Jesus was so awesome?” she asked him. She wasn’t crying. She was at peace.
In May 2015, she got baptized at the Vineyard. Abby joked how awful the part was where she had to speak on video. But she saw it as a way to continue growing into her new self.
“It was getting rid of my old self, being born again into God’s child,” she says. Six months later, her two youngest children were also baptized at the Vineyard.
When asked what her mission is now, Abby replies: “Being God’s disciple, showing and doing.”