Tomorrow, December 10th, marks the day our son Micaiah would turn 23. He died at birth, never getting to taste of what this life has to offer, but drinking in the presence of God from his first breath of life. I knew it was a boy before he was born, not because of ultrasound, we didn’t use those options for our children, but because God named him before he was born. “Who is like Jehovah?” Micaiah was the name the Lord would put in our hearts before he was born, and would carry to full term. “Who is like God?” The question would resound for many years after his death. The depths of the destruction that spiritual abuse caused would resound for many years – and at times it still rings now.
I have finally come to understand that very few will ever really understand what it is like to carry the weight of losing a child in such a sad, meaningless way; yet many will genuinely believe that they know what it feels like. Others will know the loss of losing a child and relate in that way, the common bond of understanding that a simple glance between parents can convey a thousand words. But for most, they did all they could to save their child, when in our case, we carried the burden of a loss that was totally preventable. We carry the loss of having learned to forgive people directly responsible. We carry the loss of knowing that the, “what if’s…” of our loss, are very tangible, “If only’s…”
Add to burden of, “If only’s” that during our darkest hour, we were surrounded by people who told us before he was deep in the ground, “You will have to get over it sometime.” “Do you know where you missed it yet?” or the kinder people from outside our corrupted circle of influence, “Well, you have enough children anyway.”
One of the definitions for redemption is, “an act o redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake.”
Every day, the Lord redeems the loss of our son Micaiah more, but it isn’t in the ways most people would think. It’s not necessarily because we are surrounded by people who understand our experience, or that his death resulted in the ministry of Compassionate Reach (Hesed Hope), or even that our peers are kinder than those in our past, (oftentimes the old saying, “Christians shoot their wounded,” applies to us, even if more acutely because we have been fatally wounded), but the real redemption lies in the permanent scars that mark where I have been.
Like Much Afraid in Hannah Hurnnard’s, High Feet in High Places, it took the traveling companions of Sorrow and Suffering to walk beside me to the high places, and though I cried out like Much Afraid to have Joy and Peace, I finally submitted trusting that the Shepherd, “…would choose the very best guides for [me] and in doing so understand His reason, “You will be able to mount to the High Places swifter than eagles, for it is only up on the High Places of Love that anyone can receive the power to pour themselves down in utter abandonment of self-giving.”
Sorrow and Suffering may have accompanied the faults and mistakes, but Joy and Peace (and forgiveness, and self-control, and long suffering, and contentment, and acceptance, and mercy, and grace, and goodness, and…and…) come through the redemption of utter abandonment.
His name is Micaiah. His name is Love. Without my beautiful Micaiah, and the redeeming of His life – and death – I would never know the depths of God’s grace to learn to love as I am loved.
Happy Birthday Micaiah. Give Jesus a high five for me.