Our hearts were split open this week – not once, not twice, but three times. The gaping wound from the first blow hadn’t even started to heal, when the second belt and then the third descended upon our hearts without even a hint of mercy.
We have walked or perhaps limped through this week under the shadow of sorrow, loss and disappointment.
For our Micah Man, he has been hit the hardest.
I don’t write about Micah much these days. This kid is sixteen years old now. He’s fast approaching 17 – his birthday will be here before we know it – I confess I am more cognizant of the fact that Micah needs to tell his own stories without his mom putting her spin on this, that, or the other thing for him.
Yet, today? Today, I feel compelled to write.
Because I am so stinkin’ proud of who Micah is today and so delighted in who he is becoming! And in spite of the challenges we face today, Micah is setting his sights upon One greater – even in the midst of his hurting. He is looking for Hope.
Throughout our ten plus years in southern Africa, Micah has grown – not just physically, but in character and strength. His sensitive spirit causes him to hone in on the needs of others and respond. His joy. It’s probably my favorite character trait about this boy – he just radiates with it.
When Micah laughs, he laughs from the depth of his being and the room shakes. For he is truly valuing the moment. He loves life! He is eager. Eager to learn, eager to try, eager to be all that God wants him to be. Yet, all of this growth, though amazingly appreciated and tenderly cherished, has often come at great cost.
For isn’t the character refined and strengthened in difficult times?
This week has been filled with sorrow, disappointment, failure, loneliness, and discouragement.
Even just one of these feelings is enough to bring us down, but for some reason, this week brought one thing after another after another after another.
Who wouldn’t want to cry out, “UNCLE!”
Honestly, I believe it is during such times that I do my strongest and steadiest parenting – even as I am making it all up as I go and begging for God’s help! Every new season of life with this this kid – my first born – has stretched my parenting muscles further than I thought they ever could go.
Who knew I was made of elastic?
God has enabled me to grow, stretch and expand in ways I never dreamed because my son needed me to….
This week, I’ve listened to my boy lament and just release his feelings in torrential waves all week long.
And I’ve shared with him in response – the whole week –
Yes, this is hard.
Yes, this is painful.
Yes, this is unfair.
Yes, this is very disappointing.
Yes, I’m not sure what God is doing in it all.
And yes, this doesn’t make much sense.
But, I am with you.
I won’t leave your side.
I know you can get through this – I am confident of that.
You are capable.
My boy was shaken to the core of his being this week. What he needed to know was that in the midst of all of this–what-in-the-world-is-happening week, his God was by his side too.
My boy needed the assurance of Presence.
Now, nothing has changed. Disappointment, sorrow, discouragement and failure remain. It’s still hard.
But, as I type, and I look over at my first-born, and do you know what he is doing?
He is doing life. He is finishing his school work. He is going to attend his youth group tonight. He’ll welcome his dad back from Zimbabwe later this evening. He’ll go to bed. And then he’ll get up tomorrow morning and do this life thing all over again.
That’s called perseverance.
And our Micah Man is getting a schooling in it right now.
It’s a hard thing.
But it’s a good thing.
And I’m proud of my boy who is choosing to do the hard thing – to get that good thing – a strong, resilient and noble character. And I am certain that as a result, Micah will one day say, as Paul did…
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. New International Version, Romans 5: 3-5
Amen and Amen
I love you Micah and I am beyond the moon proud of you!
PS : I did ask Micah for permission to share this post. He graciously said, “Sure, Mom.” and gave me a hug. Love that kid!