His broken body

Today I traveled down a familiar path. This path was one that I wished to never see again. Sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting with my sweet little boy Micah. I felt like we’d been here before. And we have. Micah’s nearly 4 years of life have included a lot of doctor’s appointments. Even before he was born the doctors studied him carefully in my womb. At first, the experts told us he wouldn’t live. Then, they told us he would be maimed by genetic defect so severe we should terminate his pregnancy. Then they told us he was making improvements. Then, he was born and they said a miracle happened – he was in the clear. They said follow-up ultrasounds are a standard procedure, but nothing indicated he would face future complications.

That was then… Today they said “surgery.” Today the doctor said he is “broken.” Today the doctor said the real miracle is that his little body has lived this long without kidney failure. To look at Micah with the naked eye he appears the perfect picture of health and happiness. He runs and climbs and laughs and dances with a ferocity that makes my smile hurt. But underneath his joy, his body is fighting to function. He has no idea that his experience of normal isn’t right. Micah has no concern that he is about to undergo a surgery that has a 20% failure rate.

Today he asked me if Jesus could see inside his body, and I said assuredly yes. I told him how God is the boss of every single cell in His  body, and that God has always taken care of him, even when he was in my tummy. And he said he prayed that his kidneys would be better forever, “because Jesus can do anything.”

And I cried. Not because I doubt God’s ability to heal my son, nor because I’m afraid that the Lord may choose not heal him in the days ahead. But because I am so distrusting of God’s goodness and loving kindness. I am heartbroken that it took this to remind me again that my children are a gift from God, they are not mine, and that as desperately as I love my son, God loves him better. As much as I scramble to understand what the future holds, fighting to do what I think is best for my son, God is not undone by this. And despite the circumstances of the days ahead, I know that God does not allow pain without a purpose.  

My husband helped me remember tonight that God is wise and good. And no matter what we deem to be the direct path to Micah’s best life now, perhaps what is good for Micah is to experience brokenness so he can cling to Jesus tighter. Or so that we, his parents, may learn to trust him into the hands of the One who’s always carried him.

In the days ahead, I will remind Micah that the secret to happiness is not in having a strong healthy body, but IS in being near to the Savior regardless of the situation he finds himself in. Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

So for now, my little broken boy is sleeping. And I will sleep too, because I know that he is not alone and his pain is not meaningless. He is more loved than I can fathom by a God who is sovereign and good. The same God who gave him to us nearly 4 years ago will not stop caring for him now. And that is the best news I’ve heard all day.

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