Posted on February 24, 2014 by kimberlyjdeane under Hope for the Hurting, Strength and Courage
The value of life is sacred. We are given life at birth and we are appointed a day to die. Death is final; it is an incomprehensible loss with catastrophic grief. February 24, 2004, was carved into my heart and written indelibly on the pages of my mind. This date marked the greatest sorrow I’ve ever known, which entered into my life with incredible force. My cherished son, Michael, was murdered. He was taken from me, and I was overwhelmed with a flood of painful emotions. Mike, my second born of three children, gave me thirty-one years of pleasure. He was so close to my heart and tenderly tied to my identity. He belonged to me; he was my gift from God, and I was given the honor to be called, “his mom”. I loved being “Michael’s Mom.” He showed his love for me in so many ways, honoring me, respecting me, and through gifts and smiles. My son was always happy, spreading his happiness around his world. I was so proud of who he’d become. He had a strong character and was influential to those around him. Michael was tenacious and intrepid, fearless and funny. He was benevolent and known to be a man of great gentleness and honesty. Mike was a man made in God’s image, His workmanship which God prepared beforehand – all of Mike’s future plans where held under God’s control.
Michael and Tara were married for eight years. I still recall the words Mike spoke to me, just weeks before his death, “Mom, Tara and I are ready to start our family.” About a month later Mike was taken from me. The disappointed dreams that would never come true distressed me. I would never see grandchildren from Mike and Tara. Many years ago I thought they would be the ones to fulfill those yearnings. Discouraged life became lifeless and hard. How could I come to terms with all that happened?
Throughout the past years, I’ve learned to see God’s purpose in a different way. Michael was God’s handwork, His creation. Mike’s name was inscribed on the palm of His hand before the foundations of the world, even before Mike was born. And on that last day in his darkest hour, God’s love brought Him to His heavenly home. God’s great immutable love covered Michael with a love that changes not – remaining the same all the days of his life – a love lasting forever. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” God loved him from the first day until his last breath.
God’s attributes of the same love that held true for Michael also hold true for me. God’s love washed away all my fears. You see, I knew the Lord accepted me just as I am – wounded, and encumbered in pain. His unconditional love echoed the same tender words to me. “…Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”(1) God’s love nurtured my frail heart. I was held in an embrace with irrevocable love…pure and unchangeable. His love preserved me at the lowest point in my life, with a matchless declaration of fervent affections scattered my darkness – and brought me into His marvelous light.
God’s is not far off – He is not a distant God, but an intimate Lord and Savior. He calls us to grasp the power of such love. By faith we can, “…be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (2) He calls us to come, and seek to understand the dimensions of His surpassing love, His wisdom, and His perfect plan in life. There in the essence of love – we can be filled with the fullness of life and power that exceeds our deepest sorrow. He invites us to come and find such love – sent with a purpose!
We, Michael’s family and friends, miss Michael so much. Once a year on this day, we mourn in a deeper way the loss of our beloved loved one. It is our day to be quiet and still, and to remember Michael. He is irreplaceable in our hearts and no one could ever take his place. We look to the future when we will see him once again…away from this world and its pains.
Life is short and life is precious. Like a vapor it soon fades away. Our loss of Michael changed our lives forever. With changes came a clearer view of God’s love in new ways. Through Michael’s death we have suffered greatly. Yet we see God’s master plan of design which has turned evil for good and exchanged ashes into beauty. All the while, we were in the furnace of suffering we saw something that we’d ever known before. The meaning of such love took deeper roots in our hearts. We came to understand the sweetest words ever given: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” God’s love is forever! One day we will reunite and share God’s great love. There we will worship Jesus forever with immense joy in our hearts for all He has done, and all He has brought us though. This gives us hope for the future.
We extol the Lord, Who we love and adore. We thank Him for His abiding love as He covers us with His Lovingkindness. May He be glorified!
1. Jeremiah 31: 3b
2. Ephesians 3: 17-18
All Scripture taken from the NKJ