This coming Sunday will be a year since I labored to deliver the remains of my only child’s body. It was too soon for a delivery like that to bring breaths into this world. Before he could breathe in the polluted oxygen of earth, he took his first breath in the pristine air of Heaven. I knew about him for less than two months before our bodies separated. His soul went to Jesus before I was ever able to feel him move or hold him in my arms. I miss him constantly. I wish I could have experienced the joys of taking care of him, while watching him grow. I wish I had more time with him. But I have hope rooted in faith, which is rooted in fact that I will embrace him one day— the same day I meet Jesus face to face. God has given him a new name, now that he is in His presence. But I know him by Manuel Elias—“God is With Us, Jehovah is Good,” because even through the agony of losing my only son, that is what God has been to me— He’s been with me and He’s been good. That’s what God will continue to be to me, because His character never changes even when everything else in my world does. God is with me. Jehovah is good.
I’ve been thinking about Manuel a lot this week and what I can do to honor his memory and continue to be the mother God intends for me to be. I don’t have a child in my arms, so many people may not see my motherhood. But God does. And I do. And my husband does along with those who know and love me best. My child’s body is in the earth, but his soul is in Heaven. He is safe, now. He is taken care of, now. So what can my heart, which beats to the drums of motherhood do when it longs to nurture and give a child his or her best chance at life, abundant living, and life everlasting when there is no child on this earth called “mine” yet? The mother in me and the father in my husband did not die when we buried our son.
I can reach beyond my reach to champion for children whose feet do tread upon this earth. That’s what I can do.
My son’s life was full of purpose. Yes, it was full of purpose, though he lived only in my womb, and never in the room we were preparing for him. Maybe one of God’s purposes for Manuel’s short days was to beckon me to advocate for children whose days might be longer, but whose mothers might be less equipped to give them their best chances because of their circumstances.
I believe that God redeems what is lost. My son’s life was lost. If I have any power to prevent another mother’s son or daughter from losing his or her life, though, I want to be a part of that because it is so so redemptive.
I can’t nurture my own child the way I wanted to. But I can use my voice to help bring nutrition to another woman’s child. And by doing that, I get to help nurture that child and give him the sustenance he needs to have his best chance for abundant living as he learns how to live in this world and how to have eternal life. That’s redeeming to my own pain. That’s redeeming to someone else’s pain. It’s only because of God’s grace in the midst of the pain that a broken heart can help renew hope in another’s heart.
That’s what a mother with empty arms, a heart full of scars left by tiny toes she never got to count, and the undying desire to nurture a child can do.
So, today, will you do something for this mother’s heart? Will you do something to honor my son Manuel’s memory by helping show someone else that God is with them and He is good? Will you consider partnering with World Help to revive life while introducing abundant living, and eternal life to a child whose parents don’t have the resources to give him or her the best chance in their worlds?
If you’d like to learn more about how you can sponsor a child and what a difference it can make, click here.
And by the way, there’s a five year old little boy named Victor Manuel from Guatemala who could use YOU to champion for his life and let him know that God is with him and Jehovah is a good, good God.