Micah Cox was given his name when he was adopted at birth. As an adult, he learned what his name meant.
“I met a guy in New Jersey and he asked me if I knew what my name means. I told him no. He then said, ‘Well, do some work on it.’ And I thought at the time, “man, I’m not doing no work just to see what my name means. But I did it though, [I’m] hard-headed, you know?”
Micah describes himself frequently as hard-headed, or plain stubborn. But, his story also proves otherwise: he is strong and perseveres.
Micah is from Georgetown, South Carolina. After he was born, he went straight to his adopted mother and lived with his adopted parents and brother. When his brother got married, Micah was only eight years old, and at the wedding, he was told he would live with his brother and now wife. That became a challenge, as he described the atmosphere as abusive.
Furthermore, his adopted dad, struggling with mental health issues, died when Micah was 13 years old. Three years later, his adopted mother died from health issues, battling diabetes and a stroke.
It was also at 13 when Micah discovered he was adopted, snooping in a file cabinet. Micah recalls, “When I learned the truth, it made growing up even harder.” He constantly got into trouble, received In-School Suspension (ISS), and was kicked off the school bus. Micah didn’t get along with his classmates and experienced some bullying.
At 16 years old, Micah attempted to run away from home.
Experiencing all those events, Micah admitted, “So, no, I didn’t take high school seriously.” Math was not his strongest subject, which resulted in failing 9th grade twice and then being expelled. Micah then spent some time in Juvy, and after, he tried to get his GED. Unfortunately, he didn’t score enough points in the math section and failed. Being majorly disappointed, he told himself, “forget this life, forget school.”
Micah ended up living from place to place, wherever people would take him in and came to Fayetteville in 2004. All the while still thinking about attaining a high school diploma. “I thought, well, everyone else got a diploma, so, you know I want one too.” Micah learned about Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School, a program where you can acquire a diploma from your own home. Micah persevered and received his diploma in his late 20s, in 2011!
A few years later, another trial would come into his life: being homeless. Micah found himself homeless in 2015 and again in 2019.
In 2015, he was staying with his aunt in a trailer with a few other guys. One brought bed bugs in, resulting in Micah being kicked out.
Micah stayed at the Salvation Army where he met a guy named Kyle. He shared, “Kyle told me ‘Hey I’m about to go to Inasmuch and get me some breakfast, you know they give breakfast’ and I told him ‘Dude, no, I am not walking down Alexander Street all the way to some Inasmuch and it’s 32 degrees outside.”
Thankfully, Micah’s cousin invited him to stay with him and his mom for a time; Micah was hesitant, but he did and had a home from 2016-2019. In 2019, his aunt died, her husband kicked Micah out, leaving him homeless, again.
“Being homeless is a crazy feeling because you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. It’s cold and you got to rely on somebody else. And me, I don’t like to rely on nobody else. I like to rely on my own,” Micah admits.
When Micah was homeless the second time, he researched shelters and saw Operation Inasmuch. Instantly, he recalled the conversation with Kyle. “Man, Kyle was always asking me to go and I told him no, no. But I should’ve listened. Cause if I would’ve listened to Kyle at that time, I would’ve been straight already. But me being hard-headed me, I gotta find stuff out the hard way.”
Micah read about The Lodge and decided— “If I can get in this Lodge, maybe I can do it on my own. And if I slip up, I ain’t got nobody to blame but myself.”
He said 2020 hit him differently and said it was the year of redemption.
In February of 2020, Micah was admitted into our Able-Life program and moved into The Lodge. And just in a year, he has grown.
Micah came to us with broken glasses and recalled him and Ms. Debbie went shopping and she was patient with him as he tried on nine different pairs. “I was thought she was playing! But she really bought me some glasses! This lady doesn’t even know me.” But, more so, Micah came to us with a broken spirit. During his time at The Lodge, he has learned who he is. “I learned how to have faith and believe in myself. I didn’t before I came to Inasmuch,” Micah said.
Micah remembered a conversation with one of the supervisors, “He asked ‘Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror?’ I said no, I didn’t like what I see: 38 years old, no kids, no wife, no driver’s license, it’s like I got bad luck or something. He said ‘You’re a survivor.’ And I agreed. I had to go through a lot just to be here where I am.”
Micah has been able to get involved with bible studies with Pastor Craig. “Pastor Craig is awesome, I applaud him and all the bible studies,” Micah explains Pastor Craig allows him and his peers to read from the Bible and be interactive with the stories.
Micah has also accomplished many goals: upholding his job, decreasing negative and sarcastic comments, being open and sharing with his peers, serve as a mentor to younger residents, and, a big one, obtained his car insurance and Learner’s Permit.
When Micah tried the first time, he failed the written test. He went back the following week and told himself “I’m getting this today, I’m not leaving this building without getting mines today.” After getting 20 questions right, the computer screen flashed in green letters, “pass”. Micah described, “That whole moment when I got my permit, was so surreal. I was there, but I wasn’t there. Because I wanted that most of my life. It feels so good to have the plastic card, and I got that the same day I moved to Frink Street, so that’s a beautiful thing.”
Micah continued, “Every day that I wake up, I try to be a whole lot better than I was yesterday. And sometimes, despite what I’ve been through, for me, it’s hard. I just want people to pray I make it. Shout out to Inasmuch, I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t have faith in this place when I first came here, but I’m glad I did because I actually got to change my attitude a little more and read my bible some more. If I didn’t come to Inasmuch, I know for a fact I’d still have messed up glasses.”
Micah learned in Hebrew, his name means “who is like God”.
“I thought, wow I got some power around this name, that’s pretty cool. And I’d die first before I tarnish the name. I’m trying to do right for myself so they [parents] could be proud of me, and, so, Inasmuch really helped with that part.”
Micah would like to reiterate his thanks to Ms. Debbie and her interns, specifically Beth, for helping him with his resume. He asked us to keep him and his family in our prayers—especially his biological mother.
And keep all of our breakfast family members & Able Life brothers in your prayers, that they would continue to grow in Christ alone.