The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy
As part of our memorial service for Tirzah, I’d like to share with you part of the journey that Ryan and I have been on over the last several months.
When Ryan and I first found out by ultrasound that we were expecting a baby girl, I cried tears of joy right then and there. I was so excited to have a girl and I hoped that she’d have red hair like me!
We knew right away that we’d name her Tirzah Catherine. Tirzah is a Hebrew word meaning “She is my delight”, and is found in the Scripture book The Song of Solomon, which is a love poem between a man and his bride. We chose our wedding scripture from this book, and we knew that our Tirzah was going to be a beautiful little picture of the special love that Ryan and I have in our marriage.
The Lord laid on my heart a Bible verse to be Tirzah’s “life verse”, which signified our prayers and desires for her: Song 2:10- “My Beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away…”
Our prayer for her through this verse was that she would have a beautiful and intimate relationship with the Lord. We didn’t realize the meaning the words would later take on, as the Lord truly did call her away.
Ryan and I have joy in knowing that our main prayer for Tirzah, which we prayed over and over during the pregnancy, has been answered- our prayer for her salvation. We have the most confident assurance that she is with the Lord Jesus in Heaven. We believe that the Lord delighted in her so much that He wanted her to be with Him right away. And I believe with all my heart that if we knew what she knows now, and we could catch a glimpse of what she’s experiencing with God, we would have only pure joy and celebration for her. The Lord brought this to my mind in the first hours after learning of her passing, and it has sustained me through the dark valleys of grief.
In a few moments we’ll be singing a praise song called “I stand in awe.” I requested this because through Tirzah’s passing, I have stood in awe at the work of Christ in new way. I accepted the Lord as my Savior when I was 5 years old, and in some ways I think it’s easy for me to take my own salvation for granted. However, when I realized that the death of Jesus on the cross as our substitute and payment for sin, made it possible for Tirzah to be with God as well I was overcome with thankfulness and awe in a new way.
As Ryan and I grieve by faith in the Lord and we have a lot of hope, and joy mixed in with grief. I often feel an overwhelming thankfulness- because Tirzah was a beautiful gift, and everything I prayed for- she even had red hair! Also, every prayer we prayed for her life has been answered as well, although in different timing than we expected.
Now our prayer is that many will be blessed through Tirzah’s precious life.
We pray for our loved friends and family who do not have assurance of salvation and eternity in Heaven that you will respond to the invitation of the Lord.
Romans 10:13 says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The invitation is so simple and the grace of God so stunningly free: He requires no level of goodness or checklist of good works, and there is no sin He won’t freely forgive. All that He desires is that we come to Him with the simple trust and heart like a child to accept His gift of salvation with delight- like a child eagerly opens a gift on Christmas.
Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” I picture this verse for Tirzah- how beautiful she is in heaven, like the instrumental hymn just played- in the Garden with Jesus, inviting us to join her in eternity.
I’d like to close by adding that Tirzah has been a very real part of our family the past 9 months, and even though Jeremiah did not get a chance to meet Tirzah face to face here on earth, he was the very best big brother to her!
I’d like to share just a few of our special memories:
1. Jeremiah would sit with me during story time with his little hand on my tummy to feel Tirzah move. He would pause and say, “Tirzah is moving!”
2. When I was getting Jeremiah out of the car one day, he kissed me and I said “You’re going to have lots of kisses for Baby Tirzah too right?” and in reply Jeremiah bent down and kissed my tummy for Tirzah!
3. During my trip Buy Buy Baby, Jeremiah knew right away that we were shopping for Baby Tirzah. I asked him help me pick out a little sweater for her- he knew right away that the one with brightly colored flowers was the one for her!
And last of all, Ryan and I want to thank you all for your love and support and being here with us today.