Dear Tirzah 9/25/2014

**Note: if you click on the “category” Dear Tirzah you’ll see my earlier notes to her too**IMG_3389

Dear Tirzah, I woke up missing you and crying for you this morning… I wish so much that you were in my tummy again and I could feel you moving and your heart beating. I wish I could hold your frame again in my arms again, just so I could kiss your nose again, and stroke your cheek. Your little face was the softest touch I’ve ever felt. And now whenever I look at your Daddy’s face, I think of you because you had just the most perfect little replica of his nose! And I know that you had the most beautiful blue eyes that I’ll see in Heaven soon. And I know that you’re just as sweet as your Daddy too. I always said that if all our children would be as cute and sweet as Ryan, then I’d want ten! But I’m just thankful to have you. Your Daddy is thankful too that you’re his little princess. And we miss you so much, our beautiful girl. But until we see you (soon!!!!!!) we want to make you proud of us here, so we are trying to live with as much life and love and beauty as we can so that you’re always smiling down on us. XXXOXOXOXOX from your Mommy oh and P.S. Jeremiah misses you too, and was talking about you yesterday, about your crib and little giraffe we had ready for you. Soon he’ll understand that you have more in Heaven with Jesus than we could ever give you on earth. But he misses you and loves you so much and he can’t wait to see you soon too! XOXOXOXOX I know if you were here we’d never stop kissing you ;o)

Memorial Speech for Tirzah

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.
Thank you!

The End of Running (9/20/14)

I decided to get away this weekend, and went to a women’s conference hosted by my wonderful friend, Esme. When I walked into the church building, I immediately saw a woman holding a tiny newborn baby girl. All I can say is it took my breath away- literally, for a moment, it was all I could do to keep from just weeping right there…. God brought me to this place to show me that I’ve been running- by distraction after distraction: dreams of a new baby, planning activities with Jeremiah, reading about other peoples stories- I think I’m just learning how deep my grief is. Tirzah has changed my life and *who* I am forever. When Jeremiah was born, I easily recognized the profound impact. From the moment I heard him cry I simply felt that nothing in life before him mattered. Tirzah’s birth was just as profound on my heart, although there was no cry heard. Perhaps a piece of me died with her- is there waiting with her… on the other hand, there is a new clarity of life- every experience- everything I read, every song, every face- has a new depth of meaning: grief, longing, joy, gratitude. Before this, life was passing in a kind of subdued, kind of thoughtless way, taking things for granted. Now when I sing of the goodness of God, there is a striking depth to my understanding of that. Now I *know*- not just in my head, but in my heart, how creation *groans* in eager expectation of the coming redemption. And now I *know* that when I don’t even know what to pray, there are groanings too deep for words.

Tirzah IS my daughter. I have two children. And sometimes it doesn’t feel real, because I didn’t get to know her or bond with her. I only held her body, while her soul was away with the Lord. I feel that it’s a new experience of the “already and not-yet” of God’s Kingdom. She IS my daughter, but the bond, the *knowing* is left waiting. And hope is hard. In hope there is waiting, and longing so much it hurts, and the groanings too deep for words. I want to stop running, stop living in distraction. I want to be *still* before the Lord and simply wait although it comes with pain.

Beautiful Mosaic

“You are the only you this world will ever know, and something about your life is meant to make something about God known in a way no one else can do.” ~ Dan Allender “The Healing Path”
This is my prayer for Tirzah’s life. And my own.
“A radical life begins with the premise that I exist for God and his purposes, not my own… A radical life has eyes and ears for the deepest purposes of God.” – D.B Allender
That’s why I submit to God’s purposes for Tirzah, they are different than what my dreams for her were…. and so much higher. And one day I’ll fully understand. And I’ll see with clarity the beauty of her life.
“When God looks at a painful or wicked event through His-wide angle lens {as opposed to His narrow-angle lens, where He sees just the pure tragedy}, He sees the tragedy of the [event] and everything leading up to it, and everything flowing from it. He sees it in relation to all the connections and effects that form a pattern, or mosaic, stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all it’s parts brings Him delight….. He has designed from all eternity, and is infallibly forming every event, a magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. ” ~ John Piper, “Desiring God”

I know that Tirzah is a beautiful piece in this mosaic of redemption.

 

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Dear Tirzah

This is the place where I post little notes to my daughter, Tirzah Catherine, still born on August 20, 2014. Feel free to send her your love too in the comments section! She’d love to hear from you too!

9/22/14

Sweet little Tirzah, I am so proud of you, my beautiful girl. Everyone loves to see your pictures, and thinks you’re beautiful too! I’m so proud that your life is touching so many people’s hearts, and of course you’re always in your Mommy’s heart. You’ve changed my life too, and I just keep hoping that you’re proud of your Mommy, and that I can continue making God’s goodness and grace known. I know that when I’m nearest to God is when I’m nearest to you as well. And I know that you were smiling down on Jeremiah and I while we were out by the river today, enjoying the sun sparkling on the river, and I know that you’re proud of your big brother and you were laughing with us as he ran and jumped, and I clapped: “What a jump! What a landing! You’re amazing!” And I know he’s so happy to be your big brother, and you’re always in his heart too! And when he picked out your little sweater with bright flowers, and your prettiest rose dress, he knew you were going to be so beautiful too, and some day he’ll understand that you’re more beautiful now than we can imagine! Love you so much my little sweet princess. I’ll see you soon, and miss you until then. Love and kisses from your Mommy xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

9/21/14:

Hi Baby girl, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and miss you. And tell you that your Daddy loves and misses you so much too… you’re his most beautiful little princess and we’re both so proud of you… I know you’re up there enjoying the beauty and sunlight- except there is no sun, just the brightness and light of the Lord, and I want you to just bask in Him and dance and twirl in His light…. and I know you are singing His praise with the most beautiful voice, like I’ve never heard. And I can’t wait to be there and sing and twirl with you too! I love you so much, and your Daddy loves you and can’t wait to hold you in his arms again soon!!!!! ***So much love and kisses and hugs from your Mommy and Daddy too, and Jeremiah sends kisses as well****

9/20/14:

Happy one month birthday, Tirzah, my sweet beautiful baby girl! I love you so much and I’m so proud of you and miss you like crazy. I know you’re experiencing delight and joy beyond what I can imagine. And I’m so happy for you. I know you’re walking in the gardens of Heaven with Jesus and with Monroe Faith too, and my grandma and her babies, and I wish I was there with you too, seeing what you’re seeing, and holding your hand. But you’re in my heart always, and I want you to have a wonderful one month birthday! Love you soooooooooooooo much! And so many *kisses* from your Mommy!IMG_3389