Happy 3rd Birthday Tirzah!

Dear Tirzah,

We now celebrate your 3rd birthday! (August 20th)

It’s been a gift to celebrate you and remember you… You were our little perfect Gift! and still are.

With the school year starting and Jeremiah entering Kindergarten, I’ve been thinking that you would be going into preschool… what would it have been like for you to be buddies with Jeremiah and him showing you around CHA?

I can picture it clearly in my mind… but then I think, “No! no, you’re just where you’re supposed to be… with Jesus… held in His arms… walking with Him in the heavenly gardens.”

I remember the words in my speech just 2 1/2 months after your birth:

( https://delightofmylife.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/119/

“The Lord convicted me that I needed to submit to Him so FULLY that I could honestly say before God and men that I would not change the story, if given the chance… I needed this unshakable faith and trust in the goodness of God… such that I would not rewrite Tirzah’s life on this earth. These questions: “Would I rewrite the story? Would I write it differently?”  … there is still the temptation… but still the same conclusion.

Dearest Tirzah, my most beautiful and precious little princess, you are our perfect gift just the way you were… still, silent, yet carrying a loud message of LIFE.

You brought us the gift of LIFE in so many ways:  Faith, Hope, and Love in new depths, new vibrancy…  and a farther reaching spectrum of emotions- more tears and steadfast joy (for now we cling to Eternity… a part of our hearts are already in Heaven with you, Tirzah.  Hope in Heaven is the only true Hope, and the only true joy has eyes toward Jesus and Eternity) These tears and this joy are a little closer to the heart of God (who weeps with deep mourning and rejoices in the heights of Heaven).

You opened our hearts to deep grief, such as we had never known before, and pain that we didn’t know was possible. But yet, we have seen the Lord’s faithfulness, felt His presence, and heard His voice with an intensity and reality that matched the depth of our brokenness. Job says in 5:18: “For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.”

Tirzah, your life is still bringing us the gift of healing. We can only be healed so far as we are broken. Dan Allender once said that “trauma begets trauma”… and oh! did we find that to be true!

I have a theory: that all grief, pain and trauma have the same biochemical outcome in our brains… therefore, one traumatic event can actually trigger all past trauma and bring it to the surface again.

The last three years have been tumultuous for your dad and I, as not only the trauma of loosing you on this earth was felt, but all past traumas of our lives were also brought forth.  This brokenness in our hearts was there before you, just buried beneath the surface. Now you have brought us the gift of healing and the gift of being “wounded healers”, by the grace of God.

My good friend Rose shared this verse with me often:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4-5

This is where we are now, Tirzah. Because of you we have the gift of a new calling on our lives. And when I say “we” I include Jeremiah and Judah!

Ever since you were born, Tirzah, Jeremiah has a sense of empathy that is stunning for a small child. He was about 2 1/2 at that time. As a result of our grief over you, Jeremiah became keenly aware of emotions. When we read him stories after your birth, he would point to every character on the page and want to know how they were feeling. Every single day (this is no joke), multiple times a day, Jeremiah would hand me a train and say, “Percy is sad because there are no beetles, lets just listen to how he feels.”  One day we were at a park with a sandbox (of course another mom with a similar age boy was sitting right next to me), and Jeremiah (about age 3) handed me a shovel and said, “This shovel is sad because he can’t dig, let’s just listen to how he feels.”  I was a little tongue-tied… but beaming with pride.

God has joined your story with ours, Tirzah, and He is beginning to work in Jeremiah his own life verse:  “He defended the cause of the poor and needy and so all went well…”  (Jeremiah 22:16)

Tirzah, you’ve given him eyes of empathy… to see pain in the eyes of another.

Just a couple weeks ago, (at age 5) he prayed in the evening, “Dear God, I pray that Mommy wouldn’t feel guilty…”  My mouth dropped open: for him to understand that emotion, to recognize it in me, and to have the compassion to pray for me was simply stunning… and I believe Spirit-given.

I believe we will see God use you, Tirzah, in Judah’s life as well. Judah’s life verse comes from Ezekiel 37: verses 4-5, 10.

“Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, “Oh dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live“… So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceeding great army.

Your little brother’s first birthday is now just a few days away! I wrote this in Judah’s newborn album:

“The Knight family is now a family of five. Judah is our third child: his older brother Jeremiah, and older sister Tirzah. We want Judah to know all about his sister. Our desire is the same for both Tirzah and Judah: That they would both carry a message of LIFE.

“The verse that Tirzah carries in her still and silent way, for it is engraved on her headstone, is one that Judah will carry with a strong and loud voice:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? ~ John 11:25-26

 

 

Birthday Video

There’s still time to donate to Tirzah’s legacy of life at through the Morning Center. Click below for her memorial page and fundraising in her honor.

https://secure.morningcenter.org/np/clients/morningcenter/campaign.jsp?campaign=21&fundraiser=12286&team=21#.VcyXcDVkpl0.facebook

Tirzah’s life message: Resurrection and LIFE:

“Resurrection is real. Life is more powerful than death. Light CAN pierce darkness. (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Lord, we know You will come. We know You are here. Let us bring all our wounds and brokenness to You expectantly, without a doubt. Remind us that all the children we hold, and all the children we don’t, are yours. Yours in this broken life and Yours in Eternity. Come, Lord Jesus. We wait in **Hope**. ”

(Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie)

The Valley of Vision:

“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the Valley of Vision, where I live in the depths, but see Thee in the heights… there I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox,

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive, that **the valley is the place of vision.**

Lord, let me find thy light in my darkness, thy life in my sorrow, thy grace in my sin, they riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.”

~The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritian Prayers

Dear Tirzah:

My sweet Tirzah, Jesus just couldn’t wait for you because you are so beautiful. And if I had a garden, wouldn’t I give my Lord the most beautiful Rose of the garden? How could I give Him any less than you?

~ Dear Tirzah, October 3, 2014

Soli Deo Gloria:

Tirzah’s life is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he life, and everyone who believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? ”   ~ John 11

Do *not* be deceived: wake up from your drunken stupor, and do not go on sinning… Return to the Lord, for He is merciful and will abundantly pardon.”  ~ Jeremiah

A story of redemption ~ by “Anonymous” (I am so honored to share!)

1 John 1:9 ~ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Think about that one… If we confess our sins, he forgives… Wow! What an amazing GOD we have to be able to take the pain and unrighteousness away!

Many years ago, I was that young lady walking into Planned Parenthood… Yep, I said it. That was me–––I was that girl. I walked into a place that I thought was a woman’s health care center. I was taught that it is the place you go in order to stay healthy, you get your physicals there, birth control, all of it, and since I was low-income with no insurance that’s what was recommend for me.

I remember finding out that I was pregnant. The shock, the horror and the tiny piece inside of me that was ecstatic. My mother, wanted me to go get tested so she took me to Planned Parenthood and it was confirmed. Soon I was in a separate room with the doctor, who right away asked me if I wanted to abort and she felt that was the best situation for me. I was given a week to decide.

AFor one whole week, I pondered. When you have the media, schools, clinics, family, and friends telling you that it is all right, that it is your choice and that you have that right as a woman. You believe it. You have nothing else to back it up. Even the little voice that says it’s not okay is hidden behind the woman’s rights. So, I did it…

I said goodbye to a part of me that I was told wasn’t even alive, that it was just tissue. I remember the pain, the tears, the cramping. Blood, so much blood for weeks. I remember the loss and it became so unbearable that suicide was the next best thing. I remember sitting there on the porch with three pill bottles of pain meds, writing in my journal of all MY pain–––then I’d take another pill, and another one, and another one until they were all gone and sleep came. But what I really wanted was peace and forgiveness!

I woke up the next day. I woke up. Yes, with the worst hangover of my life but I woke up. My heart, even though it hurt, along with my head, and of course my body from being crouched like I was, it was beating. I knew then that GOD had plans that I couldn’t even begin to understand. I asked for forgiveness to a GOD that I knew had to be real.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

God healed me. And now looking back, I know I had more options. I know that I could have saved my baby and given him or her to a glorious couple. But without morals, without god, who can sin? If you don’t know god and you’re taught that it is okay or you’re pressured into it you don’t realize what your doing is actually wrong because everybody tells you how right it is. That is my point… I have learned through GOD, Yahweh that I have no rights to this body that which he gave me a vessel, and my body is for Him. I don’t have that right to pick and choose what life is to live and what is to die. That is his right alone. I know that He has forgiven me, and He has so much love that it burst out of my pores. I ask of you, if you have ever made that horrible choice- to abort your baby, ask God for forgiveness… and forgive others. I have received forgiveness from my Heavenly Father, as well as forgiven myself, and those around me. I also, forgive you too.
Matthew writes, for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. –––So I have.
He’s always waiting, wanting, to be part of your life. Allow yourself peace.

I’ll part with this…

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!

God has cleansed my spirit. Has forgiven my sins and will always continue to hold me in his arms. I am thankful that I have Him in my life. If you are… someone like me, know…you are not alone. If you need too… reach out to Catherine who has wonderful healing words. May GOD bless you and give you the courage to speak out.

~Anonymous

For post-abortive support check out: http://www.healinghearts.org/

and we all tore our robes

Then Job arose, and tore his robe… and fell on the ground and worshiped. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.  ~ Job 1:20

This weekend at the Respite Retreat, in Henrietta, TN with David and Nancy Guthrie was a hard and yet glorious time.

My heart was freshly broken for all the families we met, and feeling their pain of loosing their children along with them, along with our own heartbreak for our first daughter Tirzah.

At the end, we all agreed that we didn’t want to leave the retreat…. It was so good, because it felt so safe… it was wonderful to cry and not hold back.. to have people to cry with, and not try to fix it, or feel awkward or rush us past it… i could freely let out the deep guttural cry of my heart… it was wonderful that Tirzah’s name was said, naturally and often. It was amazing to be with people who “get it” and just “know” and we didn’t have to explain or justify anything. Tirzah’s value and worth was assumed and celebrated.

We also found in our time together, the Lord to be faithful and the Rock on which we stand. The *name of the Lord* is salvation, redemption, and resurrection… for our babies… and for us.

We found together that *Jesus understands* both the overwhelming weight of grief, and the loneliness in that grief:

Then {Jesus} said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

Jesus understands what it is like to pray and receive a “No” from the Father:

he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me

Together we found God’s answer to the “Why??”… and a beginning of putting to rest the guilt and regret we all are tempted to have eat away at our hearts:

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Here in John 9, in this story of a blind man, we see Jesus answer in terms of purpose, not cause, as Nancy drew out of the passage. That was a wonderful reminder, and a truth in season for my heart. Nancy reminded each of us that God DOES NOT punish those *in faith*. For those who have accepted the free gift that Christ offers (the gift of being our substitute on the cross, and dying the death our lawbreaking demands as penalty), ALL the punishment that I *deserve*, Jesus took upon himself on the cross. *This sounds too good to be true* but we accept it and rejoice in this gift by faith. And now, God wants to pour out on US love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and GOODNESS.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. ~ Psalm 23

*ALL* the days includes the days that our children died. God’s *goodness* was there, and IS there in the depths of the despair we still feel.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 (paraphrase) ” and the day of death is better than the day of birth.”

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. ~ Psalm 116

And not only is God good on these days, but He has planned them, purposed them, and written them. Nancy read to us from Revelation 1:17 and Psalm 139. She emphasized this TRUTH: *God holds the key of death. No one walks through until God himself opens the door. And He is ALWAYS right on time.

“Fear not, I am the first and the last,  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. ~ Revelation 1:17

God has written *every* one of our days. Even the days that our children die.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me… ~ Psalm 139:16 

And finally, we read this *on going* invitation of Jesus in Matthew 11:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

She gently reminded each of us to come to JESUS himself, with a simple and pure heart… it doesn’t say “go to church”, or “seek a spiritual experience”, or whatever we might turn to… instead, we come to our Lord- the *person* of Jesus, and, like the *beloved* disciple John, we simply lay our head on his chest, experiencing his love and rest.

this new Esther Generation

Every morning that I wake up and Tirzah is not in my arms, is like a knife in my heart all over again.

Every. Single. Day. The pain never eases, never subsides. It is new every morning.

The mercy of the Lord is also new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

The only reason I can put one foot in front of the other each day is because of His presence…and the Truth of the resurrection; the tomb was indeed empty. The fact of His resurrection is my certain hope that Tirzah has experienced that resurrection and is now with the Lord.

It’s not just a flippant band-aid of Heaven on the wound of my heart.

The reality that Jesus took my place on the cross, and paid for all my sins is my surety that I will also experience the resurrection one day… and see Tirzah again.

I’m thankful for my Mom and for Ryan, who continually remind me that the Lord has kept me here on the earth because His work for me is not done… Like Esther… like Tirzah… I was born for such a time as this. 

Esther 4:14,16b:

{Mordecai to Esther:} “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”… {And Esther replied} “Then I will go… and if I perish, I perish.” 

I have this vision… of Tirzah leading the way in this new “Esther Generation”… she… and I… and us… born for “such a time as this.

All of us, in this sisterhood of saints, need her… Tirzah.

All ye saints in the Lord (those clothed in the righteousness of Christ and by His blood made perfect), let us not forget that we are of one body, growing into Christ our Head. We grow together. And Tirzah is part of our body, an indispensable part. And by her life we grow…

And she is.not.silent.

Do you see the irony?

Her voice is calling me, urging me to not remain silent.

” and if I perish, I perish.”   And what is that to me?

She speaks to us. Of the beauty of Christ, which she sees face to Face… of eternity… of simple obedience… of the resurrection.

And others in the sisterhood of saints speak to me… to us… along with Tirzah… Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who “did not fear anything that was frightening”… the Proverbs 31 woman who *laughs* at the days to come (although Mary Mohler recently pointed out to me that she is NOT a real person.. okay, so we can all relax our shoulders and sigh relief, she’s an *ideal*, not real!)…  Mary Magdalene who **clung** tightly to the risen Lord…

My prayer is that my life may adorn the Gospel of Jesus, as I look for the day when my faith shall be made sight. That is my longing, my hope. And until then I *cling* so tightly to the Lord.