And from the ground there blossoms red Life that shall endless be.

{this article was published in The Morning Center Chronicle, November 2017. The Morning Center provides free, full-service maternity care to underserved women in the name of Jesus. ProWoman. ProHope. ProLife.}

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10

The Morning Center stands for life.

However, our journey in supporting The Morning Center did not begin with life. Our journey’s seed-bed was Death:  our daughter, Tirzah Catherine Knight, was born still and silent at 40 weeks, and into the arms of Jesus on August 20, 2014. It was the darkest night of our lives.

She was our every dream and prayer come true. We loved her beyond words. Holding her in my arms, and the soft touch of her cheek was a touch of heaven… for a moment. But heaven is real, and I will touch her again.

We are people of the Resurrection. This is our hope.

It is from this place that our journey with The Morning Center blossomed.

Tirzah is NOT dead; she IS alive. Her life matters. Though born still and silent she has a voice that speaks loudly and clearly a message of life.

Tirzah’s message and the Morning Center’s mission are one and the same: Life. Resurrection. Eternal Life.

This is why we choose The Morning Center to honor and celebrate Tirzah’s life each year on her birthday, and invite others to join us. On her first birthday, we hosted an online baby shower that raised over $6000. We also celebrated her 1st birthday with a party and collected baby gifts. It was a holy experience to unwrap the gifts: clothes and dresses were chosen and wrapped through the tears of those who love us.

The dresses, that would have been so beautiful for Tirzah, were meant to bless another baby. Holding these dresses was literally holding grief and joy together: hope beyond the sorrow.

This baby shower for The Morning Center was actually a battle-cry:  A fierce stand that as Evil rages on this earth, scheming to “kill, thieve and destroy”, Death does NOT have the last word. Life wins!

In the battle against Evil and against Death, The Morning Center and all who work through the ministry are warriors fighting for life!

We joined forces with the Morning Center, because Jesus has conquered sin, Evil and death!

We stand on hope in the Resurrection. I repeat: Life wins!!

We love the Morning Center and are proud to join the war on their behalf because they have dual weaponry against the Enemy that is rare in Christian ministry: Sharing the Gospel in deed AND in Word.

The Morning Center enables women to carry and delivery their babies with excellent medical care. At the same time, their mission is sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the fullness of truth with love. I have been so blessed to join with The Morning Center through prayer and see their work overflowing in Bible study ministry to fathers and refugees in the community.

As we grieve our daughter here on earth, it has given us joy and peace in believing that the purpose of Tirzah’s life was for the grace of Jesus to spread (John 9:3). We see that promise fulfilled through The Morning Center, as her life has inspired us to take part in the gift of life to babies, mothers, fathers… and truly an entire community.

https://www.morningcenter.org/

 

 

 

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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

love…. with ferocity and abandon

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, it was 4:00 am, Jeremiah was calling for me… I never went back to sleep (although Jeremiah did!). About 5:30 am, by God’s providence, the following story was staring me in the face:

http://www.abort73.com/testimony/1816/

When I read this it reawakened all my grief in a flood of tears… that sent me reeling all day long. I felt like I was struggling just to breathe. I wanted Tirzah, and I wanted this baby (who died 2 days before Tirzah’s actual death)… I’m thankful that they’re together in heaven and that they know so much joy. so. much. But it still hurts to not have them here.

This is the short synopsis of the story I read: a young girl, at age 17 became pregnant… and was excited to have a baby. She made lists of everything she needed. She started a journal of letters to the baby. Her boyfriend simply ignored the pregnancy until she was 21 weeks… then he demanded an abortion, or else he would never having anything to do with her again. She was manipulated and coerced. At the same time I assert this, I am not claiming her innocence before God. But I AM looking at the full story.

In her words there is a story of heartache and grief… I am convinced that her grief must be similar to my own. Except she wanted foot prints and hand prints and didn’t get any… She begged the nurses…

She didn’t get flowers, meals, and cards, and necklaces… But she lost her baby too.

Before the abortion, she didn’t know what it would be like… there was an insidious lie… now she knows. And now there’s no way for her to grieve the way she needs to. She is silenced by the guilt, and the shame… but she wants her baby back, just like I want Tirzah back.

I now believe that post-abortive women are truly a category that is unseen, unheard (or just avoided)… despised from both sides… and while everyone is busy arguing right vs. wrong, this woman’s pain is *missed*.

Her pain is too messy and the horror too striking to sit in it for very long. So she sits alone. Or turns to addiction in one form or another… to be her companion… and sit with her.

So now I have deep compassion for women like this one… I want to have open arms for women like this, because Jesus has open arms… “Come to me, ALL who are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you *rest*”… His forgiveness is offered to all, and gives true rest.

He gives rest, because He took our guilt AND our shame to the cross, and it was nailed there… and once we accept that free gift, God will never bring those things against us, EVER.

I understand that there are looming questions: How does God fit into the death of a baby? Either by still birth, or abortion… and how could God allow babies to be formed with deformities and disabilities? How can He *exist* and be *good* and *all powerful* and these things happen??

Belief in God clearly influences perspective on abortion, because if there IS a God, he designed even the babies with deformities, loves them eternally,  gave them an eternal soul, and has a plan for their lives… no matter how short, just like I believe and experience for Tirzah, though I don’t understand the fullness of how plan… but how do I know she didn’t have some deformity? Tests didn’t show anything, but we don’t know why she died. And I’m still so thankful for her life and to be her mother. I cannot imagine any mother of a baby born with anencephaly saying that she wished she had aborted at 20 weeks… Each one will say that their baby was a *gift* and they are *so thankful* for the short time they had with their baby.

The God I believe in says he has chosen the weak and despised things of the world for His own… That’s *me*, and that’s *each of these babies*… each of the aborted babies is an eternal soul that God has chosen for His Kingdom. I truly believe that is in large part how God is fulfilling his promise to Abraham to have a people in number the same as the “sands on the sea shore”, and a people from “every tongue, tribe and nation”… through the eternal souls of babies miscarried, aborted, still born, and infant deaths. And each of these has a soul that is just as valid as mine. It feels like a mystery to imagine how that can be true because we feel our soul so connected with our conscious thought that results from a fully developed brain. But I believe it is true, and there is a mystery to it… like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly… and will one day be unveiled.

But back to the story of that Wednesday… God used this girl’s story and my unspeakable pain to give me a passion for ministering to post-abortive women. I’m not sure how yet or when… but I’m seeking the Lord… It’s my desire and heart to step into the messiness of women’s lives and offer real help… too often people offer “prayer” as a substitute for tangible help (and I’m NOT discounting prayer, but only when it’s used as an excuse for inaction)… In James 2 it says “if a brother or sister is poorly clothed or lacking in daily food {or has an unplanned pregnancy??}, and one of you says to him, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that??”

Here is the paradox: as I lay curled up on the floor, weeping, begging God to take me… He answered No. And He gave me a passion for living in proportion to my desire to die {I need to insert here: *in that moment*, I AM NOT suicidal!!}… Prior to this day, I could read Paul’s words in the book of Philippians and agree in my mind, but this was the first time I had this very same experience, and could honestly say that these words are from my own heart:

to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus,…  striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,  and not frightened in anything by your opponents… For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake. ”

~ Philippians 1:20-29

I pray that this experience will produce a great and lasting boldness for the truth of the Gospel of God’s grace through Jesus Christ… and that I will not be hindered by such things as mere awkwardness or men’s approval… because when I’d truly rather be with Jesus… and Tirzah… really, who cares??  As Isaiah 22:2 says, Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he??

So the kingdom and power of Darkness here on earth ought to tremble, because as long as the Lord gives me breath and life on this earth, I plan to attack the realms of evil with a ferocity and such an abandon, as if I have nothing to loose.

Happy 5 Month Birthday Tirzah!

Dear Tirzah,

Your mommy and daddy love you even more today- your 5 month birthday! You are the most beautiful girl we’ve ever seen; we love every little feature of your sweetest face and we can’t wait to hold your hand again, worshiping the Lord together with you. We hope and pray to make you proud of us, so you’re smiling down. And you inspire us every day to keep our eyes on “things above not on earthly things”… you inspire us to draw near to Jesus and keep our eyes on Him!

We send 1000 kisses up to you! ~ love Mommy and Daddy

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. ~ Psalm 118