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

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

Happy Three Month Birthday Tirzah!!

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Today Tirzah’s 3 month birthday…. i asked Ryan if he had any thoughts… He said, “Well, we’re three months closer to our eternity… to seeing her again.”

How true… I think the past three months I’ve been living more “in light” of Eternity then ever before…. the reality of my own *imminent* death (because really, compared to eternity, isn’t ALL of our deaths *really* imminent??)

In celebrating Tirzah’s life and birthday today, my one request, is for you to consider your own soul… and your own eternity.

To the person who thinks only of this lifetime and says: ” I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’… God says to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you,…” (Luke 12:19-20)

How do we know that anyone of us could have our soul “required” of us this very day….

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? ~ Mark 8:36

How do we secure our souls for eternity? Mark 1:15 says,” repent and believe in the gospel.”

This is the Gospel: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8

When Jesus died on the cross He became the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)

And this is the promise that His death purchased for those who come to Him… the only requirement is **COMING** : “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” ~ Psalm 103:12.

This is a once-for-all-time transaction, the moment we come to Christ in faith. THEREFORE, we can have BOLD ASSURANCE on the day we stand before God. **KNOWING** that our sins have been removed from us… We will not bear our sins upon us in God’s court of Law on the day we stand before God’s judgment. We know that Christ bore our sins, and our penalty… and therefore, we know that we shall be declared **INNOCENT** and ushered into His Kingdom.

The invitation is open to ALL: “Come!” ~ Revelation 22”:17

{this is my addendum, which I thought good to add! Can enough ever be said of the Gospel of Salvation??}

Who can stand before The Lord God and before His Throne?

Psalm 24:4 asks this question, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?”
And answers: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”

Which of us can say that we have clean hands and a pure heart??

Jesus says that if we hate, then we are murderers at heart…. If we look on another person with lust, we are adulterers at heart… Matthew 5:22 says, “whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Who of us has not done that?? Each one of stands before God as a murderer, a thief, an adulterer… and that’s just a start!

But God being *RICH* in mercy, has provided a way for us to be redeemed…

Just as Jesus took on our sin, to bear our punishment…. We take on His righteousness, as a cloak or garment, to bare his purity. This is known as **THE GREAT EXCHANGE**

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Isaiah 61:10- I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness…. {which is the righteousness of Christ!}

two months into eternity

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Today my little girl is two months into eternity… I feel peaceful… I feel deeply thankful… I am so proud of her…

God has used her to touch so many heart and lives. People from all over the world are reading this blog: South Africa, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Malta and Honduras…

Here are the words a few people have shared:

From Taylar: “: I read parts of your blog and felt like numb sensation throughout my whole body. I had to get off of it for now because I couldn’t fight the tears. As a Christian myself, I would like to encourage you to stay strong and keep doing what you’re doing. You have more strength than an army of a thousand men. I am very inspired by your messages. Xo”

From P: “: God bless you Catherine and your sweet baby girl,,,, sounds like you already know, that your blessed and a blessing,, even in the deepest hurt, ,, oh but sweet lady,,you will see her again! thank you for sharing such a great amazing life with us, your family , Tirzah”

From H— who recently had baby E— “I just kept thinking about what you had been through and then would try to refocus on the faith you were demonstrating in light of everything. Then, when E came out strawberry blonde, I just knew that Tirzah must have been with her, sent by God to help keep her safe. May sound corny, but I really felt that way.”

And we’ve been so loved and encouraged by so many:

From Esme R.: “You are doing so well, dear friend! Your grateful heart, though it comes with so many tears and sorrows, cannot but please the Lord. You and Ryan are such good testimonies of God’s grace. Love ya!”

From Kari B. – “You are such an amazing women Catherine, God is using you, and will continue to use you in mighty ways. It’s so painful to be broken but as you know, his strength shines so bright when we are so weak, I see that strength in you and I am awed by it. We all will go through suffering on this earth and I just hope I can be as authentic and Christ filled as you have been. Hugs!”

From Gabrielle P.- “Catherine, thank you for being used by Jesus to bring Him honor in the midst of your pain. May He continue to strengthen you and shine through you. We are praying for you and your beautiful family.”

From Kristin H. – “Thank-you so much for sharing this, Catherine! Your faith and belief in who Jesus is and how you are walking through this loss is so encouraging and has challenged my faith! Sweet, beautiful Tirzah is home! Love you, friend!”

From K. L- “This is so beautiful Catherine! It’s such a testament of your faith in Jesus on how you are relying on him during this time and he is showing you such beautiful things. I can’t imagine going through what you are going through and my heart breaks for you, but I’m amazed by the way you are handling it all. You are such a strong woman and such an amazing mommy to both Jeremiah and Tirzah! She was so beautiful and we know She is in a much better place than any of us.”

Those are just a few.

 

Fall is in the air

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Dear Tirzah,
I was thinking about you and missing you during our walk along the harbor today… the fall colors and the stillness of the Lake were so beautiful… and I thought you’d be with us for all this. I would have bundled you up to keep you so warm… and your little beautiful cheeks would have been so cute and pink from the fall air. And Everyone who walked by would have stopped to gaze and you and see how beautiful you are, and you would have looked up with your big blue eyes in wonder at the world and people around you (I *know* you had your daddy’s eyes). And right about now I would be searching for the *perfect* Christmas stocking for you… and every time I see a pretty little baby dress I’ll think of you… how perfectly beautiful you are.
My beautiful Tirzah, did I tell you about my new photography project: Souls of Chicago? It was inspired by you… because I have a life time of questions I never got to ask you… to know all about you… and I know you’ll have all eternity to answer…
And maybe you’ll still have a little Christmas stocking here with us, and I’ll line the top with mistletoe for all the 1000s of kisses we have for you!
Love you so so so so so much, Tirzah. From your mommy

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.