Friday, February 7, 2014

Holy Ground/19 Days: Lesson From Warren, Post 1

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
-Hebrews 13:5,15  NKJV

Seeing that this blog essentially speaks to life, loss and redemption, these next few posts around the fifth anniversary of Warren’s death on February 8th and subsequent birth in heaven will highlight a few specific things the Lord has placed on my heart over the years: “Lessons from Warren.”  

Warren taught us the vast significance of all life, no matter how brief in our earthly economy or limited understanding.  Many have told us how Warren’s life taught them to pray, to seek closer intimacy with their Creator. 

February 8th, along with the 19 days following the twins’ birthday on January 21st, is certainly bittersweet.  We still mourn this loss while we also continue to celebrate Warren’s life, singing his song. And I know this actually has surprised some…. Why do we feel the need to talk about our deceased son?  Do we do this out of guilt?  Do we not know how to move forward?  I hope some of these questions will be answered in this post and the ones to follow… but more than that, we hope these posts, like Warren’s life, will point you to Jesus.

While we often find ourselves in the land of “what ifs,” caught up in anger, loneliness and the weight of crushed dreams for our life and future, this weekend we hope to lay the questions and anguish aside.  We hope to instead embrace a spirit of gratitude. Focusing not on what we didn’t get to experience, but instead on what we did.  Focusing not on the time we were denied with Warren, but instead on the time we did have.  Focusing not on why a good God would allow a medical error to abruptly shorten our beloved son’s life (also the life of John’s twin who we had hoped would have his brother throughout his earthly life), but rather focusing on the good God who perhaps prevented our twins from being taken even earlier when complications and hemorrhaging arose on several occasions while the boys were still in my womb. 

A shift from coveting what was lost, as the verse above states, to instead offering a sacrifice of praise for what we have.  God allowed me to meet, hold, and snuggle my twins… to feel their warm bodies against my skin.  To sing to them, pray over them, read to them, love on them.

So today’s lesson from Warren is simple.  We are grateful for 19 days.  Questions aside, despite tears welling, the fact remains that 19 days is what we were given.  And so today, I want to be grateful for that gift.  I choose to be grateful.  Those precious, albeit heart-wrenching, days when in many ways time stood still.  Those days in which every moment, each solitary minute, was savored.  Treasured in a way that I cannot say was experienced in Daniel or Andrew’s first few weeks (although those weeks were precious in their own way, of course). 

When a life hangs in the balance, when you are fighting for every breath, those moments stretch, time slows, hearts seem to almost bleed into one.  When a life is tenuous, and suffering meets love, you truly stand on holy ground where nothing is taken for granted.  Those 19 days were our holy ground, where a slice of heaven came to earth in the form of our twins.  A time in which we lived and loved without regret.  And then one was taken to heaven to be with his Lord, to reside on the true Holy Ground we will also get to experience some day.

What are your “19 days”?  I know it is difficult, unbearable at times, but let's find spaces and moments, even, to join together in offering a sacrifice of praise for the glimpses of holy ground in each of our lives, knowing the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us.  

I will close with a link to the lyrics and music to a beloved throwback, “Holy Ground”:
Holy Ground 
Verse 1
When I walk through the doors I sensed His presence
And I knew this was a place where love abounds
For this is a temple Jehova God abides here
Oh we are standing in His presence on holy ground

We are standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence on holy ground

Verse 2
In His presence I know there is joy beyond all measure
And at His feet sweet peace of mind can still be found
For when we have a need He is still the answer
Just reach out and claim it for we are standing on holy ground

We are standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence on holy ground

Holy holy holy Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee

We are standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence
We are standing in His presence

We are standing in His presence on holy ground


  1. So inspiring! This spoke to me as I have a family member that delivered a still born 4 years ago then subsequent miscarriages. Thanks for sharing your heart and allowing God to speak through you. Miss you! Beautiful new addition too!