Through The Fire

On October 23, 2010, our precious son, Jeremy Kirby, was taken. My heart shattered. Soul twisted.  I was  struck completely down, but NOT destroyed. Words aren't adequate to name the depth of incomprehensible horror coupled with inescapable despair that clenched me. At that point my eyes were opened to the harsh reality of what "true" suffering looks like. Previously, my "suffering" (which I consider all now foolishness post October 23rd: ie--financial troubles, relational dynamics, worrying about my kids etc.) do not compare to the gripping grief that now has become a constant journey partner for me.
The Apostle Paul knew suffering. Beaten. Shipwrecked. Hungry. Falsely Accused.  Imprisoned. His remedy for suffering was to lean into the joy of the Lord. In fact, Paul counts it our true gain as we suffer with Christ as it molds us more into the likeness of the suffering servant, Christ. Christ, full of glory, brought low into humanity, suffering, bleeding, dying, did so without complaint, grumbling, questioning. It is in the fullness of my greatest loss, my "suffering," my grief I have drawn closer to my savior and understand more fully the true reality of what it means to suffer.

We purposely chose to fully face the brutal, crushing reality of the incredible loss unaided/undistracted by medication. I wanted to fully embrace the pain of the loss. It was a bloody, brutal beating to endure, and continue enduring for the rest of my earthly life, but strangely enough by leaning into the pain, by obediently carrying it, God provided a deep peace, "joy" if you will to accompany the horrific suffering. I have cleaved to the side of my savior and have been drawn closer into fellowship with him, the Father and Spirit. I am reminded of the early martyrs that RAN to the lion's mouth and wanted their bones crushed into bread...It is by such supernatural, God breathed, courage; such trust in the Lord; such assurance that Jeremy has found perfection in Christ that I find joy amongst the pain. 10,000 wild horses couldn't drag Jeremy back to me, nor would I want them to. He is in perfect union with Father, Son, and Spirit. He completed the race. Won the prize. I will press on in great fear and trembling as one who has not attained the prize.

I will continue to do this in a manner that brings as much glory to my heavenly Father as I am humanly capable of. I will not bring shame to the name above all names, Jesus Christ,  by shrinking back, falling into worldly despair, hovering over the grave, looking into the deep blackness in search of my child....For he is not there. The seeds planted in him have died and brought forth abundance that only dying can bring. I will choose to continue to strip away my flesh and lean into the Spirit of the Living God in hopes of one day finding myself in perfect union.  It disturbs me greatly how twisted the world and many Christians see death and dying, suffering. It is actually the door to sanctificaiton. To union. To eternity. Return to Eden from our curvatus ways. I deeply mourn for my earthly loss; I find great  joy in my child's gain.

I haven't even begun to fully comprehend the miraculous outpouring, the hedge of love, that surrounded us from our family and friends, Biloxi First United Methodist Church family, the gulf coast community, and countless other churches and believers in this coastal area and far beyond. You carried us when we could not walk through the pain alone. Proper thanks can never be communicated to: our MIGHTY God carrying us. Our beautiful family journeying with us. Amazing friends & bfumc family providing a beacon of hope. Countless brothers & sisters in Christ lifting us up to the one that can save.  Thank you. ♥ 

What I hope I can communicate fully is something I do know now without a shadow of a doubt--In great, almost unbearable, suffering, "grief" spaces, God thins the veil just a bit... He provides rainbows in the rain. A way when there is no way in sight. I have never seen the God-head, 3 in 1, more clearly than through the eyes of this horrific tragedy, sword piercing grief, hard pressing suffering. And, yet, somehow through it all I live! All praise, glory, and honor belong to God alone for bringing us through the daily fire that is now our "new" normal. 


  1. You are an amazing writer! I know writing will help you with the grief you are carrying. I love you sis!

  2. powerful MJ, powerful. Thank you for this blog.

  3. Martha June: Jamey shared your blog with me and I just wanted to reach out to you to say that as a mommy of one precious little girl, with one little boy on the way, my heart aches for you. What you have gone through is incomprehensible, yet you find strength to press forward, and we know where that strength comes from...your faith is strong and is an inspiration. I pray that God continue to use you, hold you ever so tightly and guide you through this lifelong process..knowing that at the end of it you will have the final victory and will be reunited with your missing piece...your sweet Jeremy. Please know we love you and as fellow believers are sharing in your joy that Jeremy is already experiencing that victory. I also want to leave you with a scripture I read just this morning, that seems so fitting after reading your blog. [The Lord] has sent me to . . . those who grieve . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
    - Isaiah 61:1, 3 (NIV)

    Love, Pam Foster

  4. Thank you for the encouraging words! Pam, the scripture is absolutely fitting!!! It is my heart's desire to see my earthly ashes exchanged for something beautiful that only God can give. God has been faithful to carry us through this and all praise belongs to the King! Much love!!!!


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