Kay's Blog

Showing items filed under “Mental Health”

Our Beloved Gift of God

On July 18, 1985, I gave birth to our beloved gift of God, Matthew David Warren. Holding him in my arms that morning, I had no idea how dark the journey would get for him - and for those who love him. All I knew that bright morning was that I was madly in love with him, and could see nothing ahead but a mother's dreams of a good life for her son.


 My pregnancy had been extremely difficult and included three months of TOTAL bed rest (not even able to get up to use the bathroom) due to a severe allergic reaction that temporarily crippled me and caused tremendous physical pain and discomfort. The doctors reassured me that I and the baby would be fine - but how could I be sure? What if the baby wasn't alright? What if I wasn't alright?


I remember Easter 1985 - I was sick in bed, unable to go to church. Rick took the kids to church and I stayed by myself for a few hours - the TV remote by my side as my only companion. Somehow I dropped the remote and couldn't retrieve it - so there I was, alone on one of the most joyous holidays, with not even a TV preacher to keep me company, full of anxiety and fear for myself and my unborn child.


I painfully reached for my Bible and it fell open to Habakkuk 3:17-19: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to go on the heights." 


This was a word from the Lord to me - and I determined that even IF my worst nightmares came true - if my baby died, or I never walked again - that I would trust in God my Savior; I would rejoice in the Sovereign Lord.


Matthew David Warren was born and everything seemed fine. But by his first birthday, we began to wonder. And by his second and third birthdays, we knew he wasn't like his older sister and brother. As time unfolded, so did his struggles and I couldn't help but feel that my challenging pregnancy had negatively affected his developing brain and nervous system.


When he took his life last year - after battling and fighting so hard for decades - a friend sent me Habakkuk 3:17-19 in a sympathy card. She had no idea this passage was incredibly significant to me, but it was a fitting "bookend" to his life. Because I had feared for years that he would take his life... it became his greatest pursuit and my deepest anguish... I had to come to the point in which I said as I had 27 years before - "EVEN IF my worst nightmare comes true and he takes his life, I WILL rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior."


So today - his 29th birthday - through weeping - I shout it to the watching universe: "I will rejoice in Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior." My heart remains wounded and battered, but my faith is steady. There is, and will be, as Steven Curtis Chapman says, a "glorious unfolding" of all that God has in store for me and my family. God is faithful to His promises of rebuilding and restoring the ruins - and I am confident that I will yet be a witness to many, many, many lives healed and hope restored - all because of my beloved gift of God, Matthew David Warren. I miss you, darling boy... but it will just be for a little while.

Posted by Kay Warren with

Follow up: Don't Tell Me to Move On

Follow up to Don't Tell Me To Move On: 

I’ve wanted so badly to respond to the millions of you (3.2 million have seen it and more than 10,000 have written back) who have shared it, forwarded it, re-posted it, printed it, and handed it out to others, and written exquisitely kind and tender words of empathy to me and my family. However, I’ve simply been astonished by the volume of response and have been hesitant to interrupt the beauty of what was happening by posting something else. I don’t know how to interpret the volume of response other than to say it confirms what I suspected: Grief is a long, arduous, slow process and it deserves to be respected and supported, not minimized and condemned. Your responses both comfort me tremendously – clearly, I’m not alone – and break my heart; so many of you have said, “This is my story too; you’ve put into words what I feel.”


You’ve told me about your sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, best friends, grandparents, cousins, neighbors, and co-workers and how their deaths created such a well of pain and grief in your hearts; how the grief remains fresh and raw, and how much you wish “comforters” had been more sensitive to your grief. I can’t even begin to tell you what a privilege it is to “hold” your grief... I feel as though I’ve been given a sacred trust and I’m honored. I ache for your losses and send you my deepest compassion and prayers for God’s gentle touch to soothe, mend, and heal your hearts.


The thousands of responses have impacted me. I’m walking through life differently. Instead of plowing through the grocery store as fast as I can, I now walk the aisles praying for those who pass by me intent on their shopping. I can’t help but wonder what invisible sorrow accompanies them; who are they grieving for? Who are they desperately missing? I get fanciful and wonder what if we all wore armbands that way people do occasionally on sports teams – but what if these armbands were colored to match a grief. Blue for a baby or child who died. Yellow for a spouse. Green for a loved one lost through suicide. Red for a sibling. Purple for a best friend. I wonder if we wouldn’t all be wearing an armband of one color or the other... it would make it so much easier! We wouldn’t have to wonder whether or not someone was mourning – it would be right there on their arm for all to see – and I wonder if it wouldn’t make us all much more patient and considerate of each other because we wouldn’t be able to ignore the pain so plainly visible. Of course that isn’t ever going to happen, but its food for thought.


Another thought I’ve been contemplating the past two weeks is the way so many of you expressed the ways that your loss has negatively affected your life... how nothing has been the same... how you’re not at all the same person you used to be... how challenging it is to continue in daily life. Since I feel the same way at the one-year mark (April 5), I can’t help but get a little anxious about the future. I’ve started searching the Bible for verses that can encourage me to believe that my life isn’t ruined by our tragedy. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m spending a lot of time meditating on the book of Ezekiel. The Israelites were taken captive in Babylonia – the land was laid waste, their cities were decimated and plundered, the inhabitants enslaved. But in Ezekiel 36, God promises to make the land rich and productive again, to free the people, and to rebuild all that was demolished and ruined.


Yes, God, please. Please rebuild the “ruins” in our lives. Even though we often feel helpless in the ruins, YOU are not helpless among our ruins. Please bring freedom, productivity, and restoration once again. Show us how to LIVE even though some of those dearest to us are no longer here. We want to flourish again. Please.

Posted by Kay Warren with