The Forever Mourning…


My heart, it aches. My tears, they fall closer together. It’s like my whole being is starting to understand. It’s coming.

The Spirit, it groans within me. Not uttering a human word but only those to The Heavenly Father that bring a peace in the midst of such sadness. Words that bring me strength where I only possess weakness.

And I’m left here with what feels like a forever mourning. Mourning this slow death of my third born child. A boy whose being is so bright, it cannot be snuffed out- not with a million seizures, not with another dose of meds, not even with his final breath. His light comes from something deeper and truer than even the light of the sun.

The enemy. He will not be satisfied. He will and is rejoicing, if he can even do such a thing, with every healthy section of Zeke’s brain that is burned by the acid leaking in. The enemy, he thinks he’s winning. He is so engulfed in lies, he cannot see the truth. He has been cackling that evil cackle for far too long, believing the lies that come from himself and those that work for him.  But even he must sense it’s coming. The suffering is coming to an end.

The heavenly angels voices must be getting louder and I see the enemy becoming afraid. The light is shining brighter and he’s becoming confused.

“NO! NO! He’s DIEING! Don’t you SEE?! YOU’RE LOSING!”, he says as he frantically looks around for a place to hide.

But again, he’s convinced he’s going to win so the enemy presses on, trying to drown out the beautiful, heavenly voices. The glory of the Lord shining ever so brightly as Zeke gets closer to His heavenly Father.

The enemy will not be satisfied for what he sees as death is what we know as an end to suffering and Zeke’s entering into a beautiful eternity.

Zeke’s fading and yet he’s only getting closer to becoming whole and complete.

This truth is bizarre and hopeful. This suffering and eventual death, what we see and mourn here on earth are exactly what is getting him closer to his eternal home. A place where it will not even be a distant memory.

When tears replace song I remember, Jesus is making all things new. #prayforZekey
Today at church, Andy preached from Ezekiel 9,10,11.  You can listen to it here.

Zeke was so tired but couldn’t fall asleep as the familiar sound of his daddy kept him alert and not wanting to miss a moment of comfort that Andy brings him. And when the music is played and our voices sing out, I held his hand while my other in the air, taking the opportunity here on earth, to join with my boy, who is closer to the Saints who have gone before us in worshipping our God, our King, together as The Body of Christ. What an honor.

After the message, I felt an urge to give my now sleeping Zekey over to “Grandpa Nate” (my father-in-law) so I could stand next to my husband in more worship through music. Little did I know, it was just the nudge he needed in order to share what was put on his heart to share with the congregation.

“Unless God intervenes, this could be Zeke’s last chance to offer Grace Church a Christmas greeting. Unfortunately, Zeke is a young man of few words. So Grandpa Nate is going to take a shot at filling in the gap.

God can take a small life lived on earth and “map” it to huge, wonderful, and totally unexpected things in eternity. Here on earth, while we grown-up mortals try to make sense of what has happened to Zeke… under the radar… lives are being touched, hearts are being softened, and plans re-ordered. What looks like a small, insignificant life is one that is going to have eternal significance.

Grandpa Nate’s hope is that, in heaven, a tall young man will walk up, perhaps with a bunch of other people in tow, reach out a strong steady hand, look me in the eye, and in a strong clear voice say “I thank God for the small life he laid out for me to live on earth. It was an honor. It was a privilege.”

-Grandpa Nate Holt

As you can imagine, there was not a dry eye in the room. Andy’s message, Nate’s heart and Zekey’s story were all used by God in big ways today.
A lot of us have lives less than perfect. There is something or someone missing or something we long for. This is where we can take the story of Christmas and apply it into the deepest wounds, the loudest sobs, the biggest fears, the forever mournings and see it as a way to connect our lives here on earth, to an eternal life where we will long no more.

“Christ has come. Your long exile is over. Lift up your eyes and, by faith, find your way home in him.” – Andy Holt
Ya see, Christmas isn’t about family and friends, gatherings and traditions. Heck, it’s not even about learning to give over receiving- Christmas is about a God whose love was so good and true and pure, that He came down to a corrupted place as earth, in the form of a baby, to give us a hope that we had our King and we’d been rescued and forgiven.

Today, we wait for his second return. He died the perfect death so we could live. Will you grab ahold of this story and start weaving yours into it? And if you already walk this life with the hope of Jesus, won’t you declare it a little louder, share it a little more? “Go tell it on a mountain!” if you will? It’s a story worth telling. It’s a story that will end the forever mourning.



  • Reply December 24, 2013


    Thinking of you Breena, and Andy, and all four of your beautiful children.
    – A friend in Columbus

  • Reply December 30, 2013


    Oh, my. Thank you for being so open. This is beautiful.

  • […] disease looses, no matter how much it seems Batten is winning here on earth. Remember, it’s the lie the enemy himself is believing but I don’t have […]

  • Reply March 8, 2014

    Polly Dierkens

    Bree, what an amazing gift the Lord has given you for moving people through the written word. He’s blessed you with an awesome perspective to move people even in the midst of your mourning. Lindsay Smallman (my sis in law) has kept us updated on Zeke, and I wanted you to know you have prayer warriors on the other side of the state who you are impacting even in the midst of this dark time. Prayers and hugs and love to you and your family.

    • Reply March 8, 2014



      Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! They bless us so much. <3

  • […] Zeke continued to shine so bright in these darkest of times. Batten disease, through seizures, tried to take Zekey but even on earth, in his hurting and broken body, Zeke continued to laugh, smile and show his […]

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