Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Joy is Coming

This might be a long post because I'm not quite sure the direction all this is about to take. But I feel like my mind has so much to process. So here we go...

In all honesty, the past couple of years have been a serious fight for joy. I can't pinpoint exactly what has caused my heart to reach such a numb state, but I feel as though I have been merely scraping by. And I've hated it. It's like each day has become so mundane. There have been times when I've looked at myself with such disdain over the person I've become on the inside. Somehow I reached a point where the tiniest disappointments could send my mood into a downward spiral and ruin my day. This has been my hardest battle.

Through it all, I've never given up on the Lord. I have continued to seek His face, even in the driest seasons - even when I felt like I was praying to the ceiling - even when I felt like His Word just wasn't coming alive. It can be so easy to just give up when we don't feel Him anymore. And I think that's what I've been fighting for a while. I just haven't felt Him. But I know that what I believe is real. And not just what I believe, but I know that He is real, and that His Word is real. So when Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "He will not leave you or forsake you," my heart and my soul believe it.

These past couple of months I have experienced a wide range of emotions. And I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life who have helped me through and encouraged me to allow myself the FREEDOM to experience those emotions. I've experienced anger, bitterness, confusion, frustration, deep sadness, and believe it or not, peace. I went a couple of weeks where I just couldn't pray anymore. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually spent. Praying for healing for my mom for almost a solid two years with seemingly no answer (or really the answer being the opposite of what I was praying for) was enough to do me in. I didn't want to put on a mask in approaching the Lord in prayer. So I didn't. But at the same time, I was so thankful to know there were countless others praying on my behalf. I depended on those prayers so heavily in a time when I couldn't pray myself.

A day came, however, when I knew I needed to confess my feelings to the Lord. So I did, and I was brutally honest with Him. I told Him I was angry. I told Him I felt like He wasn't listening, like He had turned a deaf ear toward us. I told Him I didn't understand and I felt like He didn't care. And amazingly, through this very prayer, I felt like I heard Him speak to me so clearly. I wrote the prayer in my journal, and as I was writing, His words interrupted me, and I felt led to write His words in the middle of my prayer.

I was asking Him to do a miracle in my mom's life, and He told me, "I want to do a miracle in your life, Jordan. In showing myself through one who hopes against hope." I continued to plead with Him, reminding Him that my Mom is His precious daughter. He interrupted again. "So are you." I also heard Him tell me, "I see you," and "I hear you." And then He gave me one last word...

"Patience."

I still was not fully convinced. But I believe that's when He really began working in my heart and showing me that my mom's battle with cancer wasn't just about her and her testimony, but it was also about doing a work in my life through all this. Was I happy with this? No. But He did slowly begin changing my heart.

I feel like the Lord has been consistently telling me one other thing these past couple of months. He knows this battle very well that I have been fighting for joy. He knows that my heart has felt numb. And I feel like He has been telling me that He had to take my mom for my heart to start feeling again. I feel like He has been telling me that
joy is coming through all this. Oh, I wish there were some other way. I really do. My heart is broken, and my spirit is crushed. So I must now trust that He will put me back together again. And He will work joy in the days to come.

I feel very hopeful in His promise. I can say that my heart no longer feels numb. I think the word for it now is tender. When a heart is broken into pieces, parts are exposed that have been hidden for years. I don't even know what all is in there. But
He knows. And he knows how to restore each part and put it all back together again.

I claimed Psalm 42 for myself on December 11, 2013, moments before finding out that the end of my mom's journey was nearer than we thought. The second part of verse 5 has really found a deep place in my spirit.

"Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."

Joy is coming. I am confident that it is.

I know a lot of pain is also coming. I dread the pain that lies ahead. I started feeling it just last night. Reality is slowly beginning to sink in. When I think of her absence, my stomach burns, and I feel like the breath has been knocked out of me. She was my best friend. So much of my life was wrapped up in her. But I know joy is coming. Through tears and sorrow, I have to cling to this promise. I know in my mind that every tear will be worth it all. But my heart must follow.

I'll close with this song (I think Mom shared it on her blog a while back too).



Please continue to pray for our family and the days that lie ahead. We are so desperate for God's grace to continue to carry us.

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

14 comments:

  1. Bless your heart!
    That's really all that can be said…I will pray the Lord gives you peace and courage to face each new day in the coming weeks and months. I watched your mom's service last night after my kiddos went to bed and it was such a blessing to me. Even though I never met your family, your mom's story resonated with my heart. May you find healing and joy in this coming year in ways you can't even imagine right now.

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  2. Oh, Jordan, you don't know me, but I just want to hug you! I followed your mom's blog since last Feb when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her words were such a comfort to me, not because of a diagnosis or prognosis, but because of her HOPE in The Lord despite those things. As I watched her memorial service, I was reminded of what Paul says in Philippians 1:21- for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I am praying for you, that this year would bring you joy in more ways than you could ever hope for.

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  3. Jordan,

    I am just another stranger who has been so impacted by the life of your mom. Your post . . so deeply authentic and transparent. So moving. So much of your mom in it! I have read and re read her blog often since your journey started. How great is our God that He can work so wonderfully and so perfect in the midst of such sorrow and loss. And, like your mom said in her video, if by her illness one person was impacted for Christ then it was all worth it. I know she meant coming to Jesus for the first time, but I can't help but see the work that God is beginning to do in you.

    Thank you for this blog. Thank you for your transparency. I so look forward to reading. God bless you and your family. Praying !

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  4. Jordan, although I lost my mom nearly 6 years ago (Jan 3) and it was unexpected, what you wrote has resonated so deeply in my heart. This is EXACTLY how I have felt, praying to the ceiling, while KNOWING HE is still there and on the throne!! I do not know for sure if my mom was saved though and I guess that where my numbness comes from more than anything, but I just wanted to let you know...you are so right there are going to be hard days ahead, but God will most definitely bring you JOY and while you'll still have a hole in your heart left by your sweet mom, God will be there to help with a bandage over it! Please know there are people whom you've never met that are going to continue to pray for you all because I know that's the only way I survived it, and I know how it feels!! Praying for more peace, comfort and joy for you in the coming new year!!! Love from Sarah in NM!!

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  5. Reading your story makes my heart heavy. I lost my mother in law to leukemia a year ago. I can sympathize with so much that you have said the past few days. Like your mother's story, we were able to prepare (somewhat) for her passing. I was grateful for this... Believe me, I am beyond thrilled to know she is celebrating daily with the Lord, but it is so, SO difficult not to have her with us. I know we will meet again, one day. I'm praying for you and your family in the coming days, months, etc...

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  6. Jordan- I wanted to tell you that you looked so beautiful yesterday at your mom's celebration service. I know she was smiling down on you and Bryan as you two sang together.
    I can't imagine the hurt your heart is feeling right now. I feel as though the only comfort I can offer you is to let you know that I am praying for you. Praying for continuing peace, healing, comfort, and a restoration of joy. I love you.

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  8. Jordan, I'm praying for you and your family. My heart goes out to you! Lean on God and trust Him.

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  9. Oh, Jordan, bless your precious heart! Never forget that the Lord hears the groanings of our heart when we simply cannot pray. May the Lord continue to provide you with peace and joy in this difficult time and may the precious memories of your Mom bring you comfort. Hugs to you!

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  10. What a beautifully written post. I will continue to pray for your family and for joy to flood your heart.

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  11. Jordan, we met a bit in college, and I've peeked in on your and your mama's story via Facebook for a little while now. My Mama found out she had intrauterine cancer a few years ago, but while I know the the gut-dropping shock, the worry and the lingering chance that it could come back, we were lucky that it wasn't her time yet.

    I don't feel like I know how to comfort you or speak encouragement because I haven't had the same experience. I've lost others, but never a Mama, never my best friend. But I don't want that "ceiling" to stop the support of prayer you need.

    Please know that many of us across the world who you met in life or via the web for even a short time are watching, thinking and praying as best we can, even when we don't know how. I don't have words, but my heart cries out in response to everything you're writing. I don't know exactly how to pray for what you need, but I pray that God shows you His work and will. I'm just one part of a distant family scattered all over the earth praying for you, and please know that we love you and look forward to meeting you and your Mama again some day.

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  12. Sweet girl...you will be fine b/c you have the Lord working in and through you. There is comfort enough in knowing that but I wanted to share a life lesson that God taught me about 5 1/2 years ago. My daughter was 28 when she married. She lived at home until the day got married and moved 1700 miles from me with her new husband. My stomach burned. She was my best friend...we did EVERYTHING together! I knew what she was thinking and we would finish one another sentences and know what the other was thinking before we ever shared it with each other! The day I stood on my driveway and watched their car drive down the street, I came into the house and confessed to God that "my life" was driving away. I bawled like a baby...for what seemed like hours. The Lord revealed to me that very day something I had known but never settled before that day. A woman is to cleave to her husband and although I have a wonderful, full marriage, my heart was always filled with her! I knew, from His Word that when she was married, she needed to leave and cleave...and perhaps I could have been a stumbling block to her marriage. I "agreed" with God that the best thing for Him to do was to move her far away so she would be "forced" to turn to her husband instead of her mother. At that point, I was released from the gut wrenching agony that was unexplainable. HE was my peace. He was my comfort. HE was my best friend! When I wanted to talk to her, I would "call" on Him. To this day, my husband and I have a closer relationship than we have in all 37 years of our marriage. God gave you a gift in your husband in order to help ease the pain of losing your mama. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all good things will be added unto you! I know it hurts. Words can't really bring the deep comfort and fulfill the longing of your soul but HE can....and He will. There will be joy in the morning, this I have experienced as I lost both of my parents within 3 months of one another just 3 1/2 years ago. All of your emotions are normal...and they are of God. They help to reveal the focus of our hearts...and our Father is so faithful to gently lead us home. Some things simply take time to work out. You will never stop missing your sweet mama...but the Lord is faithful to give you many blessings to help soften the pain. Just know that this wasn't a mistake. It was all a divine appointment with the Lord. Our days are numbered even before our first one...and that brings me great comfort in knowing that the pain we endure is for something far greater than we can ever think or imagine. God does hear...and he does answer, but as you have said before, "his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways are higher than our ways". Just breathe. When you don't know what to do next, just do the next thing. Try not to get too far ahead of yourself and think about all the "what if's"....he gives us grace for today....not a year in advance! Wish we were closer...I'd love to take you for coffee! :)

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      I was ministered to by your sweet post full of wisdom and I just know Jordan will be, too. Your words are peppered with encouragement from God's word that should lift anyone up. Thanks for sharing your heart ~ I have been touched by your words.

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  13. Thinking of you and praying peace and joy are yours.

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