Friday, January 24, 2014

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

So I stole this idea from my sister-in-law, Jenna, who has also been blogging through this journey we are on. She recently wrote a post titled "ALL ABOUT ME" and shared with her readers, well... all about her! I realize many of you who have been reading and following along have either jumped over from MY MOM'S BLOG, from KELLY'S KORNER, maybe you accidentally found me through a Google search, and then there are those who do know me in "real life," but maybe you've never heard my story from beginning to now. So that's what I'm venturing to do today! So here we go...

Hello, my name is Jordan.

Quick fact: I am a thrill seeker just like my momma.
This picture is from my first sky diving jump!

I was born in Texas, and lived there until we moved to Arkansas when I was 8 years old - which is where I claim "home."

Here's a couple pictures of "little me" from the early years...

Me and my beautiful mom!

Once a thrill seeker, always a thrill seeker.

Couldn't resist posting the glamour shot!
I thought I was so cool in that bedazzled jean jacket.

My dad died of AIDS when I was just 5 years old in 1993. This has always been part of my testimony and has never been very difficult for me to say because I was so young when it happened. I've never known any different. And really, my only memories come from home videos. But he was a great dad!




 My mom married Tony Pate in 1994, and he has been my dad for 20 years of my life.

 
I also gained two awesome step-siblings! Here was our family in 1994:
Mom, Tony, Chris, me, Bryan and Alesha

And this is our family as of 2012

I couldn't imagine anyone better to step in and raise me. Tony has been such a rock for our family, and he is always giving, giving, giving of himself to provide for us and take care of us. To me, when I say "Tony" it's just like saying "Dad" because he has filled that role for me so perfectly.

I love you, Tony!

I committed my life to the Lord when I was 12 years old on November 15, 2000. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had been struggling with doubt about my salvation, basing it on a decision I had made when I was 7 years old - realizing I really had no idea what I was doing at the time. It was a Wednesday night, and I remember so vividly talking to my parents about it and praying with them, nailing down this very important decision. That was the most important day of my life. I acknowledged Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have done nothing good to earn my salvation. It is only by His sacrifice and His grace that I can call myself a child of the one true God. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I would love to share more with you! Just shoot me an email sometime at jordan@fbcbentonville.org

I went to college at the University of Central Arkansas and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Science (as I've mentioned before, this is just a fancy way of saying Home Economics or my "MRS degree"). I now have an incredible job working in student ministry at First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Our ministry is called Studio 412 (taken from 1 Timothy 4:12), and my official title is "Youth Girl's Associate" - I work with 7th - 12th grade girls planning events and investing in teenage girls' lives - it really is the best job! Here's a picture of our youth group at camp last summer...


Since working at Studio 412, I met the love of my life - David.

He was one of our interns in 2011, and yes, that would make me his boss for the summer. I knew the moment I saw him that I was going to have to guard myself. I had already heard so many great things about him leading up to the day we finally met in person. His older sister was one of my close friends in college, and I had heard her brag about him quite a bit - but never thought anything of it because she was talking about her younger brother. Then the day came that I was working at Studio 412 looking for summer interns, and the guy who recommended David spoke very highly of him. Before ever seeing David in person, he already had a grand reputation that preceded him. So when this tall, handsome blonde guy walked into our youth building... I knew I was in trouble.

Long story short, I kept my distance from him while we worked together. But as summer came to a close, I began to let loose a little bit. I couldn't contain this girly, flirty side of me any longer. And then I caught wind that.... David was also interested in me! He moved back to school and began calling and texting and pursued a relationship with me. We dated long distance for 7 months. He came back and interned again the summer of 2012 - so imagine that situation! I'm his boss again, but this time we are dating! Ha! He proposed on August 6th as soon as the summer was over, and we were married a short 3 months later on November 3, 2012.

At the end of his first summer, we went sky diving!
(this was my second jump - his first jump)

I might as well throw in a picture from my third jump
(I'm only slightly addicted), and this was his second.


 He is my dream come true, the love of my life and my best friend!

My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February of 2012. She fought a hard battle, and she fought it well - never skipping a moment to speak of God's goodness and faithfulness.

And now for the most recent part of my story...

My mom died on December 26, 2013. Those words feel like someone else's vomit coming right out of my own mouth. I will not apologize for the graphic nature of that last sentence. That's exactly how I feel. It is the most repulsive thing that I will ever say, and it is part of my story now.

She has only been gone for 4 weeks now. The first couple of weeks almost seemed too easy. I had moments where I felt like, "I think I can handle this." But I realize now that those first couple of weeks I was living in a state of relief. I was relieved to know that my mom was no longer sick, no longer suffering, no longer fighting this battle of what food sounded good and trying to choke it down, no longer feeling nauseous, no longer in any pain. I've been so relieved and so thankful to know she is finally seeing Jesus face-to-face.

Don't get me wrong, I am still relieved and still thankful for all those things. I would still never ask her to come back to this broken world. But now, I am becoming more and more overwhelmed with the fact that my mom is gone. There are moments when my body feels like it could literally collapse from missing her so deeply. I've had some of my ugliest moments these past couple of days. The silliest things put me over the edge. My emotions are so fragile. Sometimes I feel like I'm going insane. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe.

This is where I am today. It's been a long journey, and it's been filled with some twists and turns I have never expected. But through it all I can still say that God is good, and I trust Him with every ounce of my being.

So, for those of you who have never met me...

This is me, and this is my story.

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

20 comments:

  1. A very beautiful story! It is wonderful to see God working and caring for you - Tony becomes your Dad and is a wonderful Dad. Then your husband, who also is a Christian, comes into your life. In Psalm 84 we read that we go from strength to strength. God is our sun and shield; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Hold unto Him - God is right there with you. You are grieving, and grieving hurts, but grieving is also a season in our life. It will get better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jordan, when I read the "vomit" analogy...I just burst into tears!!!. I am sitting at my desk, in the middle of my office with tears right now. I know it hurts. I also know, you will be fine and someday there will be a glad reunion....your mother was a wonderful woman. I miss her prayers and her insight in our bible study group..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And oh, how I look forward to that reunion! What a glorious day!

      Delete
  3. Jordan,

    I so enjoyed reading your post! I completely understand what you are going through and how you feel! I lost my mom at the age of 30. It was my son's 11th month birthday. My son is turning 13 next week. I'm still not over her death but I can tell you it will get easier with time.

    November 5, 2013, my father passed away after a years long illness. We lived close to 1,000 miles away from him so it was very difficult to get back with two school age kids! I'm dealing with the guilt of not being there more! There's something about the last parents death that has been so much harder for me this time around. I also think my age (42) has something to do with it. As we get older the more we understand our mortality.

    Though my words I know are not of much comfort, hold on to the memories and have peace that you did it all the right way!!! She was able to tick off a lot of her bucket list and you were right there with her! Your mom left this earth the way she wanted to! When those sad thoughts creep into your mind....remember she did it her way!!! XOXO
    Gina
    PS.... I'm not sure if you have already done this but maybe your should start a journal of past memories. You "think" you will remember them all but over the years things start to fade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of both of your parents as well. Illness and death reminds me of just how broken this world really is.
      And I do have a journal that I have been writing in. I made sure to write down very detailed moments I shared with my mom in her final days. I know those memories will be precious to look back on. I'm also thinking of using my blog to write about some old memories of her.
      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  4. Jordan, I am old enough to have a "Jordan" of my own. My mom passed away going on two years and I still miss her so very much. I appreciated hearing about your salvation. One thing our pastor always stresses is for a parent not to tell their child they were saved when they were '4' or '5'. It is a day that they need to make their own, if you know what I mean. Often, we think our children are saved, but perhaps they go on to a Christian college, or to a revival service, and they realize that they truly were not - they just assumed their parent's faith. Our faith has to become their faith, and often it is when they are more mature! I did read your mom's blog, and I think of you and pray for you often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, it is very easy as children to assume our parents' faith or, especially in the "Bible belt," to go with the flow of what all your friends are doing. It's a very scary thing!
      And thank you for your prayers!

      Delete
  5. Oh, this was so enjoyable and so good to get to know you better. I cannot imagine having lost both of my parents by your age. Oh, me! I am 61 years old and lost my Mom 5 years ago suddenly to a massive stroke. It was horrible and has taken me years to adjust to life without her. I still have my 84 year old Dad but his health is not good and I oversee his care and try to bring some ray of happiness into his life. Blessings to you Jordan as you continue to adjust to life without your Mom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think no matter our age, it will always be hard to see our parents go. It's such a special bond we have with them. I'm constantly reminded of how thankful I am to know that this is not the end - and my heart longs for the day when we can be reunited!

      Delete
  6. Jordan, i can't imagine how you feel. i lost my mother when i was 50 and i can't tell you how many times i've needed her. i guess we are never too old to need our moms. it will get "easier" (i'm not sure that is the right word) but oh the things that will push you over the edge. i remember being in a store and saw a nut-chopper thing that was just like one my mom had when i was little and i burst out in to tears right in the middle of the store (oh i'm so encouraging, aren't i?)

    all my blabbering to say...what you feel is normal...and thank God you have these feelings because that means you were and do love!

    humans are odd studies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, yes, I am thankful to know that I am "normal." There have been moments that I've really felt so crazy! It is comforting to know I'm not the only one who has been through this process of grief that makes our emotions so fragile.
      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  7. We are here for you Jordan! Friends. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful to get to know more about you :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so glad to "get to know you." I am one of those folks from Kelly's blog. You and your family have had a special place in my prayers. My mom (who was my best friend as well) passed from cancer too, on 2/15/12. I remember just trying to take a deep breath was almost impossible those first few months. Baby steps......and know that people you don't even know yet are praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This ugly thing called "cancer" is taking too many loved ones! Oh, come Lord Jesus, come. Thank you for your prayers!

      Delete
  10. Hi Jordan! I loved this post - I also came here from Kelly's blog (love her to pieces and I have never met her). Anyway - I am also in the middle of a journey thru grief - but sadly, it is my child I am referring to. On March 1, 2012, I received the call that no mother ever wants to get. My only child, my 24 year old son Jonathan - his apartment had caught fire a few hours before and he was found feet from the door. He was cooking in his kitchen and well....I honestly can't think about what those last moments of his life must have been life. I too feel cheated - but in a different way. I'm sorry if I am not making sense :( It's been almost 2 years and I still can't wrap my head around the fact that he is truly gone. That he died alone. That I wasn't there to help him. But I also know one thing: God gave us his only son so that we will be saved. I have found so much comfort in my family and friends - but only God knows my heart. I, like you, want out of these deep waters!!! Grief is like that - some days you are floating on the surface, feeling the sun on your face, and all is calm. Other days, you are drowning in the choppy waters. In the end, you will finally get back to shore --- but it is never the same place that you started. I won't say things will get easier with your mother gone - but I pray that your good days start to outweigh the bad ones. I watched the tribute video and cried my eyes out. Such a beautiful woman!!! Each day I think about being one day closer to seeing my son again.

    Thanks for listening ... and oh, by the way - I sooooo want to sky dive!! It's on my bucket list and well, my husband is a little reluctant to let me go lol :):)

    God Bless you Jordan and your family. I will pray for peace for all of you. Your mother was so special, I truly loved watching the video.

    xxoo

    Diane Taylor (Baltimore MD)

    Here is my son's tribute - I miss him so very much

    http://www.eackles-spencerfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1413616&fh_id=13130

    ReplyDelete
  11. I look forward to your blog posts, Jordan. You are so wise for your age. You are inspiring me to continue the rest of my story on my blog.... Prayers and love.

    ReplyDelete