Friday, 17 June 2016

Matthew is Married

Matthew is married.  We have the daughter in Sadie we prayed for since our oldest was born.  It has been a wonderful whirlwind.  She is everything we asked Father for and more.

This is a link to their 5 minute wedding video

It meant so incredibly much to be literally surrounded by love.  Many of the same friends who had made ridiculous efforts to be with us during Jordan’s Celebration of Life made their way back through the mountains to fill our hearts up to overflowing on the wedding day.

And while I was aware that these family occasions might amplify our loss of Jordan’s presence, I wasn’t prepared for the sharpness of the moments missing or the overall vague sense of incompleteness.

I missed what I thought my youngest would have done: Where would he have travelled home from to be a part of his brother’s wedding? What quirky observations would he have made as we all sprawled on the couches after the rehearsal dinner?  What words of encouragement and honour would he have chosen to speak to Matthew during the  bachelor party?  Jordan was good at encouragement. Which groomsmen would he have gravitated to?  How tall he would have stood at his brother’s side during the wedding ceremony. And how Jordan would have laughed at Joel’s best man speech at the reception! Would there have been a young woman who would have caught his eye? Would he be working at Green Bay with his brothers and new sister this summer?  Or would he have rushed off to return to ......?  So much would have been so different.  

As Kim prepared the slideshow, a collage of pictures from Matthew and Sadie’s life to this point, for the wedding reception, I found myself avoiding the myriad of images that Kim was wading through.  I realize that I’m hoarding pictures and videos of our life before Jordan left earth.  I don’t know how many years it will be before I see him face to face again and the thought of running out of these snapshots of him, of us together, before we are reunited actually feels a bit scary.  Even the fact that on this side of heaven, Sadie will only know Jordan through our photos, stories and family video clips is bruising.

Matthew and Joel, and now Sadie, are regularly generating new experiences.  I love seeing how these experiences are caught on film or print. I study their faces and those faces surrounding them. My youngest son’s experiences are now out of my view.  People aren’t coming up to me, laughing about Jordan’s latest commentary on life or posting their latest shared experience with him.  It is quiet...often painfully quiet. Someday I will know, but that someday may be hours from now, years from now or decades from this point in time.  Isn’t that what mothers wonder when we are separated from our children?  How they are?  And if they’re good, we’d love a pic - even an emoji.  Just a visual to prove how good.  And if they’re not doing well, we want them home.  Or we want to go to bring home to them.  Because none of us really belong here.  We’re trying to bring heaven to earth.

While I know, with every fibre of my being, that Jordan’s experiences would make anyone jealous, I would just love a bit of the curtain to be peeled back so I can clap with joy or ooh and awww with wonder alongside.  I did have a glimpse one day when I was worshipping.  I was bowing low before the Throne and as I looked to my side, there was Jordan!  Looking stunningly regal, with a face so full of LIFE and LIGHT!  And his big grin came with a nodding head and the question, “Right?”  It’s an expression my guys use when they’re sharing a great experience or new thought...”Right?”  As in an unspoken - “You get how great this is, don’t you”?  Somehow that moment has filled me up for a very long time. I just miss his earthly presence - his friendship. Just as I wish everyone could spend time with Joel, Matt and Sadie, I’d love everyone to know Jordan.  Someday.  Someday.  

Laughter and tears, side by side, mingle together as life on this side unfolds.

Saturday, 26 December 2015


Almost every year our family watches the classic movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  And every time we do,  I end up in tears.  The outpouring of love and support from George’s community in his most vulnerable hour gets to me.  And it is a familiar feeling now.  I recognize it as a common emotion throughout 2012 - humbling gratitude.  When our family was in its most needy state, the thoughtfulness, generosity and sensitivity of those around us was like a cup of cold water.  There were nurses who went out of their way to take blood in the least invasive way possible when Jordan was feeling like a pin cushion.  An aunt offered to buy us new winter tires for Kim to drive our car over the often treacherous mountain passes.  Strangers donated money for free flights for Jordan to return home for precious days of normality in between dreaded hospital stays.  I have kept a box of all the cards, letters and emails through that year.  I haven’t had the heart yet to go through them all but their presence warms me from the inside out.  

The classic Christmas movie asks the question of how the world would be different if an individual would not have been born.  Such an incredible premise.  I don’t think any of us realize the extent to which our lives intersect with and impact others.  My life is so much richer for having known Jordan...for the privilege of being his mother.  Part of his impact in my life is a desire to be more open, more expressive of appreciation and love for others - not to play it safe - to risk. In several ways this last year, I have chosen safer paths - ones where I can’t be easily hurt.  

When I find myself shrinking back in prayer, I’m trying to protect myself.  Initially I think that I’m protecting the other from disappointment if my prayer is not immediately and visibly effective.  But really, I’m moving into self-protection.  The opposite of Christmas....the opposite of Easter.  Both the birth and the death of the Son of God didn’t bear immediate or visible effect.  In fact, Jesus and His parents were refugees, fleeing from threat of death.  And judging by the tiny representation of His followers at the cross, Jesus looked like a failure to His enemies.  
I don’t eagerly run toward chaos and confusion.  Kim often does.  When I and others are hurting, he moves closer.  That’s just one way he reflects Jesus.

For God so loved the world, that He gave. And He opened Himself up in a whole new way to the world hurting Him.

My youngest son kept on risking, right until the end, right until He went home. He could have quit. He didn’t. And somehow that spurs me on. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Jordan’s 18th

July 20th.  I can still hear the way Jordan emphatically and proudly pronounced July 20th when asked the date of his birth.  How can I still remember that when I haven’t heard his voice for over two and a half years?  But I can.  Being a summer baby had real advantages.  No school.  Hot days.  Beach parties or boating parties or waterslide parties -  all celebrating friends, health youth, and being in or near the water.  And wherever it was held, no matter how high the temperature, we managed to enjoy a Dairy Queen ice cream cake with whatever image had caught Jordan’s interest that year.  Cakes were decorated with dinosaurs, trucks, pirates, later on, superheros and inside jokes as his humor became more sophisticated.  Our family revels in a good party - one that celebrates both the guests and the host.  Jordan loved his birthdays.  Such lovely memories.  What a privilege to be given the opportunity of mothering Jordan.

I didn’t know we’d only get 15 with him.  I thought we’d have loads together.  I just assumed the celebrations would include graduations, an engagement, a wedding and grandchildren.  Jordan spoke often about the anticipation of making his wife feel precious and valued.  His new word was cherish.  That is the perfect word to describe how Jordan made me feel.  “Mom....I love you” followed by a slow smile and a strong hug were my daily fare.  I took for granted I would be enjoying them the rest of my life.  Now I anticipate heaven where affection will be better than ever.

Although I know and have experienced God working things out for good, I know that Jordan’s suffering and premature death were not His plan.  And I grieve for the young men and women that didn’t get a chance to know Jordan and experience his curious questions, goofy ideas, and loyal friendship.  I’m sorry for the hurting strangers who won’t know his bold offer to pray for their healing and salvation.  But I’m here.  

We’re here and we get to make the most of every opportunity we have while we are still here.  I love what I read recently about every square on our calendar being a box, not to fill up with stuff but as a gift to unwrap.  This thought challenges my tendency to live either in the past or the future.  The constant reminders of Scripture and almost every other plaque in HomeSense, is to

Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow and Live Today  

So I cherish my years of being cherished by my youngest child, who received his love from his relationship with Jesus.
And I dream of tomorrow, when our family will raise an ice cream toast to Jordan and share about our anticipated reunion with him, and my Dad and face to face with Heavenly Father.
Today...I will live, unwrapping the day with Holy Spirit, trusting Him to guide my thoughts and my actions.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Emerald Lake

On our return drive from Calgary this weekend, Kim rented a canoe for us to paddle around Emerald Lake.  This was the same lake we visited with Jordan in Easter, after all his chemo was completed.  He was weak, but so happy to be freed from the hospital. Kim’s excitement to canoe with him around this exquisite spot, turned to surprise when we discovered that it was still frozen over and piled high with snow.  Icicles hanging from the rafters of the lodge weren’t safe from Jordan's crutches, that he used like a sword.  In fact, one crutch broke, and we just laughed.  We were determined to celebrate and never entertained the possibility of revisiting the lake again without him.  

Sometimes I just get tired of tearing eyes swim, my head feels light and my heart physically aches.  Later on, I just feel tired.  But neither do I want to push away thoughts of my brave, beautiful boy. At times, it is still unbelievable that he won’t be coming in for a goodnight hug, or throwing open his arms to say “I love you Mom” or lean over to kiss me on the cheek. How can it seem like both forever and only yesterday that he left this earth? On the new earth, maybe we can return to Emerald Lake and experience it with only wonder and awe - thrilled that we don’t have to be separated ever again.  I wonder who else will join us in the canoe?  Or if we’ll just walk on the water.  :-)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kevin's Declaration

Below are the most encouraging facebook posts we’ve seen in a looong while.  Our friend Kevin Peterson, the South African director of JGLM has kindly given us permission to repost them.  Our faces were wet with tears by the time we were finished reading them.  After the death of Kevin’s young son from a brain tumor he embarked on a quest to find out if it was indeed God’s will that his son suffer and die, as some of his Christian friends insisted.  After studying his Bible and finding Curry’s teaching, he became a healing machine. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
How Crazy is this....Last night on the eve of the anniversary of Joel's death, Monique says to me as I was about to jump into my jamies "you better attend to this" - a medical emergency at St Augustines. I wolf down supper and jump into my bakkie. On route I call a lady whose husband had had a severe stroke - we pray over the phone - instantly he can move all the limbs that were paralysed and he begins to speak and tries to stand up. His wife and family are overwhelmed what Jesus has done. I get to the hospital only to find the guy who I was meant to pray for wasn’t there so I decide that since the devil got me out of my jarmies I shall make him pay...... I see a lady weeping so I go over to her to find out what’s wrong? Her mom has a critical heart condition and needs surgery. So I say to her do not worry, I will fix this. I get taken to ward 6. It is packed with people. I pray for her mom - instant difference in her condition and she feels lighter. I stand up and boldly ask who else needs prayer because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The sister of the lady who was ill says I have the same condition in my heart. I pray for her and I ask her what she hasn't been able to do. She couldn’t walk up stairs without being out of breath so I send her to do some cross fit on the nearby staircase. She returns a few minutes later beaming - Jesus just gave her a new heart. All heaven breaks loose. Stroke symptoms are smashed, a chest infection clears , backs are healed, lungs are healed ...all manners of things as Jesus shows his amazing Love to a crowd in a hospital ward.
6 years ago there we were watching life ebb out of Joely's body and last night I was watching the Life of God flow effortlessly into the bodies of those who were oppressed by the devil. Brothers do not be deceived....Ignorance kills. Truth sets us and others free...

The following day, Kevin declares:

On the anniversary of the day the devil stole our son I want to declare that JESUS is the lover of our souls not the destroyer of them. He is the One who brings life and that in abundance, not the one who only robs kills and destroys. Jesus is the one who heals all our diseases and forgives all our sins. Jesus keeps no record of wrong against us. He is not the one who accuses us. Jesus is the One who is our advocate constantly interceding for us and whose blood constantly declares us not guilty!!. Jesus is the One in whose image and likeness we are made. We have His name; we have his mind; we have His Spirit; we have His authority; we are His Body; we are as He is. We no longer carry the identity of the devil's nature - sin. Jesus has freed us from the dominion of sin. Jesus has enabled us to become the righteousness of God whose nature we now possess. Jesus is the One in whom there is no darkness - no shadow of turning no variableness. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. Jesus is the One who has stripped the devil of all His authority and the One in whom ALL authority in heaven and on earth now rests. Jesus is the One whom we are joined to - in perfect union with. We are inseparable from Him. Jesus is our joint heir and because of that we have everything He has. Jesus is totally worthy of us laying down our lives for - to live not only for God's glory but also for the benefit of our fellow man.
Amen and Amen

Monday, 15 September 2014

I Wonder

Despite spending a lot of time studying and thinking about what heaven will be like, I've not considered what the new earth will be like.  This summer has been filled with jaw dropping beauty for us - from the sky slicing mountains and emerald lakes of Jasper to the roar of the ocean in Cannon Beach, Oregon.  Since the God of the Bible is Redeeming God, we find ourselves wondering if these exquisite spots will occupy the same real estate in the new earth, only in perfection and without any of the inherent danger is scaling the mountain or swimming out to sea.  Will there be no "too cold" or "too hot" as well as no "too dangerous"? When we swim out into the water, will I be able to call on the dolphins to play with?  When Jordan and I would dream together about what was coming, I would always chose the dolphins and he would always chose the killer whale as water pets.  He liked the idea that a beast so fearsome could be his playmate.  

It must be like the blink of an eye for Jordy in anticipating our reunion in heaven and the New Earth.  For me, I'm just so grateful that when I miss his hugs, his voice, his "I Love You's", I can anticipate him showing me around, introducing me to others and spending the rest of eternity with him: discovering, building, adventuring, playing, creating, celebrating.... and I don't know what else.  

This weekend, Kim and I are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. I love sharing this life with him .... and look forward to sharing all eternity. How incredible is that? 
If it's this good now...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Debt of Love

We owe Curry Blake, his family and all the long distance believers, who prayed with Jordan over the phone, a debt of love we can never repay.  In Texas, this summer, Kim and I were able to thank most of them in person.

Right in the moment of our greatest need as a family, we received the gift of solid teaching on healing.  My introduction to John G. Lake Ministries came in the children’s cancer ward on a fold out bed in the darkened corner of Jordan’s room with the hum of machines and the poison chemo drip in his chest.  With one earbud in to hear the DHT Training on YouTube and one earbud out to hear any possible whispers, I listened with tears streaming down my cheeks.  

My religious traditions and mindsets were systematically debunked.  I fell in love with the Bible all over again. We were given weapons to fight with - a mindset that withstood and overcame torment, confusion and despair. Although we didn’t ask Jordan to listen to the teachings, he overheard us discussing them and the truth resonated with his spirit. He, along with our family, became convinced by Scripture that God was not the author of his sickness; he was not being punished or tempted or disciplined.  He hated sickness and had no tolerance for it - especially in others. The fact that Jordan was able to do miraculous healings when he prayed for others totally jazzed him.

Being in a family of all boys, my son was really comfortable with the paradigm of being at war.  Scripture became the sword in his hand. He trained his friends how to pray.  He had no patience for pleading with or begging God.  Jordan was already convinced by the life and commands of Christ that healing is God’s will. “If we don't quit, we win” became his battle cry.

He didn’t quit.  He won. Jordan entered heaven a warrior, not a victim.