Friday, 28 December 2012


I've been awakening the last two mornings with a vague sense of disquiet.  Until the rest of the house rouses, I am alone with my thoughts. This last year we have been on mission.  If I had been required to fill in a questionnaire on my occupation, it would have been caregiver.  That role suddenly evaporated a month ago.  And although I am still a mother, my sons are now grown; Kim and I will return to an empty nest.  I am looking at it all from afar off since we hardly have to rush home.  I often wonder if the anticipation of a bad thing isn't really much worse than the actual situation or event.  The same self control required to "not worry about tomorrow" and "take every thought captive" that I used during 2012 will probably be required for 2013.  Anticipating and planning are one thing - fearing and stewing are another.

The one question my friend Suzanne told me that many parents whose young children die dread is "How many children do you have?"  Because it's not that question but the following ones, ages, location, occupation that gives one pause before answering.  Do I want to share one of my most impacting experiences with this new person...who may or may not become a friend?  If I say I have 2 sons, then it's just not true.  If I say I have 3 and the common questions follow...then I may tear up or they may feel awkward, as if intruding.

This last Sunday morning, when we had our family gathering, while Kim was reading the passage "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..." my answer came.  Jesus reminded me that people will take their cues from me.  My face has never been very good at hiding my feelings.  If they can see my sorrow - in missing Jordan and also my joy - in knowing he is doing so fantastically with Jesus, I have an opportunity.  An opportunity to witness to the life of Christ in Jordan - the goodness and greatness of God.  Jordan is not just "in a better place" as we are prone to say...he is in The Best Place.  Frankly after Jordan's suffering, any place would have been better than in his body.

I still don't get why he wasn't healed here on earth.  But I am not stuck on looking for an answer to that question.  Not right now anyway.  I've probably said it before but I can't imagine any answer really satisfying.

So this entire week, I have not dreaded the possible question but anticipated it - I love the way Jesus sticks so close.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Heaven is Closer

For the next few years I imagine we will be meeting strangers who have been praying for our family. I opened the door to one and her daughter bearing a plate of freshly made Christmas cookies and a gift.  Some have approached me with a number.  I just met 2:20pm. An alarm on her watch goes off every day to remind her to pray for Jordan, and now, our family. She arrived with a tray beef enchiladas, a CD, journal and book.  I can't recall ever praying for a stranger every day, faithfully at the same time...for months.
A debt of love I can never repay...only pass on.

We look at sickness differently.  Even the "little stuff".  I see no use in it.  There is enough hardship and persecution in this world to mold our character.  Sickness and disease just distracts or sidelines us from loving others.  I've heard untold sermons over the years about the benefits of illness - I just don't believe it anymore.  I don't see it in Scripture. Jesus healed everyone who came to Him.  I see no examples where He paused before a sick person only to say, "your sickness is God's will", or "this is a good lesson." It's the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Jesus declared that He came to bring us Life and Life Abundant.  And then He gave us the authority as believers to carry His Life and dispense it.  Jordan became a very good dispenser.  I want to do the same.

I find myself wanting to talk about Jordan often.  Just because he no longer lives with us doesn't mean he is not in my thoughts, a central figure in this last incredible year....It was such a privilege to be his mom.

While playing reverse charades at our friends' home the other night we found ourselves caught up in the hilarity.  I felt Jordan's giant smile and Jesus' pleasure.  The very best of earth is just a drop of delight experienced in heaven.  My son will never be bored again, wondering what he should do while he waits for anything.  Bored was never a term really allowed in our home without a broom being placed in one's hand. :-)  But I could tell when my kids were getting antsy.  There is no bored or boring in heaven. There is constant discovery, amazing adventure, the ability to do what you dream and a perfect body, mind and spirit to do them with - along with relationships that carry no judgement or shame or comparison - just joy and a deep sense of belonging.  How could it be any different in the Father's presence? Of course heaven is closer for me with my son and my father there. Just a thin veil between us.

P.S. Some friends have asked about my favourite heaven resources.  I had never heard a message preached on heaven.  Strange when you think about it being our ultimate destination.  And the angels in clouds playing harps just don't even sound interesting :-). Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven, is my favourite.  It's huge but it's so worth it.  Eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has prepared for those who love Him BUT God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.    (I used to stop at verse 9 of 1 Corinthians forgetting that verse 10 was next)

We also put the media links to the celebration service on the right hand side of the blog page. So the full service, slide show and the We Win song are over there.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Flip flops in December

We all arrived at the Barber's home Thursday evening. The Barbers passed us on the highway heading north to the Carolinas for a winter wonderland Christmas and had offered their home to our family.  They'll be returning for New Years.  Yahoo! 

Matt and Joel almost didn't make their flights due to the blizzards but at the last moment were assigned first class seats from Minneapolis to Fort Lauderdale.   Their expressions coming off the plane were priceless.  I gather they were expecting to be booted into coach at any point before takeoff.  Soo grateful! Barbers left a fully lit Christmas tree, nativities, gifts and lights outside. It's warm and breezy.  The guys were commenting on how great it is to regroup in a home filled with amazing memories rather than in a strange hotel room.

Tonight we head to the Puch's to swim, decorate the tree and play games.  Christmas Boca-style.  The last two days we've been walking, napping, reading, talking, laughing, crying, and appreciating being together.  

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


How is it that the sounds of the ocean crashing the beach can soothe my soul so thoroughly?   I am surrounded by the magnitude and goodness of God.  There are so many wonderful memories we have of Jordan here in Florida: building sand forts, rolling in the surf, jumping waves, flying kites, yelling at the top of our lungs and letting the wind carry away our voices.Had to stop tonight at a pharmacy to buy more Puffs since I've run out of the small stash I brought.  My eyes have felt so puffy at times ...I could do a commercial for tissues with aloe. :-)  Evenings can be more difficult - when the pain and loss threaten to undo me. This evening Kim propped the door open for me so I could be surrounded by the roar of the surf.  How would we ever do this together if we didn't like each other so much?  So grateful for our family of God praying us through.  Sheesh!  I'm tearing up again...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Thing Is

The thing is... I like Jordan. From the moment I was pregnant with our first son, Kim and I received random warnings that sounded like "Just wait until...".   "Just wait until you have a toddler, they will run you ragged". Or  "Just wait until they become teenagers, you won't have a moments peace".

Kim and I decided early on to tell our sons that we were so excited for our future with them...I told each one that I couldn't wait until he could drive me around, even though the thought was a bit terrifying.  We anticipated their teenage years, graduations, weddings, children....Jordan spoke often of how he looked forward to treating his wife well, telling her how beautiful and wonderful she was.  He dreamed of how he would discover and celebrate the personalities and uniqueness of his children and tell them about Jesus.

Sometimes the grief comes in waves...sometimes like an arrow.

A friend wondered if we would prepare an obituary.  I immediately made one up in my head but hesitated to send it into the newspaper.

Jordan Unrau 1997 - 2012

You may be reading on Facebook or elsewhere that Jordan Unrau is dead.  Don't you believe a word of it....he is more alive than he ever has been before.  He is enjoying Jesus face to face and all that heaven can offer.  Still on mission here on earth are his parents, Kim and Darlene, older brothers Matthew and Joel, grandparents, Betty Wittenberg, Pete and Shirley Unrau and aunts, uncles, cousins and scores of friends who miss his presence.
In lieu of flowers, believers, go command sickness to leave someone's body in Jesus' name and then tell them how much Jesus loves them. And if you are reading this and don't know Jesus, find a believer who knows Him really well and ask questions.

It didn’t seem right to send them to just anyone who claims to be a Christian because, well, we've found over the years that loads of Christians aren't really sure that they are loved, that heaven is a place they'd really like to spend eternity (many Christians expect they will get bored) and are definitely not confident in healing the sick.  Between Kim and I, we've cast out our share of demons, but heal the sick and raise the dead...we're just getting started.

Which is why am I so impressed with the young children I have met who have faithfully prayed for my son and my family. The children we will see in Florida have gone to bed praying for us every night and awakened every morning to ask "Is Jordan healed yet?” Every morning!  That's tenacity!  That's faith.  It shouldn't surprise me.  Jesus instructed us to get our cues from them concerning faith.  Kim and I have been delivering Jordan's Lego police vehicles to the children we know of in Kelowna who have prayed.  Police Lego seemed most appropriate since the police don't make the laws.  They are there to enforce the law, stand for justice and give the bad guys pause.  I want to do that.  We are made to do that.

Jordan and I talked about Josh Wilson's Song "I Refuse" frequently throughout his battle.  If anyone has a reason to be totally self-centered, it's someone who is struggling with a cruel life-threatening illness.  So I would tell Jordan how I respected his choice to be interested in the lives of others, to reach out with kindness to help and to pray for them.  He didn't command only serious diseases away.  When his Grammy or brother had a cold or a flu, Jordan joined us is declaring healing and encouraging them not to just "take it".  And they didn't just take it.  And it was bewildering and heart ripping when they were healed and we saw no change in Jordan’s condition.  Why wasn’t Jordan healed this side of heaven?

So appreciate that few even attempt to answer that question.  I can't imagine an adequate answer to satisfy me.   Just know I'm still here.... so there are people left for me to point to Jesus.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Steady My Heart

Yesterday was the first day in months we awoke without a list of what must be done.  I stayed in my pjs until after lunch.  It wasn't until well into the afternoon that I began to open and read the cards. And only now are Kim and I sharing the emails written to us individually over the months - there just wasn't space.  I can't read more than a few at a time.  It is as if we are bathed in encouragement. Words are so powerful.  And when there are specific memories of Jordan attached to the messages, well my heart fills up and leaks through my eyes.  :-) How is it that tears can be both happy and sad...along with several other strong emotions?

I'd like to give all my friends Jordan's music playlist...but what I can do is supply the titles and singers.  Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe is one of our favourites and thoroughly resonates with us these days.  I'll work on typing up the rest for the next posting.

Jordan must have been cheering as he watched believers praying for those struggling with pain and sickness Friday night at the Celebration.  We have had at least 5 responses of instant healings...including a rugby injury.  I understand that as his mom was driving him home, she turned back around to return to the celebration to receive relief from her pain as well.  Yahoo!! Yet, the wild part is that we have been in several powerful prayer gatherings where many received the healing that Jesus paid for. We would leave those meetings not seeing the results that we were hoping for in Jordan’s body. So our hearts go out to those who did not see and yet still believe. We are not going to stop obeying and believing.  How can we stop? Our friend Dorte made that incredible We Win Video from the Celebration Service. And here is the link:

Communicating to my long distance friends through the blog has become such a part of my thought process over this last year.  I find myself thinking, "I'll have to put this on the blog" I guess we'll just keep posting until we stop...:-)

Kim's booking flights today for a Florida Christmas with our sons.  Friends, who are more like family, have offered their home and then beach condo for end of December to mid-January.  The ocean, as well as these friends, Barbers, Joan and the Puchs, have always been a significant source of restoration for our family. Jordan will be everywhere in Florida since every few years we would head down to visit:  Jumping in the waves with his brothers and friends and then creating huge fortresses in the sand.  What a gift!!!

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Matthew and Joel flew back to school yesterday and our friends made their way back home which leaves us with each other, our best friend Jesus and Tucker. We are overwhelmed by the love of family and friends and are enjoying the comfort that only Jesus can bring.

Some were not able to view the Celebration of Jesus in Jordan, so we put the full service on YouTube
Here is that link:
We also have another link for the slideshow all by itself:

We have received questions on how to participate in Jordan’s “We Win” Fund. That information is on the picture below that you can print, fill in and mail, or phone the church or email to give over the phone. The charitable receipt is only for Canadians.

If you would like to send in video clips of blessing to our family, pictures you might have or any message of encouragement or memory, please send that to
That will come directly to the family.

We will probably continue writing on this blog in that the journey has not ended.

We are looking forward.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

God With Us

I find myself speaking about Jordan in both the present and past tense...similar to when our friend moved to Africa and we would say "She loved that...". She was alive, just not with us.

As we plan the Friday night service, the details are threatening to overwhelm so we're trying to pace ourselves.  Lots of family and friends are helping but the decisions are many.  When the pastor of Evangel reminded Kim that it is decorated for Christmas, I overheard Kim respond, "Well, Christmas is all about God with us. This is about Jordan with God.”

The link for the live video of the Celebration that will begin at 7pm Pacific Standard Time on Friday is:

I wrote friends that I have used up all my emoticons in various combinations.

Remember the flood a month ago? Well the restoration company has been so wonderful.  After putting everything on hold while we were in Vancouver, I've just requested that they put in all the fixtures ASAP since we have a houseful.  They have gone far above and beyond.

Today, a thoughtful workman downstairs asked if he might move our family photos off the wall so he could install the towel bar on the other side of the wall.  I looked at all the photos of Jordan when he was a toddler - 2 soothers (pacifiers) in his mouth at once, body dripping as he emerges from the ocean, held by his big brothers after he came home from the hospital....and tears just flooded my eyes and suddenly, I couldn't see.  The poor man.  He was just trying to help and I was watching my son's memories through a telescope backwards.  How would we ever have imagined going through what we have?  And to end up loving each other so, loving God so?  How is that possible?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Losing and Winning

This part of the journey is such a strange place to be in.  I love books and yet, I have never read a book to help me with where I am at this exact minute.  In a funny way, I am grateful.  It seems as if I can't mess this up or get it wrong.  I can only walk this part of the journey the best I know how.

We went to view Jordan's body today with Matthew and Joel.  They arrived early this morning.  Their flight was significantly delayed; it wasn't until after 1 in the morning that Kim and I greeted them off the plane.  Such fuzzy faces from the no-shave so dark and other so fair.  They are amazing men.  It is so wonderful to be in agreement.  We know that Jordan is having a great time in heaven and we are still hopeful he will return to join us really soon.

Funny for me how tears and laughter are not inconsistent.  Often, we laugh through our tears.  The pain hits when we look back to the torment he endured and look ahead to the possibility of not having his companionship on earth.  The laughter hits when we think of what he is up to in heaven.  Jordan loves to ask unique questions, which makes us wonder what his conversation with Abraham sounds like.  It also hits when we think about what we are doing: Together, we are believing in the resurrection power of Christ to raise up Jordan...and we blogged it.  Who does that?  Yet, when I finally fell asleep last night, the words of Jesus kept encircling over me, "When I return will I find faith on the earth?"  Was Jesus just referring to the faith that accepts His Lordship over my life, or was He talking about a faith that believes absolutely everything He said.

I have always longed to be a woman of faith--because faith pleases God and I love putting a smile on His face.  Jesus said I would do greater works than He would and it would only take a mustard seed of faith.  We have believed, but we have not seen Jordan healed this side of heaven.  Joel puts it so well, "If we say, ‘well Jordan is healed, either way--through heaven or prayer,’ then haven't we just moved the goalposts so we don't feel embarrassed for praying the prayer of faith?" I totally get it.  We lost this battle for healing on earth.  No question. Although we know the end of the story is that we win the war, Jesus returns to earth, ushers in His rule and reign, and ultimately, rids the earth of the enemy...we still lost this one.

So why don't I feel defeated?  Because I am Jordan's mom...and I am thrilled that he is living - really living.  For crying out loud, he is face to face with Jesus!!!!!  Everywhere he goes, he is unafraid.  Everyone he meets loves to meet and know him.  He belongs.  His opportunities are unlimited.  His creativity knows no bounds.  If he can think it--he can do it, because he has all the resources and all the ability.  His body is flawless and powerful.  He is surrounded by beauty. As D.L. Moody put it,  "Someday you will read in the newspaper that I am dead.  Don't believe a word of it!  I will be more alive than I have ever been."

Even with complete healing, his body would be whole but it would eventually start to decay...just as all our bodies are now decaying. All the tastes and treats he so missed eating as he became more ill couldn't possibly compare to the tastes of heaven.  On the other hand, as I mentioned in a previous blog, my perspective as a sister in the Lord says, “we could really use Jordan’s help here.”  Earth is where he can take revenge on the enemy who tortured him.  He can heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead - all signs and wonders that point to the incredible love of Jesus!  He can tell others firsthand accounts of heaven and attempt to explain what it was like to be face-to-face with Jesus.  Jordan can't do those things if he doesn't return.  And we could use some encouragement in North America to see the miraculous that seems so common in other nations.

My friend, Linda reminded me that at this point, the enemy is not in the equation.  This is between Jordy and Jesus.

We are holding a Celebration of the Life of Jesus in Jordan at 7:00pm,
Friday, December 7 at Evangel Church, 3261 Gordon Drive, Kelowna, BC.

For those at a distance, there will be live video streaming of the celebration.  We will send a link to you some time next week.