Wednesday, 30 January 2013

So Loved

Kim is loving me so well.  Sometimes I wonder how many times he has listened to me saying the exact same thing...he is so patient with my processing the sorrow and sometimes confusion. Last night he invited me on a sunset walk down the beach and presented me with a box of chocolate covered strawberries. J 
There have been stretches of quiet, a bit of adventure, beach walks, meals with friends, and rest.  And Jordan is everywhere: he swam in the pool, slept on the hideabed,  built Lego with the kids, played in the sand and surf, ate sliders at the Cheesecake Factory.  The things we discuss he would have had things to contribute:  how to comfort those hurting, commanding sickness to leave people's bodies, protecting and preparing your heart for your future spouse.  This is probably the place on earth where Kim and I have had the most consistent opportunity to speak on Radical Relationships.  Every two years, for the past ten years, our friends who head up a weekly academic home school community, would fly our family down to help parents, teens, educators, and youth leaders get on the same page regarding healthy relationships - with the same and opposite gender.  Many of the young people that were in those discussions are now marrying with the joy of not having a trail of painful relationships in their wake.  This is a group friends who are supporting each other through both wonderful and painful experiences.

Tonight is one of the painful ones.  They are holding a celebration service for their beloved drama teacher/friend/ mother who went to heaven Thursday evening after standing firm in faith against cancer.  Kim, Matt, Joel and I had the opportunity to pray for her Christmas Eve.  Sherry had been reading this blog and faithfully praying for Jordan all year.  It has been almost surreal at times as we have walked alongside our friends who were part of the caregiving team and her two sons who loved Sherry so well.  I can't help but imagine Jordan putting his hands on her shoulder and with his animated face telling her how well she walked her faith in Father out - right to the end of her time here on earth.  I keep thinking a loss like this "should" make us just weary and give up on our inheritance but it seems to fuel both Kim and me.  If just one person can experience the Father’s love through salvation from unnecessary suffering because we obeyed, then we keep living by what we know, not what we feel.

For our last afternoon here, we are attending the theatre production of Mary Poppins...thank you Chris and Liz. Early tomorrow morning we fly home to open the next chapter.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Nothing To Lose

This last week Kim has been struggling with a cold and I have had a deep cough and aches in my hips and legs.  The frustration of it has been profound for both of us.  The last year, we had only one day truly out of commission with bad colds.  The stabbing pains throughout my lower body only served as a constant reminder of the lack of comfort Jordan experienced during almost the whole of 2012.  For me, there was no position good enough, no distraction helpful enough, and the ability to relax almost non-existent.  No wonder that while Jordan was grateful for gifts and kindnesses, his consistent request was for healing prayer....for the suffering to end and to wake up just feeling normal.  My physical "suffering" this week was nothing compared to Jordan's but I still felt desperation to find relief. And it makes sense that the strangers I have met not only accept my requests to pray for them but are so appreciative.  I’m curious if there will come a time where seeing a person in pain or distress will not remind me of my son.  I can't seem to distance myself the way I once could - not that it is an obsession or heavy burden.  It just matters so much more now.  I believe it was CS Lewis who wrote A Grief Observed.  Ours was A Suffering Observed and I feel marked by it.

Kim said it best yesterday morning at breakfast, "It's as if we have nothing left to lose because we've already lost so much". In light of that, he is dreaming and starting to get excited about what is next. We have a blank sheet, loads of Holy Spirit unction and a little bit of clarity. Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

My View

It is my daily  privilege and joy to wake up, walk over to the sliding doors, open the curtains and be treated to a magnificent view of Deerfield Beach,  In order to watch the waves, I have to look out the window, past the deck chairs and railing, past the condo palm trees, the single lane road with vehicles passing by, the parked cars, tiki huts and people walking along the side walk . Then I need to gaze past the sandy beach with the jumble of umbrellas, beach chairs, and the fascinating people gathered from all over the world. (I am informed that Floridians are rarely down at the beach since this is their winter and almost never in this temperature of I guess I am looking at Americans from the North, Europeans, South Americans and Canadians :-).
There is a lot to see.  But by far the most replenishing perspective for me is that of the ocean with both its horizon and point of contact with the beach.

I have long thought that the reason people love creation is because it speaks of our Creator.  The sight, sound, smell, feel and taste of the ocean can move us beyond the moment.  Today, the wind is whipping the waves into towering curls that slam the sand at irregular intervals.  But I can miss all of that if I focus on the sliding door in front of me.  It is so easy for the cares of this world to crowd out God - the details, the things that won't matter one teeny bit in the end.  I have noticed that while the beach is their destination, many who are sitting right on the beach rarely even look at the ocean.  There are iphones, kindles, ear buds, magazines, etc.... So one can be within steps of the ocean and essentially miss it.  So strange.  I get distracted so easily.  When I was a child, my Dad would remind me that the only things from this world that would last forever would be people and the Word of God, so his encouragement was to invest in them.  Jordan's journey brought many things into sharp focus for our whole family and virtually all of the things that bothered or concerned me in 2011 rarely crossed my mind in 2012.  We had to focus on what really mattered.  I so don’t want to let the little things get in the way. 

The overwhelming sense these days for me is one of gratitude….for the people from all over who have walked with us and whose prayers are still holding us up.  Gratitude for the space to restore, revive, recover.  Gratitude for the privilege of being Jordan’s mom and having a wonderful husband, two amazing sons and friends and family to journey with.  Gratitude for a Heavenly Father, Wonderful Saviour and Holy Spirit who never leave me alone.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Making Our Way

Sometimes I can almost feel the cloud of witnesses watching me and wondering aloud what I will choose.  It seems right now that my life is about me and my family just trying to recover from the devastation of having lost our youngest son in a battle we were caught unawares in.  We were thrown into the deep end and had to learn (or find others to teach us) how to swim.  We had our focus - our mission was clear.  Now, as we walked, Matthew turned to me and said that right now, we all are learning how to live without Jordan.  Making our way as a family of four.
At Disney thanks to Amber and her friends, Jeff and TM

Matthew and Joel flew back to school this morning to prepare for their next semester.  Kim and I will stay on 2 more weeks and then return to?  The boys were returning to a blizzard in Saskatchewan.  Other than a no-swim flag on our beach due to the surging waves, it's still pretty sunny and beautiful. :-)

I have yet to encounter one stranger who declines prayer for their obvious ailments.  Several have wanted to tell me a bit about their story and many have profusely thanked me.  I still usually initially hesitate - so much easier to spectate than to participate in His kingdom coming and His will being done.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Starting off with a Bang

How much must it must hurt the heart of our Father God when we attribute the works of satan to Him?  Jesus came to this earth to display the very heart of His Father (Luke 4:18-19) and to equip His followers to display the heart of God often through tearing down the works of the enemy.  "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6)." His directions were clear and repetitive to His followers - "Cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead and preach the gospel to the poor". Very clearly Jesus made the delineation - the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have Life and Life Abundant.  No wonder Christians are so confused as how to pray.  If I am not sure of the will of God in saving a person - from sickness, addiction, or even hell, then I am left to praying as the Muslims do - "As Allah wills".

I attended church from the time I was brought home from the hospital - usually 4 services a week and no pastor or teacher, wonderful as they were, ever suggested that I could ever do what Jesus did - I would have remembered.  I was called to be like Jesus only in His character and good deeds - only ask God to do the miraculous stuff, and hope that He did something - don't even think you could try it at home.  No blame -they were obviously never taught how to cast out demons, heal the sick or raise the dead, or they would never have kept the gospel (good news in action) from me.

I graduated after 4 years of Bible College, 2 years of Seminary with honours, from reputable and word-based schools, but not one included ANY of teaching on those directives. Again, I don't fault the professors - obviously no one taught them or they would have never kept these teachings from me.  Subsequently, for years, Kim and I led churches and never taught that you could know your authority in Christ to participate in bringing His kingdom through doing the works of Christ.  Even in the last 20 years, when our eyes were opened to the possibility, for the most part, (other than casting out demons), we still heavily relied on the ones who had special giftings in those areas.

I still don't know why Jordan wasn't healed here on earth.  As Bruce, one precious prayer warrior stated, "The death of Jordan is not ok and it probably will never be ok".  But I have now seen too many individuals who have been miraculously healed, met too many who have been raised from the dead to back up now.  And the majority were not prayed for by "professionals".  The world is waiting for the Bride of Christ to walk in outrageous acts of love and faith - because we are confident that we are soo loved and trusted with the "very same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead".

As Kim reminds me, we can obey with results of we can obey without results.  I prefer results, but either way, I will obey.  I love that Jordan lived on earth that way.  I LOVE that Matt and Joel are still sticking their neck out and praying for strangers to experience the healing power and love of Jesus Christ.  They have moved from being my sons to being my brothers in Christ.

My heart was just full so I had to get it out - Hugs, D
ps. here is the view from the condo we are staying at - thanks to Bill and Jeanne