Honoring a loved one in family photos
Photography: Little Laugh Box 

I wrote this post over a month ago, and feel called to share it now. A year ago this weekend, my families lives changed forever. There is one defining moment in my life, now broken into two categories; life before Jordan's diagnosis and passing, and life after.

I always know when it's time to write again. I get this feeling; a feeling like my emotions are trapped behind a glass wall, one that is full of baggage constantly banging to come out. Most days I can keep the glass from shattering, but it doesn't take long before the constant banging wins, and soon my words come spewing out like shards of glass.

It is in that moment that I realize a bit of time has passed, and the only way for me to move forward and acknowledge my feelings is by putting my words on paper, or in this case the screen. 

So here I am again, laying my heart out; real and raw and honest. It may not make a ton of sense. I try  when writing to keep my hands moving as fast as my mind, all the while gathering myself to fully comprehend what it is that I am trying to convey. Sometimes it flows, and sometimes its a jumbled mess across the page.

We'll see how today goes. 

(Written on 10/16) Wednesday morning I woke up at 3:30AM; the day that marked four months of Jordan being gone. It usually happens this way. I have a few good days, I laugh and smile, and do all of the normal day-to-day stuff. And then like a ton of bricks the grief overwhelms my body and slams into me like nothing I've ever felt before.

If you've ever grieved a loved one, I'm sure you know what I mean.
It is overwhelming at times. It clouds your mind and leaves you in the dark. Leaves you questioning everything, and sometimes falling into the "why me" downward spiral.

And to be completely honest, it is not fair. This is not how I envisioned my life. I've never been one to envision much of my life. I didn't envision my dream wedding when I was a little kid. I thought I would be a Mom, but I didn't envision what my life would look like with kids.
But I did envision having my brother and sister around when I got older... and that's not how my life has turned out. I envisioned growing old with my brother. I envisioned sending the boys to have sleepovers, and hearing all about how fun Uncle Bebo was when they returned home. I envisioned dancing and teasing each other, and loving on his sweet babies too.

So how did this happen? I'm mad. I'm sad. I'm disappointed.

I want my brother back. 

We have been going through this series at church called Detour. It's about being in the wilderness; I would definitely consider this the wilderness.

What I've learned during this series is that we all find ourselves in the wilderness throughout our life. The "wilderness" is essentially the "difficult seasons" we encounter. I'm sure you all can relate.

The "wilderness", or moments of our lives that are hard, unexpected (at least we believe so), and not what we had planned for our lives. Sound familiar? Sometimes its with marriage, sometimes its with infertility (been there), sometimes it with loss, and sometimes its with materialistic things. It can be within any aspect of your life.

And the wilderness is freaking hard. It challenges you, frustrates you and leaves you feeling doubtful.

Recently I had a girls day with my best friend and she asked a question that I believe everyone wants to ask me. Are you mad at God? And to be honest, I'll be the first to say that sometimes I get so pissed looking back at the last year of my life that I think - what the heck? This is what life is all about? How in the heck can this be for good?

But then I check myself, and dig deep for some insight. One part of the series that really stuck with me was this "He's either protecting you or preparing you for what's to come".

And my heart sank. 

Jordan wasn't getting any better; he was tired, and hurting, and the chemo was damaging his body. God protected us from what we could have seen. He shielded us from the hurt we could have experienced. He answered our prayers and showed us grace in the exact moment that He called him home.

It doesn't take the heartache away. It doesn't make it any easier, or keep us from asking "why" and being frustrated at the process.

But this is a process I've learned. Grieving is a process. Understanding is a process.
And although I am not sure what I will learn from this, I can feel Him working on my heart.

And to answer the question, yes some days I am frustrated. Actually, a lot of days I am frustrated. But in complete honesty, I am not mad at God. I wish our story would have turned out differently, absolutely. But I know for a fact that Jordan knew God, and I know that he is there with Him now - sadness, pain and sickness wiped free. I don't understand why He needed to take him from us so soon, but I know one day I will. And right now I am here to stop and listen; open my eyes and share our story.

For anyone else that is experiencing the wilderness right now. Write down your thoughts. Ask for clarity, and encouragement, and grace as you make your way through the season. After all, it is a season of life, and God could be protecting you from something far worse. And most of all, talk to someone. You don't have to walk through the difficult seasons in life alone.

That's my heart; those are my thoughts. I am always here to encourage you or listen if you're in a difficult season yourself. Church has helped me. This blog has helped me... find your way, it's most definitely worth it. And if you're not sure where to start, start where I did - I dipped my toe in when I ordered this devotional off of Amazon, and now I can't imagine where I would be without my faith. You may be surprised what it stirs up inside of you.

Happy Sunday, friends!

2 comments

  1. Steph the way you write is so touching. You're right, God's timing is always perfect!

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  2. Hi Steph,
    I love how your put your feelings into words. I well know your feelings of loss. I've lost 10 family members each year for the past decade. Then last year, I lost our twins. It was so unexpected and it still stings to this very day. Even worse, at 38, the clock is winding down for me to ever have another baby. I kept trying and failing. Everyone around me looks at me with sympathy and kindly says, maybe I should just give up the idea of another child. And my heart breaks. I am indeed in the wilderness of life....and I absolutely hate it. Please know that I well feel your pain and pray for you often.
    -Jennifer @sassyteacherchic

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