Monday, December 13, 2010

God of storms

In Phoenix. We were so blessed with an amazing vacation there in October.


“Look at me. Every time you look at me, you’re going to know that I believe in a miracle!” I smiled a big and real smile as I said that to Jordan after we had talked about some unbelief that was repressive and tangible to the two of us when certain people were in the room. Some people didn’t believe for us, and we could tell. It was imperative to me that he knew I absolutely believed! I hardly ever cried in front of him, not because there weren’t plenty of tears in me, and not because I was fabricating a fa├žade for him, but because I believed in a miracle with him, and because he needed to know that. I wasn’t trying to hide from him the agony I experienced during his suffering. He knew. He knew it hurt me immensely to see him like that. I wasn’t pretending for him, I was choosing to be strong for him and I told him that. We’d have an honest conversation like, “Hey babe, how was last night for you?” “Last night was really hard; I cried a lot. And I gave you back to Jesus.” We had normal voices and neutral tones and we were discussing the most emotionally rending time of our lives. And then I’d smile genuinely and beautifully at him. He always told me I was three times prettier when I smiled. So I showered him with those real, beautiful smiles that he loved all that last week in the hospital. Every time our eyes met, even if I was crying, I smiled really big through my tears. I got as many hugs from him as possible too. As the amount of time he spent upright dwindled, I was missing them. So, whenever we’d help him stand up to get in or out of bed, I’d briefly lean into that familiar place in his chest, close my eyes, and just let myself feel. Feel him. His height and his strength. His fleeting presence.

But I didn’t know it was fleeting! I knew it looked fleeting. Oh yes! I was painfully aware of the reality of the appearance of vanishing life! To every logically thinking person on the planet, Jordan’s days were few. To all the doctors and nurses that read his plummeting oxygen saturation levels. To friends that were going above and beyond to help us and pray for us. To family that constantly stood by our side. To everyone, it looked like he was dying. To Jordan and me, and to countless others, it looked like God was setting the stage for the greatest miracle everyone in our sphere of acquaintances, our state, and our country had ever witnessed. He was just making it look harder to our reality-trapped minds, and our unbelieving hearts before He blew us out of the water with indisputably miraculous physical healing. Jordan had every intention of walking out of that hospital on his own and he wanted to bring the other patients with him! We believed in a miracle.

I’m so unashamed of that fact. I remember ‘reminding’ God that because we were believing in a physical miracle and proclaiming said belief as loudly as we could through every avenue possible, He’d have to show up. Boldly stepping out in our faith in a God who still heals physically, we had a prayerful and expectant world watching us. The blog got linked up to countless times, the link got shared on facebook by multiple people, strangers came to the prayer meetings, the CaringBridge site had thousands of visitors; God was in the spotlight. “Therefore, God, You have to heal this cancer,” we concluded. As I sat next to Jordan’s hospital bed, writing what would be my final plea for healing prayer, I hesitated. I had a fleeting thought of the millions of pieces that would come from the world-shattering if this didn’t end in the kind of miracle for which we were faithfully hoping. “How am I going to explain that?” God said gently over my shoulder, “I’m big enough to pick up those pieces. You don’t have to worry about making me look bad. I’ve been protecting my reputation and guarding my glory for a long time, child.” I hated that I had just had that thought of ‘might not’ because I wanted our miracle so vehemently, so I lunged forward with my typing and this is what I wrote: Again, please join in praying for a miracle tonight at 8. This is God's deal; but I have no problems as His child asking for what He does best.

So, here we are, on the other side of the millions of tiny pieces that came crashing down around myself and the girls, around our families, around our friends when Jordan’s miracle was unexpectedly eternal.

Today in church, the sermon was on Luke 8 where Jesus calms the storm. My family and I now attend Bethany Community Church and the Body of Christ there is a huge blessing. Pastor Daniel spoke on faith in a sovereign Lord in our storms. Follow God into the storm, trust Him in the middle of the storm, and understand that He ordains the storm. “Your storm is an opportunity to do what you were created to do; glorify God, worship Him, and say Hallelujah!”

The following is a piece of the story of my storm. The fiercest winds, highest waves, most catastrophically painful moments of my life. This is my storm’s peak. It’s been a long time coming maybe, but it was so devastating at the time, that to even think back was gut-wrenching. Picking up where we left off:

“I’m going to a better place.” “Is that ok with you, baby?” “Yeah, it’s what Jesus wants.” I knew it was true. I heard those indescribable, life-altering words and I didn’t panic. I just knew. To say I was okay with it, sounds appalling, but I knew Jesus was in Jordan. I knew the Spirit was pouring from him. I watched his sanctification process for the last 6 years, I got to see Jesus really up-close in Jordan for the last 4 years. I trusted Jesus in Jordan so much that I just sat there holding his hand and didn’t say anything. I had finally abandoned my husband to the Holy Spirit the last week of his life. I stopped trying to help God out in working in and through Jordan, and I just surrendered him to the only One that can truly change hearts. I was finally a good wife. All throughout that last week I told him over and over things like:
“You go where Jesus goes.”
“What’s Jesus saying? Let me know after He tells you.”
“Don’t worry about me and the girls. We have Jesus.”

Not right afterwards, but after a small silence, the very next thing he said as he looked peacefully into my eyes was: “I want my girls to have a daddy.” “I do too!” was my immediate reply, and “You!” was my silent scream. I didn’t know where he was going with that; I was still trying to process his previous statement, and was still instinctively in miracle mode. I had a millisecond of hope, that God had changed his mind, that the second realization of our precious daughters needing a father was usurping the first that Jesus wanted him Home. Then he said to me as he gently touched my chest with all five of his right-hand fingers, “I’m going to pray for you that God makes space in your heart to love somebody else. Because you have a big heart. And they need a daddy.” I was crying; not hard but steadily, and my soul went lurching and reeling from the blow of hearing the last words anyone wants to hear from the love of their life and the father of their children.

He told me “Thank you” for a thousand different things. “Thanks for the last 4 years. They’ve been the best years of my life. There were some hard times, but we made it through with Jesus. Thanks for loving me and loving our girls the way you do. Thanks for being my best friend. Thanks for your forgiveness. Thanks for encouraging me, believing in me...” (I’ve desperately tried to remember this word for word. But I can’t.) He looked down at his wedding ring, then looked at me and said “You want this?” I just tearfully nodded. He pulled it off his finger and placed it on my left thumb. Then, I got to tell him “Thank you” for a thousand different things. “Thanks for the best 4 years of my life, thanks for being Jesus to me more than any other person in my life, thanks for loving me, thanks for being an awesome daddy to Jaycee and Arawen and prophesying into their lives, thanks for loving the Word of God and seeking His kingdom first, thanks for leading our family, thanks for forgiving me all those times, thanks for singing to me in the car, holding my hand, writing me notes, telling me I’m beautiful, taking me on dates...” I whispered it all into his ear because I didn’t want the others to hear all of the personal things for which I specifically wanted to say thanks. Because that’s the way God made marriage: a beautiful, intimate secret between the two of you.

He went around the room and spoke to each of his siblings and their spouses. He thanked his parents. He got to sing with us and when we sang “It Is Well” he raised his hands to praise the God he loved and served so passionately. He was able to bless Jaycee and Arawen one last time. He placed his hands on their heads and anointed them with oil. He prayed over them like this frequently and loved to prophesy and speak scripture into their young lives. He released them to Jesus, and relinquished all of his plans to impart his loves to them. The outdoors, basketball, the Bible, music. He let go of being able to teach them how to ride a bike, hear them learn to read, watch them turn into beautiful young ladies, and walk them down the aisle. He dreamt of and talked eagerly of doing those things, and when that dream died, he gave them to Jesus.

I waited for him to die. He eventually lost consciousness. He was hallucinatory before that. I counted his breaths as they got slower and farther...and farther apart. “One...Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” I cried out in my mind as I looked at the cross, “Two...Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” And there was that cross. I waited for him to die. I lay there in that hospital bed, holding his hand, surrounded by family, and waited for my husband to die. My back was aching intensely from being in the same position for so long. My heart hurt so bad. It hurt physically. It literally felt like there was a small circular saw, cutting away at my sternum, in one long, thin, piercing, searing slice, right down the center of my chest, from the inside out. My heart was breaking and it was as if it was trying to get out of my body, detach itself from my soul, mind, and all the nerves that connected it to me and the other half right next to me, part of me yet separate, with the life seeping out of him. It didn’t last long, and yet, it seemed like forever. He kept breathing. And I kept counting. “...Fifty-two...Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” And there was the cross again. And that horribly, crippling, incessant, real pain. It hurt to hear him try to breathe. The way his chest protruded with the sucking in, the sounds his throat made when the air came out. It hurts me to think about it now. It was agony. When the last breath sighed out of his body, I was rubbing his chest, my arm was around his neck, my forehead was against his, and then I kissed him. And then I left. I got up out of that bed, I stumbled out of that room, and when I got to that cold white, long hallway, I fell on my knees and I yelled as loud as I could: “God! I still believe in you!” I collapsed on the tile, my face on the floor, and the sobs wracking my body, as I cried and cried and cried. He was there. He was there the whole time. The whole time. All of Him. And all of His healing power. He was there and He is here. He simply is. My biggest pain was unthinkably, unimaginably, horribly painful. And my biggest reality was Jesus Christ; incomprehensibly, unfathomably, inconceivably real. My dad was next to me, on his knees with his arms around me, sobbing with me. “Of course you do! Of course you believe in Him. Of course you do, sweetheart! You love Him. Of course you still believe in Him!” The rest of my family came out then, surrounding me and crying, sharing that big, engulfing and colossal sea of our collective pain in which I was drowning.

And that’s my story. Excruciating, devastating, traumatizing, unbearable moments of my life. Turns out, I don’t have an explanation. God ordained this storm. He knew how much it would hurt, and He still numbered Jordan’s breaths so they ceased almost 5 months ago. And the pain just got worse after that. I had to tell my girls that Daddy wasn’t coming back. I had to plan a funeral. I had to keep on living. He’s fully in charge of the winds and the waves. And He doesn’t owe me an explanation. I have very real and present temptations to make a thousand accusatory queries of the God of the Universe. But because He is God, and I am man, it means He is far beyond our human comprehension. I also have a very real and present Savior. He never left me. He hurt me really bad, and I couldn’t feel Him sometimes but HE WAS THERE! He continues to be immovably right here in my pain and has given me the grace to praise Him in my storm. He’s also given me an indescribable and explicit trust that He will heal me. He will! And He will do it however and whenever He desires. So, I’m just doing what I was designed to do: praising my Creator. I raise my hands right now, to the God of the storms and say “Hallelujah!”

Please note: the website for Jordan's revival service and blessing videos is now http://www.11r.com/jordan_schroeder/

Isaiah 43:1-4 has been speaking volumes to me lately.
But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I
will be with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire
you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov 7, 2006. Jordan's 22nd birthday. The first one we celebrated together.


A while ago, I began an email reply to a friend of mine that we had the privilege of getting to know while we were in Mexico. She and her husband fought the cancer battle ferociously for 4 long years. Earlier this year, her husband died. She has two little boys. In her e-mail update she talked about their would-have-been 8-year anniversary. Here's an excerpt: "Sometimes I wonder if this would be so much easier to bear if we had had a rotten marriage - then maybe this wouldn't hurt so bad. It's so hard for me to face the future without him and all alone." Please pray for her. Her name is Nicole.

The half-finished email got left for another day, but yesterday, I began again, and it turned into a revelation: A shout-out to my Savior, the Lover of my soul and Redeemer of the World. I wanted to share some of it with all of you.

As I'm sitting here crying and thinking about your e-mail and your anniversary and your breaking heart, please know that I'm bringing you to the Throne, where, like you said, we can come boldly to find grace to help in time of need. My heart hurts all the time and I think a lot about the awesome relationship with which Jordan and I were so blessed like you and Donny. I remember on several occasions having the enemy whisper over my shoulder to pull away, to resist growing closer to my husband and best friend because it would hurt more. My heart would be more entwined and therefore more shredded if something would happen to him. But I refused with my whole being, I fiercely fought that lie off and consciously made the effort to love him better and enjoy him more and bind my heart to his. Honestly, part of that was game-playing with God. I thought if He saw me resisting the devil and following him wholeheartedly, sacrificially loving my husband in the middle of trial He would spare me the loss and the hurt and the life-shattering. But I also knew it was the right thing to do and I did it with everything in me. Jesus in me chose to abandon my heart to the man I loved and who was dying of a terminal disease. And now, as I cling to the God that hurt me so deeply, I have been imparted a great thankfulness.

I'm so thankful our marriage was amazing. I know marriage is hard and flesh-denying, and takes great effort, and ours was all of that. But it was AMAZING! We were best friends and verbalized that to one another often. We anticipated greatly our just-us weekends and evenings together. We laughed and laughed and laughed, and cuddled all the time. Jordan would lay down on the couch or bed and yell "Family snuggle time!" So the girls and I would all pile on laughing and hugging and then just laying our heads on his chest. We hugged a lot! When he engulfed me in his arms, I'd look up at him and tell him, "This is my favorite spot in the whole world!" and I meant it. We'd fall asleep holding hands in the middle of the bed. We shared a lot of secret smiles and glances. Red lights were designed for kissing we had both concluded, so we'd kiss and then he'd put his arm around me, look over nodding his head all big and cocky, and shout to the person next to us: "Yeah, she's my wife!" I'd just laugh. He loved to make me laugh and was good at it. He was so proud of me and I just really, really liked him and believed in him. I never doubted that I was the love of his life and we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God brought us together. I remember leaning over to him at every wedding we went to and telling him, "I'm just so glad I'm not marrying THAT guy. I'm so glad I got you!" He'd always exclaim, "How did I land you!?" with surprise and triumph all at once. He claimed he reeled me in with his charm and good looks. It was true. He had charm, good looks, and a heart that sought God. I think he told all of his friends that he loved me way before our relationship went past friendship. He was always so vulnerable about where his heart was; it made me uncomfortable before we were married and then it challenged and amazed me after we were married. He was so okay with repenting in tears and baring his soul to me; all of his weaknesses, failures, desires, and dreams; he gave me all of him and entrusted his heart to me explicitly from the beginning. Some nights, we'd just talk forever, about everything. I was crazy about him. I completely melted and my head would spin when he'd stand right in front of me oozing manliness, and smirking down at me all mischievous and sexy, attracting every molecule in my body, completely aware of the fact that he was irresistible to me. He was; and I let him know it. We'd fake fight, and make huge deals out of little things because it was fun to yell and half-way insult the other while tempering it with a lot of humor. We'd get out the boxing gloves and go to town on each other; that may seem like an unfair advantage, but I'd get him giggling and then just whale on him, so it was pretty even. We claimed it was healthy for our marriage. He wanted me around for everything; so I learned and got a tiny bit better at basketball, fishing, hunting, baseball, golf, and watching sports. We loved having our girls along too; a lot of times, we'd have an opportunity to leave them or that would seem like the more logical thing to do, but we just wanted to enjoy them so we'd haul them out to eat or over to friends' houses and they'd just stay up all happy or go to sleep in a room somewhere. He sang songs to me. He'd put in a CD and perfectly imitate the country twang on all these cheesy love songs he liked and knew by heart, belting them with his amazing voice. He always tried to get me to harmonize with him and it never really worked, so we'd get a good laugh but he'd still encourage me with that gift of his; "One day, you'll be a worship leader!" he told me. He said things like that to the girls, too "You're going to be an awesome warrior for the Kingdom!" he'd tell Arawen, and to Jaycee, "You're going to love Jesus with your whole heart, because you have an amazing heart!" "You're both going to be incredible, godly, prophetic, Spirit-filled women of God. You're going to prophesy into people's lives and be used by Jesus to work miracles." He would say those things to them when they weren't even able to walk or talk. He saw God's fingerprints on them and was so visionary and vocal about his little world-changers. He took the responsibility of spiritual headship as a wonderful privilege and treated our Bible and prayer time as priority. He'd sing songs to Jaycee and Arawen when he put them in bed. Jaycee still won't let me sing "Jesus loves me" or "Trust and obey" because "only boys sing those songs." They're 'Daddy' songs to her. He loved us like crazy! He sacrificed for us; not only did he work so hard to provide, but he did tons of things around the house. He'd empty the dishwasher, put the groceries away, wash the dishes, sweep the carpet, make us breakfast, bathe the girls. He loved doing it too, and did it intentionally. He'd say, "That's because I love you!" He told me often that I blessed him, that I was an amazing wife and he never wanted to take me for granted. He also told me I was beautiful all the time and I felt beautiful around him. I told him he was "smokin' hot" and it became a catchphrase in our marriage because, according to him, I said 'smokin' with an 'l' sound in the middle. It just got exaggerated, and we'd call each other 'Smolkin!' It was awesome. He was the nickname master and we had a whole other language in our house. I don't know how many different nicknames we both went by and it became even more hilarious when the girls were born. His sense of humor was so prevalent in our everyday. I'd call him up and tell him all the funny things the girls did, knowing he was the only other one that would think it was that hysterical. We left each other love notes and Bible verses. On the kitchen table before he left for work and I got up. In his lunchbox. On the dashboard of the car. On the bathroom mirror. We text-messaged a lot and ended every phone conversation with "I love you" even if we were mad. Our marriage was a God thing! It was truly amazing!

Back to your inquiry about whether or not living would be easier if it hadn't been so wonderful; I don't think 'easy' is anywhere near our experience these days, and I am very aware that 'hard' is incredibly present. But I don't know how I could handle the guilt on top of the loss if I had been secretly hoping I could get out, if I had been harboring bitterness and resentment towards God for the husband He gave me, if I was distrusting Jordan's love for God and me. All of those things were beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind. God was first and foremost. I was far and away his favorite woman on the planet and then our girls were next. I'm so humbled that I have an awesome legacy and story to tell Jaycee and Arawen. I'm so thankful I can talk so highly to them about the daddy of whom they are a piece. I'm so grateful we drank so deeply of the love with which God had so immensely blessed us and designed to be delightful, erotic, and soul-satisfying. I'm so so so very grateful!

There's a Sara Groves song I just heard that talks about getting to Heaven and asking Job how to be broken and faithful. It also talks about being broken and grateful and peaceful. That's what I am! I am horribly, painfully broken and yet grateful! I am broken and faithful. I am broken and still praising God! Not in spite of, but because of all the pain I'm in. I have hope and peace that passes understanding because God is so massively big in my life. You see that big, rambling paragraph up there that was so extremely bittersweet and tearful to remember and write all by myself? Do you know how many other things I could've put up there if Jordan would've been reading over my shoulder? I've only got me to remember now and only my perspective to think from and parent from and make decisions from. I'm half a person. The oneness that we had in Christ through the holiness of marriage just got severed. My heart got shredded. I lost all of ^ that ^ up there! I ran to my Daddy with a gaping wound and He didn't even put a bandaid on it. He watched me bleed all over that 7th floor hospital room, all over that hospital bed I shared with Jordan, all over that last year of cancer. He watched those cancer cells overtake those precious lungs. And now, beyond anything I can understand, He's holding me right here at the foot of the cross. I'm just camping out at the cross. Because at the cross, God shouts "I LOVE YOU!" And that's what I need to hear. Over and over. It's at the cross I realize it's not all about me. I'm not the only one. I know that He knows and understands this kind of pain. He knows what it's like to watch the one you love the most on earth suffer and then die. I know He knows, because what He endured for the blackness of my soul was worse than what I'm enduring because of the blackness of sin, suffering, disease, and a fallen world. I'm overcome with thankfulness when I think of Jordan's firm faith in the cross of Calvary. I'm this broken and I'm this sad, and yet I experience daily a joy unspeakable and a thankfulness indescribable. I still have hope! Miraculous joy and miraculous hope.

Today is Jordan's birthday. Twenty-six years ago, Rachel Sauder-Schroeder gave birth to Jordan Lee Schroeder. Duane and Rachel were blessed with their fourth child and second son on November 7, 1984. What a gift! What a miracle! I know; I've given birth twice and it's utterly life-changing. But do you know what birthday I'm unbelievably, far-and-away more grateful for? His real birthday.

March 28th, 2004. On THAT day, Jordan Lee Schroeder was truly born. Covered by the blood of Jesus, and delivered into the Kingdom of God, he became a new creature, dead to sin, ALIVE unto Christ. THAT day, Jesus overcame and satan lost, and a heavenly host rejoiced over a sinner's homecoming. Jordan got revived at the foot of the cross. He clung confidently to that new and supernatural life, being sanctified by the power of the Spirit and using His gifts to inspire faith and Bible hunger in so many people around him. He had real life to such a miraculous degree that not even death could quench it. So, on July 24, 2010 when that big heart stopped beating, he became even more alive than ever in the Presence of God!

Priceless! ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS! That gift of grace is unspeakably awe-inspiring to me right now. That knowledge I possess is beyond precious to me. It blesses me in the deepest depths of my soul! I'm speechless with how to express this gratitude. All I can say, is THANK YOU FOR THE CROSS JESUS!!! THANK YOU FOR THE CROSS!! THANK YOU JESUS! I am so in love with You and I'm humbled and overwhelmed by Your grace, Your mercy, Your provision, Your unsearchable love, Your unbelievable sacrifice, and Your miraculous, saving power! AMEN AND AMEN! AND HALLELUJAH! GOD,YOU ARE AWESOME!!

Today, I would love to be celebrating with Jordan and my brother Zachary. Zach turns 8 today. Jordan always told Zach they had the coolest birthday around. I can vividly imagine it; another joint party with home-made ice cream cake and the whole family gathered around my parents' big kitchen table. But today, I already got to celebrate with Jordan. Joining the Body of Christ at church and the heavenly throng at the Throne, I was privileged to raise my hands to the God of love, and sing "Glory to Your name" and "You rose and conquered the grave!" to The King. That praise reaches past the time-space continuum and my voice and Jordan's voice and countless others celebrated the only real thing worth celebrating: Jesus Christ.

Let's continue to praise Jesus. It's eternal.

Happy most-awesome-birthday ever, Baby!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My heart hurts.

It aches all the time. I didn't know you could be in this much pain and still function. I didn't know that I could survive this long without him. I didn't know my girls could go without their daddy. I didn't know that I didn't need to tell him all of the funny things they do throughout the day. I didn't know that I could teach, instruct, and discipline Jaycee and Arawen without him. I didn't know I could make financial decisions on my own. I didn't know I could get dressed up and go somewhere without having him tell me I was beautiful. I didn't know my body could ache to be held. I didn't know eternity would ever be this real to me. I didn't know that praising God would make me cry every time. I didn't know that God would implant thankfulness into my heart. I didn't know that I'd trust Him explicitly to heal me in His time. I didn't know how solely sufficient Jesus is.

I did know, however, that I was immeasurably blessed with the husband God gave me. I'm so thankful -SO THANKFUL- we expressed our love and thankfulness for each other all throughout our marriage!

I found my last hand-written note to him while I was moving out of the home we had purchased in April. The girls and I have been so blessed to have my parents open up their home to us. We've been living here since mid August. This was written sometime mid June:

I LOVE YOU!

I LOVE OUR WEEKENDS TOGETHER!
I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE!
I LOVE OUR FRIDGE
I LOVE YOUR FACIAL HAIR
I LOVE LAUGHING WITH YOU!

Randomly, I was in an old e-mail inbox today and I found one I had saved.
Four years ago tomorrow he wrote me this e-mail.
Hey Gorgeous-
Sometimes I just don't know how to show you how much you truly mean to me. I try to tell you when I can but words just aren't enough. I hope that my actions speak louder than my words. I thank God for you, babe. You are an amazing woman and God has given you an amazing heart. Let's keep giving everything to God because the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. So if He wants to take something from us then He can. I am so excited about having a baby with you. I love kids so much and I know you do too. I pray that God will give us wisdom and grace to teach and raise our kids the way He designed us to. I know you are not too excited about the newborn stage but I think God designed it so we can gradually learn. He works in different ways to refine us and make us holy. I keep praying that our love for each other will burn 7 times hotter, and that our love for God will be more than that. Thanks for everything, babe. Sorry when I sin against and don't treat you the way that I should. You truly mean the world to me. I look forward every day to my drive home because I know you are there. May God truly bless you and thanks for being a blessing to me.
The one who will always                                                                                                                                    be there for you,
Jordan
What else is there to say? My tears are streaming and my heart is hurting and my soul is yearning for Jesus.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 10:42 AM, CDT

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Phil 3:7-8

Knowing Jesus is better than everything else. It surpasses all. It's worth infinitely more than any other imaginable blessing. Even having and holding my best friend? even being a part of a God-honoring, amazing marriage? even having a godly, sacrificial daddy for my girls? Even receiving a huge, physical healing miracle? All of that is garbage compared to knowing Jesus?

If that is true, then I am still abundantly blessed. I am incredibly rich.

What I once thought I knew, I now KNOW. I know that I know that I know that I KNOW Jesus. I know Him personally. I am His and He is in me. I am His sheep & I hear His voice. This is a powerful, seared-into-my-soul Truth. And sometimes, I feel like the gain of this invaluable knowledge came at too painfully high of a price. But that doesn't make it untrue. My feelings never eclipse Truth.

It's been 7 weeks. Today would've been our 51st wedding anniversary. Yes, we celebrated months. Sometimes with a date, often with a little love note, but mostly, it was just a race to see who could remember and say "Happy Anniversary!" first.

I know it's been a long time. (And yet, it seems so close.) I know there's more to the story. I know I'm called to write. I know I have a God-given gift. I know it has nothing to do with the recipient, but the Giver gets all the glory for what He bestows. I know I need to continue the blog & be willing to be a witness to grief, confusion, and the unchanging & redemptive nature of a really big God. But, it's hard right now. Please pray for that willingness & calling.

The following is something Jordan's brother Jesse wrote. Jesse & his lovely wife Jill are my friends and love me and the girls in a capacity that far exceeds what I was to their brother. They love us because we're us, they love us because Jesus is Jesus. Jill is my big sister and Jesse's my other big brother because of who we are in Christ. I am so thankful for them!


Revival Service for Jordan Lee Schroeder - Held July 28, 2010

Revival. It is a word that immediately conjures up images of tent meetings and circuit-riding preachers. And although revival is indeed marked by specific times and events where the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in a mighty, powerful way, revival is also much more than that. Revival means to make alive again. It is a work that God directs in the hearts of individuals, for only God can take something that is dead and make it alive again. Only God can renew the fire in a soul for the things that are eternal.

Revival begins one person at a time - it begins with you and it begins with me. We will experience the revival that Jordan prayed for and lived for when we, by God's transforming power and grace, seek to live out His Word. When each of us hears Jesus' voice, comes and follows Him, and obeys Him, revival will come. When we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, revival will come. When we step out of our comfort zones and into the path of obedience, revival will come. It will flow through our lives. We will experience firsthand, in this life and the next, the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers...regardless of what may come our way.

John 10:10 - I (Jesus) have come that they (you & me) may have life and have it more abundantly.

On July 28, 2010 a revival service for Jordan Lee Schroeder was held. The purpose was simple, "In memory of Jordan Schroeder. In honor of Jesus Christ." God graciously answered this prayer in numerous ways. The service was documented and we have created a website that makes the audio and video available for listening, viewing, and downloading. A transcript of the service is also available on the website in both .doc and .pdf formats.

As a heart-touching bonus, we have included the audio and video of Jordan's final blessings of Jaycee and Arawen. Jordan loved to bless his two girls and pray over them since before they were born. The Holy Spirit empowered him to make final blessings that will have eternal ramifications for God's Kingdom for both Jaycee and Arawen.

The website address is www.11r.com We pray and trust that you will be blessed and encouraged to follow Jesus, obey Him, and experience revival in your life and the lives of those around you.

Should you prefer to receive a copy of the DVD or CD that includes the Revival Service and Jordan's Final Blessings of Jaycee & Arawen, please email schro98@sbcglobal.net with your name, address, format choice (DVD and/or CD), and number of copies and they will be sent to you.

Below is a listing of the artists and songs that have ministered to us throughout the past year. You may want to create your own playlist based upon these songs. We entitled ours, "Jordan's Journey."

Matt Redman - Blessed Be Your Name
Laura Story - Mighty to Save
Keith & Kristyn Getty - By Faith
Christy Nockels - Healing is in Your Hands, Hosanna, You are Able, A Mighty Fortress, Marvelous Light
The Kry - I Believe in You, You're All I Need, I Keep on Running, Take My Hand, He Won't Let You Go
Wayne Watson - A Beautiful Place, Walk in the Dark, Hard Times
Chris Tomlin - Our God
Selah - Timeless, Press On, Through it All

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and support for Jordan, Katelyn, Jaycee, Arawen, and the Schroeder and Thames families. You have been a true testimony of the love and unity that is present in the Body of Christ. May God bless you abundantly according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

God bless you all,
Jesse Schroeder (Jordan's brother), on behalf of Katelyn, Jaycee, & Arawen, the Schroeder family, and the Thames family


note: I (Katelyn) have not seen any of the videos. Yet. I tried, I collapsed, I wept, & now I'm waiting for God to bless me with the ability to see it in His time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

-I'm going to a better place.

-Is that okay with you, Baby?

-Yeah; it's what Jesus wants.



I want this to be a revival. And not just for the people in this room. For everyone.
-Jordan, 7.24.10

Revival Service.

In memory of Jordan Schroeder.

In honor of Jesus Christ.

Northwoods Community Church
Peoria, IL
Officiating: Jeff Thames and Jesse Schroeder
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010,
10:00 a.m.

Visitation:
Roanoke Apostolic Christian Fellowship Hall
Roanoke, IL
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010,
2-4 p.m. & 6-8 p.m.

Graveside service at Roanoke A.C. Church Cemetary


To God be the glory!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010 7:33 PM, CDT

I'm just gonna say it, cause I was convicted about my own prayers for them: praying for peace and comfort can wait. pray for healing, and if u can't, pray for faith. we're the ones who want peace and comfort, cause watching our friends suffer is making us uncomfortable. jordan and katelyn haven't asked for peace and comfort yet-they want the miracle God has for them. press on.

This was the Facebook status of one of our tireless prayer warriors, Angie Luginbuhl.

All I have to say is, Amen.

The struggle is great, but the grace is greater. My heavenly Father keeps peering over this huge mountain down at me and says, "Look up, I'm bigger than this."

Jordan's a warrior and I am so, so thankful for this faithful man of God. He is expectantly waiting for God to show up. He will!

Again, please join in praying for a miracle tonight at 8. This is God's deal; but I have no problems as His child asking for what He does best.

We love you all!
Tonight! Healing prayer for Jordan Schroeder. Northwoods Community Church. Room G, in the basement. 8 - 9 p.m. EVERYONE WELCOME!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:08 AM, CDT

Dear Everybody,

Please keep believing in a miracle from God for us. We believe it. Jordan's body is racked by a ferocious disease. His breathing is labored, his oxygen is intensive-care-unit worthy. We're getting do-not-resuscitate decisions shoved down our throat.

We just got done crying out to God together. Jordan huffed his way through "God, You get all the glory from my body right now!" We are binding in the name of Jesus Christ this disease and releasing his power and life over Jordan's body today.

Please join us today!

Love, Jordan & Katelyn, Jaycee & Arawen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 1:58 PM, CDT

To all of our warriors in the Army of Christ, thank you for fighting with us, for lifting our arms when we couldn't keep them raised ourselves. Thank you for continuing in prayer.

Although our mountain looms large, the face of Jesus is that on which we're fixing our gaze. HE is bigger than all of this!

Taped on the bathroom door wall in this hospital room is a to-do list. I crossed all the mundane things off and what remained I taped to the door:
-Look @ Jesus
-Desir​e glory
-Do not fear
-Sing

Da​d's hospital church service on Jehoshaphat'​s story is the inspiration.​

Also, we had Jordan's prayer ministry course teacher in here on Sunday afternoon and part of her prayer over him is coming to mind and bringing comfort.
"Th​ank You Father that the prayers of your saints for Jordan are sweet fragrance before You and that they MATTER to you!"

We are hoping to come home from the hospital tonight. These past 4 days have basically been a trial period to see what Jordan needs for pain control. They've been brutal, but sustained by grace.

Pleas​e pray for complete, miraculous healing and that we would be able to come home!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Battle Cry Call to Fasting and Prayer

Atten​tion! All Christian Soldiers and Prayer Warriors of Jesus Christ

The time has come the time is now!

Jordan & Katelyn have considered their medical treatment options with no hope of improvement or a cure against this enemy and agent of death, this ever growing cancer; and they have decided to move Jordan home and cry out to God, the only source of Miraculous Hope.

As you read on their last post, they have laid all their hopes and dreams on God’s altar. They also know that the only one who can stay the knife has already died so they can live forever in Him.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also along with him also freely give us all things. Romans 8:32

They are begging all God’s people to fast and pray to God for them beginning Monday July 19, 2010. Please pray that God would be merciful to Jordan and Katelyn as he was merciful to nearly dead Epaphroditu​s and Paul in Phillipians 2:27.

In preparation​, please consider what God did in the Bible and his amazing responses to fasting and prayer when his people were facing enemy, danger or death like Jehoshaphat in 2Chronicles
20:1-30, Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:1-11), Ezra (ch. 8:21-23), & Esther (ch.4:14-17​); and even his response to some wicked men who fasted and prayed like the King of Ninevah (Jonah:3:5​-10), & Ahab (1 Kings 21:20-29). See Isaiah 58 & Matthew 6:6-18 for further instruction​s.

Lastly remember the importance of fasting and prayer in healing the boy in Matthew 17:14-21 and don’t forget the words of Jesus,
This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting Mark 9:29

David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. . . And he said, . . . I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 2 Samuel 12:16,22

Tha​nking you in advance for your prayers!
Jor​dan and Katelyn’s Family & Friends

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010 9:56 AM, CDT

When I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Cor 12:10

How do you operate in a Truth when everything you feel screams "False!" at you?

How do you know Jesus is here when he feels nonexistent​?

I have run out of prayers. The doctors have run out of hope.

Medica​lly, Jordan has been in an intense amount of pain for an extended amount of time. His body has been screaming at him for over a month. He's lost over 30 pounds in the last 2 months. We went straight to the ER from the airport. Not the original plan! We did get an epidural placed last night, and he's on high-dose pain meds, so there was a reprieve from the agony last night. This morning, he's still not entirely comfortable. We're at Methodist. On the oncology floor.
His cancer is "very advanced." His prognosis is "very poor."

I'm always on the verge of tears. I'm exhausted and can't think straight. I keep finding myself at the Throne of Jehovah. I don't really pray a whole lot, I just claim the blood of Jesus, stand before my God as redeemed, and make known my need for mercy.

For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him... Phil 2:27'

Just before we came home from Mexico, we were talking about dreams and the Giver of dreams. Promises and the PromiseKeep​er. Jordan prayed then, and he gave everything back to God. I watched my 25-year-old husband, father of 2, place his dreams on the altar. He laid them all down.

Watchi​ng his girls grow up. Teaching them about Jesus. Walking them down the aisle. Grow​ing old with his wife. Having a little boy. Growing a business with his buddy. Preaching the Word of God. Hunting. Building a house in the country one day...

He gave them all back to Jesus.

This morning, I was up early, and sobbing on the living room floor, I gave my dreams to Jesus. Being married to a better-than​-I-deserve ​man of God. Having my baby girls grow up with their daddy. Livi​ng in our new home. Having a little boy. Tropic​al family vacations. ​I gave Jordan to his Father. I left him at the altar.

And you know what? Through all the heartwrench​ing tears and heartache, we both left the Throneroom still extravagant​ly rich.

We still have Jesus. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)


"When your hope is running dry
When your dreams have waved goodbye
Hold on
Hold on to Me"
(Stellar Kart- our favorite cd right now. I listened to this song over and over last night)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QI77bSj43o

While we're learning a lot about surrenderin​g to God, we are still fight​ing a battle with the enemy. Coming soon: a battle cry call to fasting and prayer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's been another one of those crazy weeks. After finding out the news from the CT scan of the lungs we started praying about and researching other clinics. With that many metastases on the lungs we know that my condition is extremely serious. Back in August they counted at least 16 spots on each lung but stopped counting because we were getting depressed. This time the pictures showed the same thing, if not more spots. They were all over. It has been extremely difficult dealing with that news but we have not lost hope.

Lookin​g back over this past year we have so blessed. I have been able to work, play, we bought a new house, I got a new job. MY quality of life up until recently has been pretty amazing. Thinking of what it would have been like with the original chemo regimen they had me on, I can't imagine what this past year would have been like. I probably would not have been able to work and probably would weigh about 140 pounds. We have been thankful for this past year. God has really blessed it.

We feel like we are in the same boat as a year ago but they said I may not even live 6 months. We are going to continue to fight and trust that God will still bring complete healing even though things seem to be getting worse. l have lost quite a bit of weight over the last few months. Please pray that I will get my appetite back and that I can stay nourished. Right now, I really need to concentrate on my diet and not feed the cancer. It is difficult, but I believe God can bless it and give me the discipline to eat the foods that will help my body the most. Katelyn has been great at supporting me in this and I am thankful for that. Pray for her perseveranc​e as well and that she could continue to encourage me in what I eat.

She has been absolutely amazing. If I had to sum it up I would say she has been a rock. The many times I would break into tears of severe pain she would always be there to comfort me and pray for me. She has been so willing to get me whatever I need and I am so in awe of the way she loves me. I keep telling her there is a giant mansion in Heaven waiting there just for what she has done on my behalf. Continue to lift her up in your prayers. It is very difficult for her to see me this way and I know she grows very weary at times. All I can say is thank you so much Jesus for the amazing wife of 4 years. I hope she will be my wife for another 70 years.

We have been looking into clinics in Atlanta, New York, and Texas. They all kind of have different approaches and each one sounds better when you are talking to someone over the phone about it. We talked to a doctor from Atlanta today and he said that sarcomas are very difficult to treat. They can respond very well to treatment and then mutate and find a way around it. We have been doing lots of thinking and praying and trying to decide where we should go next. We just feel like we are at the end of the road here at Rubio's and it's time for a change. No hard feelings. They have been so accommodati​ng and we are thankful for the treatment and the help they provided this past year.

We decided tonight that we are going to fly out of San Diego tomorrrow and head home for the weekend to be with family and friends. We will then decide where we will go from there. We may even stay home if we feel God leading us to trust in complete healing around home. We don't know for sure. We do look forward to being home, though.

They ended up doing a nerve block in my back tonight. They stuck a needle in my spine and gave me morphine and another med. They will send a pump or two home with us then so we can continue the doses. Each dose lasts about 30 hours. I feel better already. All week I have had nerve sensations that cause my left leg to be tight all the time. It is very uncomfortab​le and has made it very difficult to walk and sleep. It feels great to get some relief but we know that it is just a band aid right now, and is not fixing the underlying problem of the tumor in the pelvis. Hopefully, it will help the flight home be a little more enjoyable than the flight out.

So how can you pray for us? Pray for a safe trip home tomorrow. Pray for strength for me and recovery for me. Pray that we can be a light to those that we come into contact with this weekend. Pray that we can be re-energize​d with supernatura​l joy and hope this weekend as we have missed our family and friends so much. Pray for wisdom and discernment as we decide where to take the next step. Pray for God to be glorified no matter what the outcome is. Thanks for all your prayers.

We have had many dreams and visions as a family for our future. We have had people pray and prophesy incredible things into our lives. God has given us confirmatio​n that we will get through this. Katelyn made a great point this morning and said maybe we are putting all our hope in those dreams and not in the Dream Giver. I thought about that a lot today and I think she hit the nail on the head. God wants us to want Him and Him only. He wants our total focus and attention. ​ He says we will find him when we seek for Him with our whole hearts. Joseph had a dream. Things didn't quite go the way I think he thought they might after receiving the dream. Between the pit, Potiphar, prison, and the palace it says the Lord was with him. In the end, he was able to tell his brothers that the Lord meant it for good. It says the word of the Lord tried Joseph. Did he cling to his Lord, or to his dream? We want to cling to Jesus and trust that whatever his will is we are willing to do it. Thank you Lord for bringing that word through Katelyn. She is so right. Pray that we can forsake everything else and just cling to our Savior and in what he has in store for us.

Friday, July 9, 2010




Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, ... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
...What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?


I was by the pool with my Bible. There's been a lot of talk about Job recently around here. I figured it was a good thing to go back and re-read the book. I had just got to chapter 4, with the above passages having really spoken to me when Dr. Rubio approached me.

It was the last thing I wanted to hear. It was the worst news possible. The only remarkable thing was that I didn't dissolve into tears- then.

The cancer has taken over Jordan's lungs again. It's really bad.

I know I'm risking 'too personal' here, but I don't have the stamina to write an original post tonight. This is a portion of an e-mail to our family sent yesterday. It is our heart right now.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

On Tuesday, we got to be ministered to by a brother in Christ that occasionally comes down to this clinic from Los Angeles. He's a minister/PhD in integrated medicine, very passionate about the Word and Spirit. It was truly a divine appointment; he prayed for us, prophesied into our lives and we had amazing fellowship in the Spirit! As we were praying, I remembered Jill's prayer request for breakthrough and it was a breakthrough into our discouragement and doubt. He spoke to us about unforgiveness and told us to ask God to reveal anything in the way of His throne, he challenged us to give our firstfruits to the Lord, including our time. He mentioned how coming into his presence with praise and thanksgiving is so key. We've been blessed to have had amazing, anointed prayer & worship time these past 2 mornings together. Confessing and forsaking sin, releasing those who have wronged us, thanking God for everything, even the hard things. Claiming promises in the name of Jesus, binding demonic influence and releasing hope, strength, life, peace, & miraculous healing. (Mat 16:19)

We're really learning a whole lot more than we ever wanted to about the truth of Ephesians 6, how we don't wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, & spiritual wickedness. The battle down here has been intense, but, (also in Eph 6), we're well equipped for it. After that incredibly uplifting time of prayer with Mr. Warren, that night, Jordan was in so much pain, it hurt him when I crawled up on the bed. He could feel it in his leg and he was rocking back and forth on all fours crying out. Can anyone think of anything more discouraging and disheartening? That was the night he was supposed to go down to 2 fentanyl patches, but quite obviously, couldn't. I knew it was a satanic counterattack & we needed to pray, and we did.

God's really been changing our prayer language. Our spiritual eyes are slowly being opened and we're being given more confidence in the power & authority of the Spirit that indwells us. Jordan ended up having a fairly marginal night that night but he will testify that it was infused with something miraculous: a peace that passes understanding, a knowledge of the fact the God in him was enabling him to get through the discomfort. He was aware of his body's groanings, but he was MORE aware of the divine peace that rested on him throughout the entire night, getting him through. Praise God!

We also got to talk on the phone with both Mom & Dad and my parents last night, (actually only my dad talked, but I'm pretty sure we were on speaker with my mom right there- again, typical or what? :) ) Anyways, a while later when we were in bed, Jordan mentioned to me that our families are under attack from the enemy just like we are. We want you to know that we are praying for you. Fear is the antithesis of love (1 John 4). We know fear is a struggle. We know discouragement can yank our eternal perspective from beneath us. We know! And we are praying. We want you to know that we love you, we feel your love and prayers and we're all in the fight together because we're all part of the body of Christ, engaged in the apocalyptic warfare of the universe.

It sounds so dramatic and scary and yet! read Revelation. The end of the story- we're already on the winning side! Guaranteed victory. Actually victory ALREADY won, there, at the cross and the empty tomb! One of my ABSOLUTE favorite verses: "These shall make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. And they that are with Him are called and chosen and faithful!" (Rev. 17:14) Yeah!!! It makes my blood pump! It's like there's no other possible option for the simple reason of WHO Jesus is. The Lord of lords and King of kings lose a battle? it's entirely ludicrous! And then I love the part about who we are. Called and chosen and faithful. Not because of anything we did or do, not because we're so lovable, amazing, & worthy. But because Jesus called. Jesus chose us. And Jesus makes us faithful. Awesome! Be encouraged in who your Savior is, be encouraged in the fact that He is also our Savior and is in us. He will continue to lead us, direct us, impart His wisdom as we make decisions about which we know you all care deeply. Thank you for trusting the Spirit in us. It's what we need.

Love, Jordan, Katelyn, & Jaycee

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



Monday, July 5, 2010 11:26 PM, CDT


We celebrated our 4th anniversary last month. Yay God!



Jordan slept on Thursday night. A request we'd been making for many nights was granted. I came in to check on him later in the morning. He pulled me into his arms and just prayed a prayer of thanksgivin​g to our merciful Father. He prayed for other things too, but mostly he just held me and told God that he loved Him. I wept; because even though I was in a too-small bed in an unfamiliar room in a cancer hospital in Mexico, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.


And I don't even believe in luck. I believe in being blessed. And I am so so blessed to have been given a hus​band willing to be refined by a sanctifying process that is divinely orchestrate​d and often c​onfusing. That God would place in his heart the desire to lift His name, to thank Him first. To come into His courts with praise. For the small things, which, turns out, are big things.

Righ​t now, Jordan's on the verge of sleep. He's been napping on and off all day. He's slightly out of it because of the morphine that now has the pain under control. He is unable to walk. He can, however, do something resembling a hobble-lurc​h hybrid. The tumor pressure on his nerve is his biggest complaint. It's not that it's painful, "sharp-or-a​chy-painful"​, it's just incredibly uncomfortab​le. He described it as the feeling of having 40 pounds of dead-weight on his left leg, being unable to feel if his foot is on the ground or not, and as if his whole leg is asleep all of the time, with minimal rel​ief.

We got our MRI results back today. The doctor concurred with the U.S. doctors that the cancer had come back sometime between January and May. The small, but horrible spots that are in his right pelvis, are​, in fact that big and horrible word: "metastases." (For those who aren't keeping track, his large tumor is in his left pelvis.) Because of the treatment he has had since June, those spots are now less than half of what they were. Good news. The loss of sensation and ability to walk is blamed on the large tumor sort of flattening and becoming elongated due to the radiation therapy. Good and bad news. The tumor is, essentially being split in two because they are radiating its center. Good news. The half nearest his spine is being pushed into his nerves. Bad news.

We're getting a CT scan of his lungs on Friday.

Obvi​ously, this is a pretty hard time right now. We need a lot of things. Discernment. Hope. Joy. Peace. Patience. Strength. B​ut mostly, we need Jesus. Less of ourselves and more of Jesus.

Before I end, let me try to practice the humbling lesson I learned on Friday: (I wish this didn't feel like such a big sacrifice.)​
Thank You, Jehovah for being Who You Are! Thank You for Your provision of faith. Thank You for Your sovereignty and love. Thank You for Your abundant blessings. Thank You for the psalms and for prayer. Thank You for being so much bigger than everything.​


And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgivin​g, and declare his works with rejoicing. (Psalm 107:22)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:36 PM, CDT

By God's grace and the help of family we made it safely down to Mexico. I was originally booked for a Sunday flight so I could start getting radiation. 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the airport we got a call saying the flight was cancelled. We didn't get on anything for Monday either. The storms made all the Monday flights fill up quickly. We thought a good friend might be able to get us a good deal heading out on Tuesday but that would mean us flying standby. Because of the storms there was no longer room on that flight either. He told us that Milwaukee has a very reasonably one way direct flight to San Diego. We called Katelyn's family to see if someone would be willing to drive us there in the morning to catch an 8:30 flight.

Josh and Hannah were picked for the task. My wonderful father-in-l​aw took several seats out of their big van and put a mattress in there for Katelyn and I to sleep in on the way up. We met them at 3:20 and were on our way to Wisconsin. The bumpy ride caused some discomfort in my back, but I slept pretty well on the 4 hour drive. It sure beat being crammed in a seat on a connecting flight. We made to the airport in great time. We checked in and the lady ended up bumping me up to first class free of charge. What an enormous blessing, thank you Jesus!

We made it to our gate and I got drugged up for the flight. Vicodin plus Morphine still didn't take away the pain I had. The back wasn't as bad, it was the pain radiating down my whole left leg from pressure on a nerve. The flight started off smoothly. I was pretty comfortable​, and thought I would be able to get some sleep. Wrongo! I had had a hard time driving to Dr. Schock's office in the week and that was just sitting for 10 minutes. How would a 4 hr flight go? One minute at a time it felt like. Luckily I had enough room to kneel down in front of my seat and put my arms on my seat and get some relief. The people around me probably didn't know what was going on. We finally arrived in San Diego around 11 am. We were picked up and I was able to lay down in the back of the van for some much needed relief.

We crossed the border and headed straight to radiation. By this point my left leg is extremely numb from sitting on that long flight. It had not gotten near that bad at home. Radiation went fine and we came back to the clinic for some more treatment. They gave me some detox and I tried to rest. The back pain has been slowly getting some relief but the sensation in the leg is getting worse. When I try to sleep in any position pressure gets put on the leg and I can't sleep. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep last night. Still far from ideal.

Dr. Rubio talked to us about the previous culture and said that it was mainly dead cells that were causing the inflammatio​n. He said it doesn't help either that you are skinny because you don't have any fat to cushion the swelling. We are planning an MRI for sometime in the next few days to see what we can find. He also is going to call his physical therapist to see if she can help relax my leg and bring me some relief. All I want to do is sleep. No pain med I have taken in the past month has been able to allow that to happen. No number of times during the night spent crying out in pain to God has allowed that to happen.

That has been the hardest part. We know we have so many people praying for us, our friends, families, church families, complete strangers. Katelyn and I cry out to God every night. We put on our spiritual armor. We pray in the name of Jesus, we cast off, we declare death on the cancer cells, we come against anything standing in the way of the healing, and `all we get is a dial tone coming from the other end. That has been so very difficult. I know God has been there and is with me at all times, but during the hardest times I want to be able to feel him the closest.

We know that He has a purpose for all this. We trust and cling to His promises. We know that He will never leave us or forsake us. We know that all power is given to him in heaven and earth, and lo he is with us always. We just don't always feel it. I know someday I will look back and see His hand throug​hout the whole journey, but for some reason in the midst of the suffering you just don't see it. Jesus endured it. Job felt it. God didn't give him answers, just more questions. Like Job I know that my Redeemer lives, and that is what keeps us going. Through all the tears, sleepless night, pain meds, IVs, flights, everything.​ He is with us. In Him we live and move and have our being, so I'm not going to give up now. He has a mighty plan and purpose for our lives, and I'm not going to let some disease of the enemy keep my family from doing what we are supposed to do. We have all been purchased with a price, not of something incorruptib​le, but the precious blood of Jesus. A lamb without blemish. Let us all live knowing that we are His!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:05 PM, CDT

Well, it's been a pretty rough past few weeks. Last week I fought fevers on and off. By the fourth night we decided we should probably get it looked at. We drew blood the next morning to check counts and look for infections.​ The counts came back pretty normal and they never found any growth on the culture. Once the fevers passed the tumor site started to become painful again. The inflammatio​n is causing lots of discomfort, to the point of not being able to sleep again. Apparently my body started to get used to the Vicodin I was taking, and it was no longer as effective at controlling the pain. We hesitated to go back down to Mexico because chemo and radiation can cause swelling. We were very thankful that there were no infections as well.

I went into work on Monday a little bit, but other than that I spend my days trying to catch up on the sleep I lost at night. It is very dishearteni​ng. A typical night includes me going to bed at 9, rolling around til about 11. Getting up and either using a heat pad or icing the tumor. Maybe taking a hot bath. Four or 5 times a night crying out to God on the living room floor asking for some relief. Sounds like fun, huh?

Today we went into Dr. Schock to get some more blood drawn so that Rubio can test it and see what he thinks. Schock upped my meds to Vicodin along with time-releas​ed Morphine. I had my first tablet today and I am still in lots of pain. My left leg is tingling quite a bit from the inflammatio​n and it makes it hard to sleep.

I try to play with my girls but even that is painful at times. They can't jump and climb on me like they used to. It is very difficult. Thankfully Katelyn has been wonderful at keeping my hopes up, but being in pain for that long is exhausting.​ We hope to hear good news from the blood culture in Mexico. We will probably get the results back on Monday. We will be getting another MRI in July to see what's going on.

Please pray for supernatura​l grace, wisdom, and discernment as we battle this ugly disease. I am tired of what it is taking from me. Pray for hope and that God would clearly speak to us and manifest His presence each step of the way. Katelyn had a dream a while back that she was writing my temperature down and fighting fevers. She remembers that it was a big spiritual battle that was going on. Pray for us. We need it. We thank you all for your faithfulnes​s and may God richly bless you in this life and the life to come!