I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I am blessed to be a wife and a mom of two girls. I drive a minivan. I have amazing family and friends. I just unpacked all of my kitchen stuff from our home in Peoria. I put it all in a small kitchen in a thousand-square-foot apartment on a college campus.
My name is Katelyn Kieser.
It's been on year since Jordan Schroeder stopped walking alongside of me on this little stint of earth we have to live before the real living begins. It's been one year since my love got his promotion from mortal to immortal. From temporary to eternal. From decaying to more-alive-than-we've-ever-been. One year ago today, Jordan died.
I've been doing a lot of remembering lately.
I remember Jordan saying that I was one of his biggest spiritual influences. Shortly after he got redeemed, we met and the Holy Spirit in me encouraged him in his walk with the Lord. He told me that my scripture memory really challenged him and the discipline of hiding the Word in his heart stuck with him for the rest of his life. I remember him saying that's why he fell in love with me- my love for the Lord and my eternal perspective. You could maybe say, if you were wanting to measure things, that I was more spiritually mature than he. I was further along on the sanctification process. Somewhere along the way, that paradigm totally flip-flopped on me. I got slapped in the face with the love of God through Jesus in Jordan. I was his wife. I had the front seat to the Holy Spirit sanctifying him. I remember being in awe and at some point in our marriage verbalizing to him that God had him on the fast track and nobody had ever shown me Jesus like he did. He believed in the Spirit in me tirelessly. He unconditionally loved me despite my wicked, sinful heart. He encouraged me faithfully in the fight even when he was the one suffering the most from my sins. I was unbelievably humbled by his love that so uniquely modeled Christ's love for all of us. He had this tenacious hunger for the Bible, for Jesus, for the power of God in himself. It was like he was given this divine discontentment. He was always discontent with how much he had of Jesus- always wanting more. Even in the rough times, he'd be so honest about his discouragement but always end up reminding himself and me about how faithful God had been in the past and the promises of scripture. His gift of faith would come beaming forth and he'd speak so confidently and with hope oozing from his soul that God WOULD BE GLORIFIED in his life. He never wavered on his assurance of that fact. He never gave up hope. He had so many dreams. His natural vulnerability delighted and shocked me every time he'd start a conversation about our dreams. He loved to talk about it and I loved how ambitious he was about how much God was going to do in our lives. He really wanted to reach for the impossible and not sell ourselves short when our God was so huge! All these dreams- and yet, his biggest ream was God's glory in his life.
It's July 24, 2011. As I've journeyed through this day, remembering the early hours of Jordan revealing Jesus' desire for him to be in Heaven. Remembering the tenderness when we told each other how much we loved one another. Remembering the sweetness of Jordan speaking to our families. Remembering when Jordan prayed for me to love another man and released his exclusivity on my heart. Remembering how great was his desire for Jaycee and Arawen to have a daddy. Realizing the colossal amount of sacrificial love when he so willingly allowed us to receive the gift that Ty now is to us. Remembering how he anointed and blessed his two little girls. Remembering our fears and faith and our thoughts that we expressed in the blog. My dear fried Alison made our blog into a book for me. I took that book and Jordan's Bible and sat on a bench outside underneath a street light and a palm tree late last night and remembered. I've been remembering the tears. Remembering the tears brings more tears and I cry. Remembering the stabbing, searing, slicing pain in the middle of my chest for hours on end. The pain is piercingly memorable.
However, the most memorable and weighty thing that comes back to me is all the hope. The huge, ferocious, and tenacious hope we had. I wanted him to be healed so bad. I really, really, really, wanted that miracle. I ached and longed for and prayed and believed. I just really really wanted his body to be well. I wanted his pain to leave. I wanted his breathing to stop gurgling and rasping. I wanted his chest to stop being so heavy. I wanted his skin to stop being yellow and his ribs to stop showing through. I wanted It felt like there was a never-ending crescendo of an orchestra in the background of my heart. It was as if there was a buzzing tenor sound that kept getting louder, more intense, higher in its pitch. Seeming like it was going to peak at any instant, but just climbing ever higher in shrillness. We hoped hard. We hoped really hard! We hoped for a long, dark time. Even when he was in so much pain, it consumed us, we hoped. The hoping and the waiting continued to unrelentingly escalate.
Until that moment. He was lying on the hospital bed, laboring to breathe, peaceful, and he opened his eyes and spoke:
"I'm going to a better place."
And the hopes came shattering and disintegrating and falling down all around me. That fierce hope that had crescendoed louder and higher and faster over the last year got dashed. It was like this big, beautiful, and fragile crystal globe got flung against a cliff. And all of the million pieces, every last one, cut me on the way down. But inside that crystal globe was a diamond. Harder than the rock of the cliff, the gem remained undamaged. The diamond is God's glory. Beyond and above all of our beautiful and fragile crystal hope of marriage, and children, and ministry, and seeing God's miraculous power being displayed in us together, we had a bigger, and stronger Hope. We had Jesus. Go back and read his entries in the blog; Jordan hope and waited expectantly, nay even KNEW that God would be glorified in his life. And that was the diamond that never shattered. That diamond stayed intact and it remained beautiful.
Looking back, exactly one year from my hope-shattering, I see a sparkling and living and exquisite display of God's glory in Jordan Schroeder's life. The glory of God and the affect of Jesus in Jordan lives on in me. The Kingdom he sowed into my life will continue until my own promotion. I know deep in my soul that I will never be the same again and I will never forget. I will always remember Jordan and God's glory in him.
Jordan made a profound, impacting, and eternal stamp on my life. Now I want to hear about Jesus and God's glory in Jordan affecting your life. I want to see this beautiful diamond in a bigger scope and from different perspectives. I want a glimpse at the sparkles and the glittering rainbows that reflected glory to you. I want you to post a comment, tag me in a status update, or leave a guestbook entry with a few words describing God's glory in Jordan Schroeder's life in your own life. I just want to know. I want my girls to one day read all of your entries. I will collect them an put them in their photobook. I want them to have more than just my stories and their scant memories. I want them to have pages of testimony upon testimony of God's amazing glory in their Daddy in Heaven. I want the impact of Jordan's testimony to spur them on to fight the fight and run the race even when it's hard and hope runs dry. I want the glory of God in Jordan's life to do that for all of us. I want us all to remember together.
I found a note card in Jordan's Bible today. In his scratchy, all-caps writing it says:
I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will show forth all thy works. I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O Thou Most High.
The top right corner has a date: 7-24-08
Three years ago today, Jordan wrote down a verse reflecting his own desire to make known God's works. Both Jordan and I have poured our hearts out here on this blog, and we all have had the privilege of witnessing God's works shown forth in Jordan's life. Please join me in praising the name of The Most High by posting a glimmer of Jordan's glory-diamond as we remember the amazing works of our God.
Thank you so, so, so much!