Wednesday, September 24, 2014

finally asking why

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 10:36 PM 1 comments
in january of 2013, my mom was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma. it has been a little less than 15 months since the ending of her chemo treatment. she went in for her routine 3 month checkup and told the doctors about an enlarged lymph node she noticed on her neck. the doctors didn't seem too concerned, but are taking the necessary precautions because there is the possibility of the cancer coming back.

when my parents told me that my mom was diagnosed back in 2013, i was so crushed. i mean, you can all imagine (or know) what it would be like to be told that your mom, sister, dad, brother, etc. has cancer. it's really soul-shattering. you feel like you've just entered into a slow motion sequence with emptiness all around you. i don't think i'll ever really understand how my mom was the strongest one out of all of us during that time and even now. she's always been the glue and continued being the glue even then. she leaned on God more than anyone i've known in a situation as scary as that. it was incredible, and still is, to see.

i think it was easier for me to handle all of this since i was two hours away at college. i was distant from it. i wasn't there to see my mom tired from chemo treatment and i wasn't there to experience the day-to-day life she was going through. i think that was a good thing and a bad thing. it was a good thing because i don't know how strong i would've been if i was there. i don't think i would have been much of a help to the family. it was a bad thing because i feel like i really missed out on a lot. i feel like it wasn't as scary for me because i wasn't there and i'm not sure i like that. i maybe take certain things for granted when i know i shouldn't because of that situation. it makes me feel bad. since the issue wasn't in my face every day, i sometimes ignored it. maybe that was me coping, but i'm ashamed to say that that's just how it was for me. and yes, i was going through a lot at the time to keep me distracted. i was at a tough bible college and rehearsing as the lead in Singin' in the Rain. i did have distractions and ways to forget. i don't know. this is still something i'm trying to sort out.

so now this time is different. i feel a lot more emotionally tied to the situation. what if this enlarged lymph node is the cancer again? i've cried about it. who wouldn't? probably my mom because she's insanely optimistic, but she needs to be. i never really asked why my mom got cancer in the first place. it happens. evil exists and good people run into tough things because of it. it happens. i understood that and i still do. but why in the world does this have to happen again? didn't we just make it through? didn't this just get buried in the ground? why again? and why am i still stuck at school where i can't be at home with my family? so much about this isn't fair. and yes, maybe it's nothing and the cancer hasn't relapsed. that would be a huge blessing. but what if? it's just really hard for me to think about.

i'm here at school. three hours away with 22 hours, struggling to find a job, dealing with the stress of a new major, feeling like i don't have many friends around me, still in a long-distance relationship, and not able to be at home when my mom may have cancer again. the first time was bad enough, but now? i feel so weighed down and i can't even do anything about it. i have to stay at school, i have to complete and pass my 22 hours, i have to continue searching for a job, i have to figure out my new major, i have to continue on even if i feel alone in the social world, and i have to continue the extra efforts to keep working on my long-distance relationship. i know i sound selfish because it seems like i'm saying that my mom having cancer is just another stress to add, but it's not like that. it's the fact that i have all of this life to keep working on that i can't just leave behind so i can be with my family. it's hard.

i know God has this in the bag. my faith is just a little weak in this moment. i'm very tired and i'm frustrated with a lot of things. i want my family to be healthy and clear of any risks. and when i know i can't control that...it makes me sad.

i understand this isn't the most uplifting post i've ever written, but who in this world has a good day every day? i need to let this stuff out too. i'll be fine, but please pray for my family. pray for my mom's test results and pray that God's will be done. sometimes i hate saying that because what if His will involves relapse cancer? but it is what it is. i may not be at a very good place right now, but i will be. i need time to rest, pray, and spend time with God. and my family.


jrw

Saturday, September 13, 2014

proverbs 18:10

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 10:33 AM 0 comments
yesterday, my sister and i made the three hour journey home so that i could go to a doctor's appointment and we could see our family. it rained the whole way there and my jeep is known to have some issues with wet weather. we were about three miles from home and driving on the infamous "Kansas Hill," which is the curviest road i've ever driven on. on the last sharp turn, i barely braked to slow us down a bit, but the tires skid on the slick road and caused us to start skidding toward the side of the road where there was a cliff drop-off. i let go of the brake, but the car was still skidding and the backend swung around and slammed into the embankment on the opposite side of the road. my sister and i are just fine with some minor headaches from the impact. we definitely panicked and i kept saying, "it's okay...it's okay."

there were a total of three cars that stopped to ask if we were okay. one van had two men in it and they made sure we were fine and knew that our parents were coming so they went on their way. two other vehicles stopped and started calling the police and slowing down traffic. one man was the nicest man in the world and went up the hill to direct traffic since we were in such a blind spot area. the police showed up, two ambulances, the fire department... it was a mess. the jeep was stuck pretty good in the ditch and up onto the embankment. after about an hour of figuring out what needed to be done and a trip into the ambulance to make sure my sister and i were okay, the kind man offered to use his truck to pull my jeep out. the one thing we were all scared of was if the jeep was going to be drivable or not. the way it looked wasn't too good. underneath the back tires, it all looked bent, but he got the jeep out and my dad drove it home without a problem. the back bumper is a little sad looking...but i'm able to take it back to school.

i wasn't fully aware of how serious the situation was until after i got home. something seriously horrible could have happened. there could have been an oncoming car, which i would have hit. the airbags could have gone off and probably seriously injured my sister and me who weigh nothing. we could have gone off the cliff. jenifer could have been injured. i just kept thinking of all of these things that could have happened and i cried a good while about it. i was scared, embarrassed, emotional, anxious. i didn't get any sleep last night at all and i needed my mom to drive me to my doctor's appointment because i was terrified to get back behind the wheel.

then i keep being reminded that God saved us. He saved us BIG TIME. He made sure we didn't go off the cliff, He made sure there wasn't any traffic behind or in front of us, He kept jenifer and me safe from harm, and He saved the vehicle. everything was in God's hands. yes, the situation was bad and not fair, but bad things happen to good people because there is evil in this world. God made sure the evil didn't take us and i am so glad He did. we are alive and untouched because our Lord put His hand on our vehicle.

which brings me to my next bible journaling verse.

"the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into and is safe." proverbs 18:10.

there will be horrible events in life that seem unfair. there will be scary events. we can either go through these times without God and be controlled by the evil or we can run to God's arms and be protected through His grace during the bad. yesterday was a good reminder of how i need to put my faith in God and trust that He will bring me to safety through everything. i can't imagine going through yesterday without Him.


jrw




Thursday, September 11, 2014

1 corinthians 14:33

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 5:59 PM 0 comments
my mom recently introduced me to this facebook group called journaling bible community. thousands of women are members of this group with more being introduced by the hour. this is a group of Christian women who doodle all sorts of beautiful things in their bibles. some bibles are normal ones, but i was introduced to a note-takers bible, which has margins on the sides of the page big enough to write notes. i received my new bible a few days ago, but only had time today to work in it. many people choose a verse that pops out at them and then they draw, write, etc. whatever they feel God is speaking to them. it's really beautiful.

the verse that i chose is my favorite verse, which is 1 corinthians 14:33. this became my favorite verse when i was a junior in high school. my family moved to a small town called kansas, oklahoma where a ministry called cookson hills christian ministries is located. this ministry is a small Christian campus that offers help, hope, and healing to children and families in crisis. basically, if there are children/teens in trouble or are needing to be removed from a bad situation, they are placed at cookson into homes where strong Christian parents reside as house parents. you can read more about it here: https://www.cooksonhills.org/. my parents had grown up knowing and hearing about cookson through their churches and the same with me and my siblings. i wasn't the happiest 16 year old when we moved there, but my parents knew that God was calling them to join this ministry. i had a very hard first five months until i finally started to open up and make friends. cookson changed my life for the better.

there was a woman there named linda and she was my english teacher for the two years that i attended the school that was on cookson's campus. i remember i was having the absolute worst day any 16 year old could have and i walked into english where linda had written another verse on the board behind her desk. she did this every single day. some days the verses wouldn't make sense to me and some days they would. the verse that day made me cry.

"for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." 

such a tiny, simple verse, but oh it hit me hard. i believe we all take this tiny passage for granted. do you understand it? God...your God...is not the author of confusion. God doesn't put the confusion, worry, and stress into your life. the ugly prince of this world does. God may see the bigger picture at times and we only see a portion, which can lead to confusion and question, but in the end we always see peace as the result. no matter what the situation may be. i've never been in a confusing state of mind or situation that has been left open ended or that has been crushed. it may be years down the road where i realize that, yes, i was brought peace, but the peace is always there.

i'm rambling, but this is so important to me. God is the pure Author of peace.

linda passed away quite recently and i still bless her to this day for bringing this verse into my life. linda was one of the most amazing women i have gotten the chance to know. she was such a strong believer and follower of Christ. she constantly encouraged me and every other person that crossed her path. she encouraged and prayed for my mom when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. linda was the one to tell my family and me that everything was going to be just fine because God was in control. she had His peace like no other. her passing was sudden and i was in shock, but the first thing that came to my mind was that God brought her the peace that she needed.


jrw


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

finding contentment

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 8:29 AM 0 comments
i've been attending life church and they just started a new series called #struggles. i really hate the title, but it does make sense. the series is about the jealousy, envy, self-consciousness, and every other negative emotion that comes with social media. while there are positives to social media, the negatives are what we don't see everyday or notice in our own lives. my social media struggles have been apparent to me for a while, so i know that God is wanting me to really pay attention to this series.

there are people out there (more than you know...maybe even yourself) who get on social media and then feel discouraged by what they see. maybe their house is bigger and nicer than yours, maybe her shoe collection is better than yours, maybe they seem to have a lot of money and you don't... things like this get under our skin sometimes without us noticing. well, i finally noticed and it's so true. i don't get depressed, but i do get frustrated at times to see someone's seemingly perfect life even though i know it's not that perfect. 90% of the time, that person you're feeling envy or negativity towards doesn't have a very perfect life. they're just as broken as any of the rest of us. even though i know without a doubt that i have a beautiful and loving family who is always there for me and stronger than ever, and i have the most loving boyfriend who i'm hoping to marry, and i have a great education, a roof over my head, clothes, a car... sometimes i still see someone else's life on social media and get frustrated. i think i'm more frustrated with the fact at how other people view this as the perfect life, when i see the truth. sometimes it's merely all about perception.

a few verses to start that sermon series were:

     2 corinthians 10:12 - we do not dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

     james 3:14-16 - but if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

     proverbs 15:15 - all the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has continual feast.

     ecclesiastes 6:9 - better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. this too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

     philippians 4:12-13 - i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. i can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.

that last verse always makes me nervous. so many take that last part and use it to the extreme and way out of context and so i'm scared to use it, but listen... when you keep it in context, it makes absolute perfect sense. paul explains that he has found the secret, the only way to be content, and that is through Christ who gives him strength.

i can only find true contentment through my Christ who gives me the strength. 

so i'm here to tell you that yes, i do struggle with some negative feelings while on social media, but guess what? God is in my heart and is telling me that with Him, i can be content. i don't need 100 likes on instagram and i don't need a thousand friends on facebook. these things haven't been issues with me, but they are very common with a lot of others. once i heard someone say that they would delete a picture if it got less than 11 likes. this is what society has gotten us to and it's sad. let's stand with Christ and find our contentment with him because listen...full and lasting contentment can ONLY be found in CHRIST. you may think having a lot of money makes you pretty happy. feel that tiny empty space in your heart and gut? that's where Jesus should be and only he can fill it. not money, not a big house, not the hottest boyfriend, not your family. only God.


jrw


 

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