The Trial is part 2 of a series of 3 blogs on the life and passing of my son Jordan Lewis
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – St. Peter
The three year trial of watching my son battle cancer came to an end on March 20, 2014. But then a new trial began…the trial of grieving and living in deep soul pain, a pain that’s been constant and disruptive.
When something like this happens it’s difficult to concentrate or focus, no way to numb it or make it leave. It’s a dull pain that surfaces in tears, groanings, or even therapeutic crying out. As C.S. Lewis reflected on the death of his wife, “I not only live each day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
Even though I’m moving forward from that phase, I was there and know so many who for a variety of reasons, still are. There’s no quick way out.
The trial is definitely like a “Groundhog Day” where every day starts and feels the same. The only way to get through it is to go through it. Embracing the trial and letting it shape you, gives you the hope that you can become a better person and more useful to the next person who’ll need someone real. There’s nothing like the presence of one who understands.
Embracing the trial allows me to feel the unfairness and brutality of life. Unlike those who believe in “karma,” as Christ followers we believe pain can indeed be unjust, and the very thing that Christ the Innocent One, embraced by bearing the sins of the world.
Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung says, “There is no coming to life without pain.” How true that is… and now that a large part of this trial is behind us, we are giving ourselves permission to embrace new life again.
Coming through this helps me embrace the good … longing for heaven often and regularly; healing up from the raw experience of watching a loved one suffer; experiencing daily laughter from the simplest of things, and celebrating a grandson, Alexander Jordan “Anders”, born to Nathan and Ailsa exactly 9 months to the hour of Jordan’s passing from this life to the next. Yes, signs of life are abounding, yet how does one proceed?
Everyone manages trials best they know how. For me it’s been by pondering, praying, processing and proceeding in life. And to proceed is what we must do, as we go through the trial. As Lewis puts it you gradually feel, “the door is no longer shut and bolted.”
It’s time to breathe new air and connect with God our Father as we’ve never done before. Frankly, God did not answer my prayers the way I had hoped, but neither did He fail me in any way. Grace was extended…love embraced; too much to explain, but true.
On Christmas Day many reached out to me and lovingly said things like, “I know it’s hard on you today.” Truth is that not just Christmas was especially hard. But increasingly now, although the pain is still there, we live in the reality that the trial is over. My son is with the Lord.
My Father is helping me see the treasure more than the trial…
- The many treasures of raising and loving a beautiful son who lived a glorious life.
- The treasure of family who fought hard together and remain loving and gentle with each other.
- The treasure of a daughter in law who’s become like a daughter.
- The treasure of picking up Jordan’s mantle to reach unreached peoples and people groups; the treasure of helping fund projects in the “Stan” nations which are watching thousands of Muslims turn to their Savior, Isa (Jesus).
I love and miss my boy, my son, my friend. I still weep every time I hear the Matt Redman song “10,000 Reasons,” remembering the many times we worshipped together, knowing he now worships by sight, no longer by faith. The trial is subsiding, the treasure is coming. All is good…. not perfect, but good.
Nathan and Christian always looked after Jordan. Johnluke, born after this, did as well.