Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We made it!
Today's the big day!!!


Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Today, March 18, 2009 is a major day in our household. Our son Jordan turned 18 years old today. All of heaven is rejoicing that this day has come! I have often said, if I could just make it with Jordan until he is 18, I will have accomplished a great thing as his mother. Simply raising him to this point, alive and all in one piece is cause for major celebration! If you are reading this and you have never met Jordan, you have NO IDEA. But if you know him, you realize what I'm talking about.

Jordan has been a handful ever since the day he was born. When he was just a little guy I took him to the doctors and said, "Something is very wrong with this child. He jumps off of everything!" In fact when he was just 10 months old we would hear a bang or a splat in the middle of the night and come into his room. He would stand up on the bars of his crib and leap off into the dark, unafraid. We used to have to tie his legs down with long tube socks on his high chair even in public, because if we didn't he would injure himself terribly. It must have looked like we were abusive parents, tying our child down while he squirmed, but if we did not, he would seriously be injured. He hardly slept and I was absolutely run ragged.

I said, "Do you think he needs medication?"
The doctor tested him and said, "No, I do not think he needs medication."
I said, "Fine then. Please give ME the medication." (GRIN)

When Jordan was still in diapers, at about 2 years of age, we were at a church prayer meeting one night. Laura and Kelly who were young teens in the church wanted to watch him there under my supervision which I allowed. Afterwards we went to McDonalds where the adults drank coffee and talked and Jordan and his brother went into the playground with the two girls who kept an eye on them. Afterwards the girls asked me if they could take the boys and put them in their car seats in preparation to go home. Since it was only a few feet or so out the door I said it was fine. But a moment later, Laura came rushing in and crying saying that she had no idea what happened but Jordan had "escaped". What actually took place was that when they walked out the door she let go of his hand for a second. That's all it takes with Jordan...a second. We raced outside yelling his name, running between cars, shouting, looking under cars, going towards the road. We couldn't find him anywhere. Finally after about five minutes which seemed like an eternity, we heard a sweet tiny voice call out, "Momma, I'm up here!" Gazing up, we saw that Jordan was on the roof of the McDonalds! Yes, I. AM. SERIOUS.

How in the world had this happened? Well, there was a ladder along the side of the building leading up to the roof. It was unlocked. Jordan had noticed it and when Laura let go of his hand he ran and shimmied up the ladder so fast, by the time she looked around he was evidently already up where she never thought to look! Amazing. To make a very long story short, my husband climbed up the ladder to get him off of the roof, while I was imploring him to please stand still and not jump. (He would have -- he has no fear.)

Life with Jordan for 18 years has been an extreme adventure. When he was a youngster, babysitters quit on us left and right. Most couldn't handle him. One time I came home from a date with my husband when Jordan was just a pre-schooler, the babysitter exasperated and upset said, "Jordan jumped out the window!"
I matter of factly said, "okay, how many times?"

The sitter incredulously said, "HOW MANY TIMES?"

I said, "well just once would be an improvement, so I was just curious."

Another sitter bit the dust.

Jordan picks up cottonmouths and water moccasins without any fear (and kills them so they won't be a danger to others). He climbs walls where there is nothing to hold onto, can still run faster than any kid I know and whip up an entire dinner in under an hour and have a tremendous buffet spread on the table.

These are just a few things he can do ~ there is so much more it would take me hours to tell you.

What is my point today? Aside from the fact that I'm just happy it's my son's birthday I want to encourage you that God is faithful. Some of you are younger mothers and you are frustrated with little children who are exhausting and you wonder if you are really going to survive motherhood and be alright. I am here to tell you that you can not only survive, you can thrive. Prayer is the main thing that has helped me through with the challenges of Jordan. I have had to pray over him constantly and I often boast to him that he is responsible for increasing my prayer life like nothing else!

There were many days I was fearful that I didn't have what it took to be Jordan's mother. I would question, "Lord, did you really think I was up to this task?" I feared so many times that he would hurt himself in some serious way or maybe even die. I feared that he would be in juvenile hall. When he was a youngster in elementary school and was disciplined 17 times in one day, I had visions of him being in a penitentiary. How crazy! I'm glad to say, I finally learned to turn those cares over to the Lord and received His peace.

 I had to keep committing Jordan to him and believing God's best for him even when it seemed things got crazier and the nursery director at church ran to the sanctuary and found me because Jordan had escaped from the nursery and run out toward a four lane highway, or years later when his principal in middle school called because he had taken over the leadership of the school cafeteria. He commanded all the student's attention by standing on top of a table and singing a song for everyone and performed his own little show. (Part of the issue is, he is truly funny so many times this just eggs him on more when people laugh at his antics.)

A few years ago while in high school I got a notice that Jordan had been suspended. I was heartsick. Larry and I were just devastated. The teacher had passed out a test in science. It was a scantron with "A,B,C,D" answers. Jordan was in the front row and got his test first and before the teacher had even finished passing them out, Jordan shouted,"OH MY WORD! THE ANSWERS ARE ALL B!!! Just check B, everybody!"

Right then, the teacher collected all the tests, and told the class it would not count for any of them but Jordan would receive an F. The teacher then told us the truth that indeed, she had made the test so that every single answer was "B"! This made the test totally obsolete when Jordan shouted what he did. Jordan was so smart he realized that every answer was B, but he couldn't keep his mouth shut and impulsively shouted it out.

I said, "Jordan you would have gotten an A if you just would have kept quiet."
He said, "I know Mom but what teacher goes and makes all the answers B? That was so dumb. I just couldn't believe it so I yelled!"

[Sigh] "It might never get better..." I would think.

Sometimes I was so exhausted and anxious in these last 18 years, but then God's Word would counteract that and say to me: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Jordan is eighteen, and healthy and well. He's still a ball of energy. We still have our challenges at times, but I celebrate every victory large and small. Today is a great one. Most notable ~

He loves the Lord.

He uses his talents for him.

He still loves his father and I deeply even though it seems like all we did for YEARS was discipline him.

He is a hard working young man who is loved and respected by everyone at his job.

And so much more!

Mom, are you tired? "Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28 & 29:

You can make it! God is with you! He will sustain you and He will help you to raise Godly children even when it feels like everything is going wrong on some days and you think you can't make it, DON'T LOOK AROUND, LOOK UP! THE LORD IS WITH YOU!!! He will sustain you and He will help you to raise your child in the "fear and admonition of the Lord" as the Bible says.

p.s. We're having a birthday celebration for Jordan tonight after the service in Oasis. If you are in Tampa, you are all invited to stop by and share in our joy that he has reached this milestone.

p.s.s. please keep praying for Jordan, and for us! He might be 18 but we could still all use the prayers as he continues to navigate the waters of young adulthood. Thank you!

5 comments:

Pastor Lisa said...

Happy Birthday Jordan! And congratulations Larry and PD for surviving and thriving! I will never forget the McDonald's story! Enjoy the day!

Michele said...

My prayer is Marcus turns out as well as Jordan- thank you so much for your encouraging words- Jordan is a great kid- I mean adult
He has a special place in my heart
Love Coach

Tami said...

THANK YOU for sharing this :-) I have a 12 year old Jordan in my life - and this gives me HOPE :-)
Thanks and Happy Birthday Jordan! May God bless you in all you do!

DaNella Auten said...

Happy Birthday Jordan! and Congratulations to you for surviving.

Melissa said...

First I have read this I am ashamed to say. But reading it reminds me SO SO SO much of my Kristofer! He couldn't walk but he could climb and climb he would. I don't know how many times our older son Jaron would come in at the age of 3 and say "Mommy Kris is on top of the table or the entertainment center" or somewhere else that we would shake our heads and wonder "How" We haven't had the Mc Donalds experience but I have had the where did he go issue way too many times...at SeaWorld and at Busch Gardens. Which is way too scary! It's nice to know your son made it, gives me hope that ours will live through this too! Love ya and Happy Belated Birthday Jordan!