Crossing Jordan

A friend of mine introduced me to Ginny Owens’ music many years ago. Owens is a popular Christian artist based in Nashville whose music has a way of gently massaging away your hurt and softening your heart so that you’re able to pick up the pieces of your shattered world and accept your new normal.

I was reminded of Ginny’s lyrics today as I visited my doctor’s office and saw some patients who were living through some very dark times — times that I lived through, struggled through, and made it through. Something inside me beckoned me to offer encouragement and hope that their lives would get better in time. The worst possible outcome would be rejection, but I was willing to risk it as Ginny’s lyrics echoed in my head and tugged at my heart and compelled me to testify.

And when I cross over Jordan, I’m gonna scream. I’m gonna shout! -Ginny Owens

My dark days were filled with excruciating pain, weight loss, loss of friends, and isolation. Surgery, grief, a new normal, questions, judgement, and depression also visited on those dark days. The only silver lining in it all was waking up each day to endure the pain again — knowing that one day, I would praise God for clearing a pathway for me, and he certainly did.

I remember calling my favorite teacher the day she took her last breath and succumbed to lung cancer. It was the most difficult call I’ve ever made. Saying good-bye and saying I love you. I remember Lee saying, If he did it for me, he’ll surely do it for you. She knew I had struggled for years with Crohn’s Disease, but she had also seen me achieve great things despite the struggle. She knew her time here was short, but in that moment, she encouraged me, and I’ll never forget it.

When given the opportunity to break the awkward silence in my doctor’s office today, I ministered to a young woman adjusting to her new normal. She was experiencing what I described earlier as dark days. My message was simple: It gets better. Just stay the course and pray. If you can’t do it, I’ll pray for you. I don’t know whether she was a believer or not, but she heard me. I’m a living testimony that we all have to go through the valley, but we don’t have to take up residency there. One day you will cross over Jordan — be healed from anything that afflicts you, break free from the shackles of depression and anxiety, find purpose in the ruins you once called the perfect life, and live. You must live. As long as there is air in your lungs and strength in your limbs, give thanks for that. As long as your mind is sound and you are free to live your life as you choose, give thanks for that. As long as your heart is beating, ask God to transform it. Before long, you won’t even recognize the person you’ve become. God never promised that all your days would be good ones and that people would treat you right, but he promised never to leave you. He even goes before you in all that you do.

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~Proverbs 18:24

I take comfort in knowing that when I am in the valley, I’m not alone.  I also know that I am not the greatest sufferer. If you’re having a Woe Is Me Day, visit a nursing home or hospital. Volunteer at a burn center or a homeless shelter. Sometimes seeing the fragility of life first hand can help you put things in perspective. Praise God for cleaning house, removing doubt, replacing it with hope, and ridding your life of toxic people. As you cross Jordan, all you’ll need is your number one Companion.

Note  – Response to The Daily Post’s One-Word Prompt — Companion

10 Thoughts

  1. Weeping as I read… Remembering the pain and the loneliness of the long past, the more recent past and sorrow earlier today. Every time I walk outside and see the broken, discarded people, I thank God I could be there but for Jesus. Don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it all – yet, but I know I’ll walk through the valley, and some day I’m gonna scream. I’m gonna shout That song gets me every time! Great post, Sis.

    1. Sis, I get it. This post isn’t going to resonate with everyone, but the Spirit led me to pen it. People are hurting everywhere — struggling to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. We must pray for each other and praise God for waking us up each day to be his hands and feet. I’m so glad he connected us, my friend.

      1. I don’t say it enough, but I’ll say it now, I thank God for the community we share. Iron sharpening iron and gentle hands washing one another. So much so it hurts to experience pain reading and getting to know each other better – oh, but then comes the glory! Be blessed and keep praying it forward, My sweet Sister.

  2. Oh Michelle I’m sorry to hear of your pain. My co-worker’s daughter has Crohn’s Disease and it’s been a long struggle for her too. I have suffered from migraines for 35 years and I used to spend days in the dark in my bed, getting sick and just wishing the pain would go away!! Now that I am going thru menopause they have been so much better, I used to get them every other week now I can go several months without one and I am ever so grateful! I think reaching out to that patient was such a beautiful thing to do and I know it will stay with them…I’m glad you did it and I bet you are too! I wish continued relief and improved health!! xo

    1. Deb, I’m happy to hear your praise report. I know people who suffer from migraines. I can’t imagine that pain. I don’t have pain anymore…just discomfort. Like you, 30 plus years is a long time, but you adjust. Thanks for reading, my friend…continued good health.

      1. Thank you! I’m happy to hear that your pain has subsided to discomfort, perhaps one day discomfort will subside to just a slight annoyance. Reading your posts is always my pleasure! 🙂

  3. I have no words to explain how much this post touched me, Pamela. Ministering to that young lady was just the right thing to do and you are such an encourager. I am sorry about your struggle and I know that all things work together for our good. Blessed be

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline. Sometimes people just don’t seem to have any hope.As believers (and just human beings), we need to stop what we’re doing to offer something. 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I’m so glad it touched you.

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