finding joy in florida

lindsey often gets up at five in the morning to write. i'm not ready to enter that world, but i admire what she does, and being here with her is a reminder that i want to blog more. but, what just sent me into writing mode this morning, however, was lindsey's tip on lauren nicole love's blog. and then i read some of the 50-60 comments under the blog and thought, yes, that's what i want to do. that's how i want to inspire, love, and challenge others. so here i am again, writing.

it's 9.09 a.m, and i slept for 8.5 hours, but i'm still exhausted. i'm pretty sure i've had a headache everyday for the past month or so--could i have a brain tumor??--and i cry daily, sometimes more than others. i'm exhausted, exhausted in the sense that walking downstairs to get my Bible right now seems like way too much effort [sigh].

i arrived at lindsey's on sunday night after weeping at the charlotte airport when i said goodbye to suppe, ready to rest and relax and be. i may not have been working at any specific job since 14 december 2011, but waiting on my visa to be approved so that i can go home to stockholm and living out of a suitcase for an unlimited time is perhaps the most difficult and exhausting job i've ever had.

it's 26 C (80 F) and sunny here in vero beach, florida, and the sun's predicted to shine it's warmth on us all week. for a girl who's been living through sweden's dark, harsh, seemingly never-ending winters for the past 6.5 years, this kind of weather is an amazing blessing.
so of course i have to take advantage of it. i didn't waste any time getting myself down to the beach yesterday (okay, actually i did. i can find more small, meaningless things to do to occupy my time than anyone i know...). i determined, however, that my stark-white viking skin should not be in the close-to-the-equator florida sun for longer than two hours, so no worries; time was on my side (yes, i just caught the irony of that statement, too).

i wanted to kick myself in the arse, though, when i arrived at the beach and took in its glorious, breathtaking beauty. i quickly found a spot in the sand, plopped my things down near an elderly woman who was reading and who would surely keep hoodlums away from my precious possessions, and started walking along the expansive coastline. wow! maybe this was God's idea after all that i not go immediately back to stockholm with suppe. maybe this little holiday is what i needed after all...or maybe not.

i found myself singing david crowder's "o praise Him" as i splashed along the water's edge, but i started crying 27 seconds later because that song was the exit song at our wedding and because i now love my husband and praise God for him even more than i did on that day. my heart broke...again. how can i just be God? how can i enjoy this perfect weather in this place you've painted so beautifully for me when my heart is breaking? how can i be here? sure i love the sunshine and warmth (lagom mycket), but it's suppe who'd prefer to live in the tropics, not me, and he's stuck in below-freezing temperatures with snow on the ground that won't disappear until march and a greater percentage of darkness per day than light. why? why am i alone right now? why won't immigration let me back in the country yet? how hard can it be to approve my papers?? why am i here right now? WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY?

God, i'm sorry. i don't want to complain. You are so good to me. You are here. You are faithful. You never leave me. You love me unconditionally. You are good...ALL the time. You have been in my past, are here in my present, and know what the future holds. You give me strength and joy and faith. You provide for me in incredible ways. so why do i feel like i do? why do cry so much? and why do i feel guilty for crying and feeling the way i do? is it wrong to feel like i do when i know how good you are to me? is it?

and when i pause from that line of thinking for a second, i see a little stone that's been tossed to and fro by the waves over time and think of my mom. she loves those stones, and we used to collect them together. we even walked on this same beach together when we visited lindsey a few years ago. so i start crying again...of course.

our relationship has been so broken for so many years, filled with much love but also with a lot of bitterness, anger, confusion, and misplaced blame. God's been working out things and answering prayers there in beautiful ways over the past year, in great part through suppe, but it was just last week when we crossed a major hurdle of misunderstanding and allowed the broken wounds to start healing. i even started seeing a new and beautiful side of my mom that i've longed to see for so long. amazing...

so, as i found more and more of these little stones, i cried harder. God, why has it taken so long for us to get to this point, and why now? why is all this happening when i live on the other side of the atlantic and when my mom is suffering from a fatal skin disease and other major medical issues? i screamed out in my heart. i wept. i was angry. satan, bloody bastard satan has robbed us of so much, and i hate him. and at that moment i wanted my mom to be there with me. i wanted to hold her and to tell her how sorry i am that we've missed out on so much beauty together, and i wanted to pray God's incredible healing powers over her broken body and spirit. He can heal her and free her from all the pain and sickness. i know He can. all he needs to do is speak the words. so why don't you God? why don't you heal her? what if we don't have so much more time together, good time together, before she dies? please heal her...

but who am i? who am i to question God and His ways? He created the world and controls the future and knows each hair on our heads and how many breaths we're going to breathe. He gives us mercy and grace and forgiveness everyday that we don't deserve, so who am i to question Him when He has been so incredibly faithful to me?  those questions, of course, led me to think about job (not a thing you to do make money; i'm talking about the man here) and his stupid, well-meaning friends...

and then i thought about the paralytic whom Jesus heals but first asks, "do you want to be healed?". i once thought it was a stupid question, but it's not. Jesus asked it, so it must be smart. sometimes we're so sickly content with the normalcy of our circumstances that anything else, change for the better even, is too difficult and painful for us. now, i'm not saying that that's the case for my mom or me or anyone in particular...but it might be.

so that's where i am...sitting in the florida sun with my thoughts spinning, mind racing, and emotions riding the rollercoaster SCREAM! in stockholm. i'm filled with questions, but, honestly, i know that Jesus is the answer to all of them...if i'll let Him be. cliche, yes, but it's true, and i know that. and when i truly let the truth of who God is, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, sink into and still my heart and fill it with holy love, i find that His everlasting peace was there all along. i just covered it up with a bunch of worldly worries. i'll probably do it again tomorrow, too. but as long as i come back to His truth, it's okay. because it's there that others can see His glory in me. it's there, in that state of trustful resting, that he is free to do His mighty work in and through me. and it's there that i believe i just found a little joy hiding as well :). God is good...ALL the time.


  1. Hej Jordana...just a note to say that I read this and from it want you to know that there are more people praying for your situations, of course we will never understand the way in which God chooses to intervene, but his GRACE is enough, renewed daily and without it we would be even more of a nothingness.

    Just stay as strong as you can, crying can help in that process and I promise one day you will look back at this time as a tough but important time where you learnt some important lessons and also what life is like when your newly found love is not there next to you...and probably that it was not that long...see you very soon...

    1. thank you so much for your words of encouragement and hope and of God's faithfulness! they mean so much to me!

      now, how soon is soon? we're both home now, so when are you, annika, and ben having us over :D?

  2. Jordana, My heart broke as I read this; so hard to know how much you are dealing with right now. Can't stand for my baby to cry!!!!!!! Your words were so very beautiful, as they always are when you speak from your heart. How I wish I was with you to walk along the beach and pick up stones together like we did when you were small. I loved holding that little sandy hand and hear you say, "here mommy, look at this one".
    We have been through a lot together and God is doing amazing things in our relationship. Prayers are being answered! And the scripture says "he will restore the years the locust have eaten" (Joel 2:25) I'm claiming that promise for both of us right now. I am so proud of who you are, Jordana, in spite of me. God is good. I love you will all my heart, Mom

    1. AMEN! AMEN! and AMEN! praising God for what He's doing in and through you and claiming this Word with you!! love you so much!