Until We Meet Again…

Hey Everyone,
Just thought I would post one last update and let you know what’s been going on since I left. Well, I arrived just before 7:00 pm on Saturday night. I remember being in the hospital with my Mom and Dad and sisters. Mom and Dad were holding my hands. Mom was telling me how much she loved me and that it was ok to go home to Jesus. I had fought hard for nearly two years, my body was broken and I was so tired, I knew He was calling me and it was time to go Home. I can’t say there was a whole lot of fanfare when I arrived and I didn’t really expect any. All I wanted was to go to Him…and as He promised in His Word, He was there. When He greeted me, there was complete joy, peace and love.

It was amazing to come face to face with Him… He reached out His hands to welcome me and just held me. The coolest thing was that I recognized His hands and His embrace…I had felt them so many times in the past two years when He carried me through my toughest experiences. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it was the most pure love I have ever experienced.

Shortly after, He said we needed to go. He let me know what I was about to experience would evoke every emotion I had ever felt and with an intensity that would amaze me. He also assured me that He would not leave me. What was I in for? As we walked, my mind was so pre-occupied with what was going to happen that I nearly forgot where I was…this is Heaven, I needed to look around! As I lifted my eyes I nearly stopped in my tracks…what incredible beauty! I remember writing in my journal, after our Alpine Trip in Grade 10, that the view from the top of Mount Kerr was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen…I thought that God’s creation was amazing from an earthly mountain top, well this took things to the next level…wow!

It didn’t take us long after that to reach our destination, a small, simple, building. We climbed the steps and entered. The only thing in the room was a table and chair with a book lying in the centre of the table. He led me to the chair and asked me to sit. On the table in front of me was my Book of Life. If what I believed to be correct, this book contained everything I had ever said, thought and experienced…ok, this was a little scary, was I prepared to see who I really was? He opened the book for me and I was flooded with emotion as I watched the images flash through my mind.

I smiled and laughed at the fun times spent with friends and family, I was sad as I watched moments where people I loved were hurt or treated badly and I cried with anguish as I saw the sin in my life – times when my words and actions betrayed the love that He has always shown me. The images ended but how could I lift my eyes to meet His…I had fallen so short of deserving to be in Heaven. That is when I again felt His compassionate hand on my shoulder. The words He next spoke to me were the sweetest I have ever heard…”My dearest child, you have believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that you belong to Me. Your sins are no more. You have been redeemed! My Holy Spirit has sealed you for an eternity in My presence.”

As we left that small building, I was again awestruck at the love He demonstrated to me, what incredible grace He extends…the punishment I deserved for my actions…He took it upon Himself on the cross so long ago. We again walked and talked until we arrived at, what I guess is, my place. His promises are faithful; He had prepared a place for me in His Father’s house.

I love Him, and He loves me…He is my Saviour.

After helping me get settled, He suggested we prepare to go to the gathering. When I asked Him what the gathering was, He simply smiled and said, “You’ll see”. Well, how do I describe what took place in those next hours? There is no possible way I can put all of the sights, sounds and details into words but please allow me to tell you what I experienced to the best of my ability.

As we walked toward the gathering I could hear the noise grow, it was not the chaotic noise one might expect when approaching a large event, but rather it was beautiful sounds coming together in harmony. We crested the final slope along our walk and there I saw them…the saints of Heaven. We stopped for just second to let the view all soak in. The mass of people were far too many to count, but there they were, encircled around a sea of glass with a throne in the centre. He nudged me and whispered in my ear, “You now belong with them”.

“Shall we join them?” He asked me as we started to move forward. As we reached the crowd, they shifted to create room for us to pass though their midst. I could hear words and songs of praise to Him, the One that I walked with, as we continued to move forward. We eventually reached the front of the gathering and there it was right before me, the most beautiful scene you could ever imagine, the throne of the Lamb of God surrounded by a sea of glass and the saints of Heaven worshiping Him.

I was hesitant, but He encouraged me to take another step forward and approach His throne. We did. I turned to Him and noticed there was something different about Him now. He was still Him, and yet there was more, he was regal. Suddenly, everything became quiet as we stood in the centre of the gathering. He turned to me and with great care placed a white robe around me and proclaimed with a voice that was quiet and thundering at the same time, “Jordan Lee Zacharias, well done good and faithful servant of the Living God. You suffered much in your life but not once did you deny me or cast me aside. Today you will receive the crown of life”. With that He placed the most intricate and jeweled crown that you could imagine on my head. Words cannot describe the majesty of that moment. He led me back to where the people were gathered and then returned to His throne.

As he sat on His throne, the entire gathering fell to their knees in worship of Him and the most beautiful music and songs where lifted up to Him. It was all I could do to take my eyes off of Him but my curiosity got the best of me. I looked around and saw the saints of Heaven participating in all forms of worship, it was breath taking.

There was something I knew I needed to do, but didn’t know when to do it…do I dare disturb this moment? The desire became too great for me and once again I approached His throne. When I arrived, I could do nothing else but fall to my knees, and in what seemed like the only act of worship I could perform that was deserving of Him, I lay my crown at the feet of Jesus.

I love Him, and He loves me…He is my King.

These gathering happen daily here and each time it as new and exhilarating as it was the time before. I will never get tired of this as more saints are added to the Kingdom daily.

In the days since the gathering He and I have gone for walks, shared meals together and talked about a lot of stuff. He has revealed answers to questions we had about why we faced such a difficult trial and has shown me how intimately present He was with us, even when it felt like we were all alone. I wish I could share and explain everything to you now, but He Himself will reveal some of the answers to you in the days and years to come and other answers will have to wait until you join me. Be assured though, that everything that has happened, and is yet to happen, is according to His perfect will and to fulfill His wonderful purposes.

Being able to spend time with Him each day has been awesome. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being in His presence in this way. Just let me say this, in the past I was so worried about how I came across to others, I too often worked so hard at trying to be who others wanted me to be. I would question myself all the time…Do I fit in? Do I measure up? Do they like me? With Him, there is complete acceptance.

I love Him and He loves me just as I am…He is my Friend.

Before I sign off for the last time I want to let you know about a few others things that have happened since I’ve been here. First off, Grandpa Zak, just need to let you know that God has been so good! Grandma and I live only a few doors down from each other and I have been hanging out lots…but it’s not really like hanging out with a Grandma. Age is a funny thing here; it just doesn’t seem to matter. When Grandma and I are together, it’s more like being with a sister, and well, I guess that’s what we are, sisters in Christ. We’ve played a whole bunch of Scrabble, and she even lets me win once in a while.

Oh, and since I’ve been here, I haven’t coughed once! I have this great new body. This one works perfectly, obviously no more cancer; I can walk, run, bend and jump. My flexibility has never been so good…and Sam, Ash and Jess, sorry to tell you but I win our little contest for being the first one with 6-pack abs.

You’ll never guess what’s across the street from where I’m living…yes, that’s right, a big gym with a perfectly polished hardwood floor and a beautiful volleyball court right in the middle of it. The first time I went in to have a look there were a few others already there just playing a little pepper. I wasn’t sure if I should, but I wanted to feel a volleyball in my hands so bad. I walked onto the court and stood in the position at the net where I’ve been so many times before. I asked one of the guys there if he wouldn’t mind tossing me a ball the same way Sam used to pass to me…about a meter outside of the attack line…make me run for it just the way she did so often (just joking Sam). Anyway, he gave me a toss and I set the ball just the way I used to, it felt so good. I could even imagine Sam floating through the air and just crushing one down the line…it was so cool!

Finally…to Mom, Dad, Sam, Ash and Jess, to my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, to Roger, Mr. Hinz and all of the people who I have been blessed to call teammates and classmates, I want to leave you one last thing…

I remember that at the time that I first got sick and was diagnosed with cancer, our club volleyball team was doing a book study at our weekly devotions. The book was full of inspiring stories and quotes from all kinds of people from the world of sport. I underlined and highlighted all kinds of things in that book and many of the lessons learned I took with me into my battle with cancer. One of my favorite stories was that of Woohitike (Bravery). As the story was told,

Woohitike, or bravery, is one of the central virtues of the Lakota Sioux. They believe we all have it within us to be brave, that each of us can defend the camp when necessary. Life will give us the opportunity, issuing the invitation to the contest, and as time goes on, we will be shaped and strengthened by our challenges. Whether we can win each time or not, we will be tempered by adversity.

The ancient Lakota hunter warriors handcrafted their own bows from seasoned ash wood. There were two ways to acquire the proper wood. The conventional way was to find a young ash tree, harvest it, and let it dry for at least five years. But hunter warriors were always on the lookout for a mature ash tree that had been struck by lightning. Such a tree had been dried and cured in an instant by the awesome power of the lightning, and any bows made from it would be much stronger. Such trees were rare, but they were preferred because they had suffered the ultimate adversity, and ultimate adversity produces the ultimate strength.

I used to think that this story was for me, to give me strength, but He has shown me that this story was for each of you. Thanks for walking with me each step of the way, the adversity we all faced has produced a tremendous strength in each of you…use it for His glory.

Until we meet again,
Jordan

On Thursday, December 8th at 2:30 pm we will be celebrating my life at a funeral service at Salem Church in Waldheim.

We would love for you to join our family at this time. If you are unable to attend in person, but would still like to a part of the celebration there will be a live web-cast. Follow the instructions below:

1. Go to http://www.ustream.tv (changed from .uk to .tv)
2. In the box that says “search for users and events” enter ‘Jordan Zacharias Funeral’ and hit enter key.
3. A small box appears that says USTREAM, under it it should says Jordan Zacharias Funeral Warman High – (host site)
4. Click on the USTREAM box.

My last blog post will be tomorrow shortly after the celebration is over. Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.

I’m Home!

Jordan Lee Zacharias, now residing in Paradise with her Saviour.
July 21, 1994 – December 3, 2011

Results?

Well, the results came back today, if you can call it that… the biopsy showed nothing, which means that they missed the lesions and just got the healthy parts of the liver. So we are back to where we started – confounding the doctors again. So today we saw the doctors and they would like to do a lung biopsy but that is a bit more risky than the liver biopsy so they are trying to see if the adult respirologist will be willing to do it and if it will be accessible.
Then the I.D. (infectious disease) doctor came in and said that the CT looks like a certain kind of fungus but they cannot be certain without a tissue sample. So there are 3 types of anti fungal medications that I could take but without knowing what type of fungus it is, they are not sure which one to prescribe. So right now the plan is to start on the least toxic anti fungal until another tissue sample is taken.
Anyway, I am supposed to be in the hospital until Wednesday and then hopefully back at home. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Update

Hey everyone,
I know it’s been forever since I’ve written and I’m sure lots of you are curious as to what has been going on.

So…back in late July I started to develop a cough. It was super mild and I barely noticed it, but as the months progressed, it kept getting worse and worse. The past couple months have been constant coughing. We obviously went in to get it checked out but of course…as I am such a mystery to every single doctor in this world, they didn’t know the reason for my cough. After trying different medications that didn’t help, I went in for a scope. They took a sample hoping to grow a bacteria, a fungus…something. NOTHING grew! That kind of threw us for a loop. Next step was a CT scan of my chest. Results from that showed that my lungs were full of splotches…or whatever you want to call it. On the CT, they also found something suspicious on my liver…and that meant MORE testing.

That testing started on Wednesday when I was admitted to the hospital. I had an ultrasound done on my liver and then a biopsy. The last time I had a biopsy I was totally put under, so that’s what I expected this time. But oh no…it was just local freezing…not fun. Well when that lovely experience was over, I had to stay in the hospital until yesterday for observation just to make sure there was no internal bleeding. Tomorrow I go back to the hospital and we should find out results. Results will either be, progressed cancer in my lungs or infection. I think it’s obvious which one we want it to be…PLEASE PRAY THAT IT IS INFECTION!!!!

If you could also pray that God will surround me with his love and peace as we hear the results, that would be awesome. My battle with cancer has been going on for a long time and you think it would get easier to trust God and be able to say, “whatever your will is God”…but that’s a battle too. I just want God to give me what I want…and now. That’s not how it works though, and even though it’s a constant struggle to continue to trust in the Lord whole heartedly, these are the moments where he molds me and teaches me.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support 🙂 🙂

Well, today marked the start of another treatment plan. It was our first visit back to the Cancer Clinic in Saskatoon for chemotherapy since spring. Can’t say that we missed being there…but the nurses who work there are awesome. They came to visit right when they saw us come in and do all they can to support us and encourage Jordan.
Jordan is going to be taking four medications in this round of treatments, as recommended by the Burzynski Clinic in Houston. Two of them need to be administered intravenously and thus our trip to the Cancer Clinic today. Our doctor here in Saskatoon has agreed to assist in administering these two medications which is a huge piece in making this work. The other two medications are oral and we will need to get these from the States.
We are still trying to work out the details for getting these last two medications so we would ask that you would pray for a process that would allow us to get these soon.
Above all, we ask that you continue to pray for Jord’s healing. Your prayers, encouragement and support are so appreciated and we thank God for you daily.
Finally, as with all chemotherapy, there are always side affects. We continue to ask God to minimize the impact these will have on Jordan and her being able to tolerate the treatments.

Hey everyone, Derek and Renee here. It has been a long time since the last update on the blog. The last four weeks have been pretty tough on Jordan and on our family as a whole and sometimes it is just easier not drawing extra attention to yourself when things aren’t well. We want to thank everyone again for your prayers and support as we walk this journey. God has been teaching us plenty and we have all been drawn closer to Him as we seek answers and healing for Jordan. And yet, there have also been many times in the past months when it seems that God has been silent, asking us to wait, when we so desperately want to hear from Him. And still, we know He walks with us daily and cares for Jordan in ways we simply cannot. We do all we can to bring comfort to her body while He brings comfort to her soul assuring her that He is bigger than everything she is going through.

Here is a brief run-down of what has been happening in the last month.
Shortly after our trip to Edmonton in mid-August, where Jordan had a PET and CT scan we received verification that the treatment plan Jordan was on was not working. Like each of the other treatments Jordan has taken, things initially looked like she was responding well only to have things regress after a short time. We were not completely shocked with the news but each time the “bad” news becomes official, it takes its toll on each of us.
We met with our doctor here in Saskatoon the following week to discuss the scan results further and see what some next steps may be. She suggested trying the same chemo again as she feels like it’s the best treatment plan that they can offer here. We also had been communicating with the Burzynski Clinic in Houston to get their opinion. The doctors in Houston have given us another treatment option that has just come out of clinical trials in the States with some success. They are recommending two medications, one which is used in Canada for ovarian cancer and one that is not. To make what is becoming a long story short, the doctors here have agreed to administer the one medication which has to be given intravenously (but not cover the costs). The other medication we will have to order from the Burzynski Clinic as before.
We are hoping the get the new treatment plan started soon but another complication has arisen…Jordan has developed pneumonia which has resulted in lots of coughing and nausea. She has been on a couple of types of antibiotics in the last 10 days but they have not had any positive impact so far.
Last night Jordan had a high fever and so we took her in to the hospital this morning and they have prescribed another antibiotic to help her fight the infection.
As we go along Jordan has good days mixed in with days that she finds tougher. She has been to school four out of the first six days and has really enjoyed being with her friends again.
Jordan has experienced constant back and leg pain over the last number of months and it has increased in the past couple of weeks. She is on pain meds all the time which don’t always work but usually take the edge off and allow her to function.
We would ask you to pray that Jord’s pneumonia will clear up and that her pain would diminish. We ask for prayer for her to be healed from this cancer and all of its side effects.
We thank God for you, Jordan’s prayer warriors, and pray that He would bless you.

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