How to Keep Smiling

I like people. I smile. I laugh at corny jokes. I watch too much ESPN. I enjoy my job. I’m hopeful and optimistic. I appreciate the present. If becoming a psychologist has taught me anything, it’s the importance of knowing one’s self. And I know myself pretty well. This is me.

Well, this was me before cancer entered our lives. And to be honest, this is still me despite the past three months. Even after being told that my wife of four years wasn’t going to see our son go to Kindergarten, that we would never celebrate our 10th anniversary, and that I would ultimately be a widower, not much had changed in who I am as a person. I still like people. I still smile. I still laugh at corny jokes. I still watch too much ESPN, am committed to my job, am hopeful for the future, and appreciate the present. I’ve kept on moving, not missing a beat.

It wasn’t until recently that I figured out how I have been managing to keep on smiling.

This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you about peace, acceptance, or some other self-actualized characteristic. I’m supposed to tell you about how I’ve found peace in having the next five years with my wife and have decided to cherish those moments. Or how I believe God will heal her eventually, either on earth or through death. But, those would be lies. Had you asked me though I probably would have given you one of those answers. The truth is simple though.

I gave up on my wife.

I began imagining her funeral, readying myself to become a single parent, and envisioning a future alone. I found my peace in surrendering to cancer and I had begun the grieving process. I was confusing acceptance with resignation.

We had conversation after conversation that all ended the same way, with Sarah dejectedly saying, “You just don’t get it, Jordan.” She was right. I didn’t understand it and the only thing I was getting, was angry! I was doing everything right! I was being a supportive partner– I told her that I would fully support whatever treatment she selected. I never pressured her. I was comforting and sympathetic. I was fully prepared to accompany her through the final five years of her life as a committed and loving husband. I even started a blog!

But, I wasn’t getting it.

You see, from the beginning of our journey God has been intimate with Sarah, telling her that He’s “got it,” and the Holy Spirit has given her a supernatural peace. Sarah was trying to help me see God’s power, hear His promises, and accept His healing. But I was too busy waving the white flag of surrender to realize it.

Luckily for me, I am married to a woman with a warrior’s spirit and serve a God that has never broken a promise.

When I last wrote, back on January 29th, Sarah was beginning radiation treatments. After receiving three of the 30 prescribed radiation treatments, she discontinued all medical treatment on February 3rd, 2015.

Sarah and I recorded a little video where we discuss the decision to end treatment and are excited to share it with you all soon!

Also, Sarah has been recording her insights and revelations over the course of this journey and uploading them to Youtube. You can check them out here:

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