My Christmas Gift from God

Written By Dennis Jordan

Thirty-five years ago today our 6-year-old son, Ryan, lost his three-year battle with leukemia and graduated to heaven.

Ryan Michael JordanOur family was devastated, as only those who’ve experienced the death of a child can completely understand.  The loss of a child is not one you ever get over. Especially during the Christmas season, sadness over his death has been a part of our lives. But this year, God has been replacing sadness in my life with joy and thanksgiving.

Who would think this would have happened in this crazy pandemic year of 2020?

As December 10 has come this crazy year, God has prompted me to not look at the regrets of the things Ryan missed out on by dying, or the things we missed out experiencing with him. Things such as his laughter, mischievousness, graduations, weddings, and grandchildren.

My wife, Debbie, and I went through a huge transition in the fall, downsizing from a three bedroom home into a tiny one bedroom apartment. Reminders of Ryan were in boxes, cabinets and drawers we sorted through, bringing afresh his absence. Yet, the purging of material stuff awakened our grieving hearts to this fact: Ryan lived.

My mourning has turned to dancing….

Ryan's headstone

Instead of bemoaning regrets,  God has encouraged me to be thankful we had Ryan for 6 blessed years.

And That He Lived.

Ryan lived life to its fullness in those 6 years, despite three of them fighting leukemia. At his wake, many reflected that our son lived more fully in those 6 short years than many do with a longer life span.

I cannot imagine never having Ryan!  I am forever thankful Ryan Michael Jordan lived.

So, with whatever time I have left to live, when regrets try to come (and they will), I will take my Christmas 2020 gift from God and rejoice that Ryan lived.

When I see Ryan again, the time we have been apart will be like a minute grain of sand in time compared to the eternity we will have together with Jesus in heaven.

My Christmas gift from God in this crazy pandemic year?

He has, indeed, turned my mourning into dancing!

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!  Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)

Click here to read Debbie’s tribute to Ryan.

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