How do I find the adequate words to describe a person who has interrupted the course of my life? How can I possibly formulate the kind of deep devotion and faithfulness to Jesus and family he has? How will I ever do justice defining the kind of selflessness and loyalty Jordan displays towards people? There are so many words I could combine to help you see this man for who he is, but it would only be a faded sketch. If you want to see a painting, one with colors, quirks and all the beautiful details…you’ll just have to meet him.
Have you ever seen the most breathtaking landscape and quickly reached to pull out your camera to take a picture of it? The second you take the picture, you begin to compare what you are seeing with your eyes, to the image you captured. Sometimes a picture just can’t grasp the wonder. I will do my best to describe the detail and beautiful soul of my husband Jordan Schaefer, but if I’m being honest, you might have to meet him in person to really understand why he is so incredible.
Today is Jordan’s birthday, so I want to share a piece of his life that I have been honored to be a part of. Here is the story of he and I. We both attended college in August of 2011 in a place I like to call the surface of hell (aka) Phoenix, AZ. He ended up moving from Seattle, WA and I randomly decided to move from Fontana, CA to pursue my degree in music. My freshman year of college, I remember seeing Jordan walking around campus. We had plenty of mutual friends, but I never really KNEW him. I had my opinions about who he was and I even remember having crazy thoughts of us being together (extremely weird considering I didn’t even know the guy). I struggled with insecurities that made me feel like he was a nice thought but never an attainable one.
I want to preface that our story has not always been pretty. We both encountered a lot of obstacles that unfortunately shaped many of our life choices. Several months into my freshman year of college, I was sexually assaulted. At 17 years old, my life came to a stop. My teachers and faculty sent me home for several weeks (or what felt like years) to be with my family. I remember feeling so lost, broken and angry. I had worked so hard to save myself for the man I was going to marry, and just like that it was taken from me. My life felt like a domino effect of bad decisions that I couldn’t control and I had lost all faith. Friendships helped me navigate through my identity crisis and some even re-introduced me to the faith I once held very close. All the same, I was confused. I let guy after guy show me an even worse version of love than the last and I truly started to see myself the way they did, which was temporary.
I don’t share much about that chapter of my life, but the reason I’m sharing it today is because I believe there is a God who redeems even the darkest of circumstances in our lives. I believe when we feel overlooked and forgotten, He is in the midst of it weaving together the beautiful future He has planned for our lives. All He asks is that we trust in Him to work all things together for good.
Jordan and I were officially introduced our Junior year of college. We both happened to be fresh out of some rough relationships, so obviously he slid into my DMs. Actually he did message me but it wasn’t to hit on me (yet). Jordan actually messaged me because he knew we had both been going through some challenging times and he had heard an encouraging song he wanted to share with me. He was reaching out because he wanted to be my friend. Let me explain why this was so powerful. Jordan never wanted to take anything from me, he never thought of me as something that would benefit him in anyway. All he wanted was to know me.
Jordan asked me out for coffee to a spot we both favored called LUX in central Phoenix. We proceeded to spend the next 5 nights at LUX staying up until all hours of the morning. What started as a coffee date bonding over music, movies, food, travel and Jesus turned into a deep friendship which grew into a fat crush. I remember the day I worked up the courage to tell Jordan about the assault. I fully expected him to run away (since that had started to be a common theme with my selections of guys). He was unwavering, he loved me the same. He was angry and sad but also hopeful. It was like he mirrored all of the same emotions because he cared so deeply and wanted to protect my heart. He helped me process through it, and still does. Jordan is God’s grace in my life. God knew the pain I carried but He also knew the outcome. One of my favorite scriptures talks about the trials we face in life, but focuses on the goodness of God which we can’t always see in the midst of tough circumstances. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For our lights and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal
Jordan helped me find my identity in Christ and not in guys. He helped me process through so many dark seasons of remembering, yet he was a constant peace through that darkness. I still don’t know why any of that happened, but I know this, God was in the midst of it and he was grieving with me. He was preparing someone so special because He knew I needed someone to pick me up. Because of Jordan, I went on to lead a project with my classmates my senior year of college that focused on prevention of sexual assault on school campuses. I had so many girls messaging me after the presentation and sharing their similar experiences. I was able to encourage them and offer support, which in a way became a huge source of healing in my life. I don’t think I would have been able to emotionally and spiritually get to that point if Jordan and I hadn’t crossed paths.
Don’t get me wrong here, Jordan and I have hurt each other in our relationship. We have said and done things we didn’t mean; our actions towards each other have left us wounded and at times disconnected. What I’ve learned through it all is love has layers. I use to think it was only a crush or infatuation and it is all of those things! Love is also so much more than that. If you were to ask me today if I felt the same way about Jordan as I did when we went on our first date 5 years ago, I would say no. Because the love I have for this man has matured into so much more than any young crush.
I respect Jordan, I honor him, I look up to him (partially because I’m short) but mostly because he inspires the heck outta me. Jordan is the most loyal human who cherishes everyone that walks into his life. He works hard at everything that is set before him and even if he doesn’t do it right the first time, you better believe he will get it right the second time because he doesn’t give up. When I feel alone or walk down paths I haven’t yet come across in life, Jordan holds my hand so tightly. He refuses to do anything but love me and never lets me go to bed with a clouded mind. He seeks truth always and never accepts any idea without first investigating himself. He looks towards Jesus in all things and makes that our foundation for life. After I met Jordan, I remember seeing him every day after that reading the Bible and spending time with God in the corner of our college coffee shop. That man loves Jesus a whole lot.
I wish everyone could meet you Jord. I know every partner says “I can’t believe I get to be with you forever”, but the thing is that it’s so dang true. I get up every morning, drive to work and all I can think is how much I truly love you. For all the stories and reasons listed above and more. I find myself hearing jokes, listening to songs, experiencing new places and the first thing that comes to mind is you. Sometimes you can’t explain the kind of feeling you get when something is so wonderful, you just have to experience it. I’m so blessed that I get to experience this wonderful life next to you Jordan. I made this video to remind you of how loved you are and to thank you for choosing me over the last 5 incredible years. Happy birthday babe.