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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 312 - And There Is Joy {FMF}

The other night was not pleasant, and I said to Barbara, "I really would prefer not to die."

She replied, "Do you really want to keep suffering?"

Hers was not a rhetorical question. If faces a deep truth. (There's the FMF word, Yay!)

There's enough Scriptural counsel to embrace suffering, to take up one's Cross, and to count it all joy (in your face, Joel Osteen!), but you do get the feeling, that, well, gosh...maybe enough's enough?

Maybe it's OK to be tired of the whole thing, the pain and the unsteadiness and the fatigue and the ever-present need for cleaning supplies and fresh laundry.

Maybe it's OK for a loving caregiver to long for the end of witnessed agony, and I'm using that term deliberately...because a lot of this is agony. I've known lacerations and impalement and burns and broken bones and serious acute illness, and I know that this is far, far worse.

But on the other hand...

There is joy here, like stars winking on as clouds move across a dark and stormy sky. And the strange and unexpected thing is that the joy does not come from a temporary diminution of pain...the pain's a necessary foil, the shadow that defines the light.

For example, I exercise. Every guide to cancer I have ever read says, Exercise to the best of your ability...it'll help you fight the disease.

So I do. Not much, a pathetic shadow of what I once could do, and I lie on the ground crying after every 'workout'...but there is joy there, in knowing that I made it through one more session. There is that small accomplishment. It's a routine that an unfit twelve-year-old would disdain, but it's mine.

And I do it.

And I write. Today I am writing ahead for Five Minute Friday, because it is not certain that I will be able to respond to the keyword when it's revealed, and it IS certain that my response, if it comes, will not be timely. (The word is Truth. It's in here somewhere.)

No matter. One does what one can, and when this post is done...hours from now...it will be done. I will trace the spasms of pain in the lines I write, and see small triumph there...that moment, that flow of words was when I overcame this.

Shadow defining light.

And why bother with this temporal light? Why not just go to the Light?

Because this is something worth sharing. By having my future curtailed I have learned to value and treasure every minute...not for what I can do, but for its own sake.

Because of the coming separation - temporary - from those I love, I have learned to love with a full heart, overlooking the things that give normal life so much friction.

And because I have been asked why I trust a God that has allowed this crucible of pain and despair, I've been forced to examine my faith, and in the flames it has been tempered, and has come out hard and sharp and true.

They say God's Word never returns void.

Neither do our words, if we care - and dare - to submit them to His Will.

One day we will live in the Light; its joy and grace will need no shadows for definition, and we will drink it, breathe it, live it.

But for now, the Light of God's Will working in us is defined by the shadows of hurt, so that those around us can see His Glory.

The musical theme is courtesy Carly Simon...yeah, you guessed it. Let The River Run. Enjoy!


Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







38 comments:

  1. You write beauty as well as truth, my friend. I've been studying Psalm 91 lately, and working through what it really means--because I'm pretty sure that it's a great promise--but not a promise to protect us as Christians from all harm.

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    1. Thank you so much, Anita...and Ps. 91 is one of my go-to psalms.

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  2. Andrew, your words bring tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. They speak to such deep places. As I've said dozens of times before after reading one of your posts, your perspective broadens and deepens my own.

    I loved what you said here: "the Light of God's Will working in us is defined by the shadows of hurt, so that those around us can see His Glory."

    May I not be afraid of the shadows of hurt, knowing that the Light of God's Will can reveal His glory.

    Thank you for the reminder that even acknowledging the small things we can do is healthy. A triumph. Your faith and growing understanding of walking with God in the midst of suffering is inspiring.

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    1. Jeanne, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this comment...the kindness and love and grace are so important to me.

      Too ill to reply at length, but we do thank you for your continued prayers.

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  3. Andrew,
    Oh man. I told you two that your real life is ten times better than reading Nicholas Sparks and this one? Almost weeping at your love for each other!

    "Because of the coming separation - temporary - from those I love, I have learned to love with a full heart, overlooking the things that give normal life so much friction."
    This was so beautiful and yet so hard to accept. The pain from the separation always feels permanent. But the pain of watching suffering seems worse somehow.
    You have learned the truth and the truth has set you free, dear Andrew. You have learned what is worth fighting for and what isn't worth the fight.

    I am so grateful you are continuing to be allowed to share the glory of God and the wisdom He has bestowed upon you.
    You are a broken, shaken, radiant glow-stick!! Until they are broken and shaken, they are stiff and unyielding and have no visible light.
    Bless you Andrew, for continuing to remind us that our "light and momentary troubles" are temporary.

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18
    "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

    Love,
    Tammy

    PS What do you get when you cross a dog with a delicious fattening cake?
    A pound dog.
    Arf, arf, arf.

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    1. Tammy, thank you so much for this. Right now I'm in pretty terrible shape and can't reply at length, but you're so right...it IS harder to watch suffering, and separation can seem so very permanent.

      The Corinthians passage is perfect. Thak you for that!

      And I love the dog joke!

      Love back, from all of us.

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  4. Thank you for sharing truth in this post tonight. You did not have to worry if you could tie in the word truth. The whole post shouted truth to me. Yes, I need to do a better job of submitting my words to His will. Thank you for this encouragement.

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    1. Mom to 3, thank you so much for this affirmation. It means a lot to me, more than you may know.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  5. keep doing what you can Andrew. :)

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    1. Annette, I will. It's getting hard, but the best sculpture is made from the hardest rock, right?

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  6. good words today andrew! blessings as you eke out joy from each day.

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  7. New song to me! I'm glad you pop in the #1 spot weekly. It means you have more words for us to read! I hope your exercise goes well today and you see some stars this morning or tonight. Jennifer K Cook

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    1. Jennifer, I'm so glad you liked the song!

      And thank you so very much for this kind and grace-filled comment, and for your presence here.

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  8. There really is so much beauty here on this Earth, isn't there? Hard to imagine anything topping it.... This stood out to me: "Because this is something worth sharing. By having my future curtailed I have learned to value and treasure every minute...not for what I can do, but for its own sake." There is so much worth sharing. Love to you!

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    1. Annie, thank you so much for this.

      Love back, from all of us.

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  9. I grew up with Carly Simon. I'm growing up with you. xo

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    1. Susan, it's fun to be growing up together!

      XOXOXOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  10. Andrew, love and light to you friend. I'm always glad to come by and read about you and your brightness. Keep on. Wrapping you in hugs. #fmf

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    1. Carolina, thank you so much, and I really appreciate - and need - the hugs!

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  11. That part about the shadows of hurt being needed to define God's brightness and glory here on earth ... but in heaven we won't need that kind of contrast ... that is so moving. Beautiful. Thank you, Andrew.

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    1. Jeannie, thank you so much...I truly appreciate your presence here, and this gracious and affirming comment.

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  12. You are an amazing inspiration to everyone who reads your posts!

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    1. Jan, I have no words other than a most sincere and heartfelt Thank You!

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  13. This is such a beautiful and insightful post. I'm so glad you keep writing. And I love how you find light and hope even in the shadows.

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  14. You write honestly. I admire and respect that. And the truth of the whole thing is that whether right or wrong, truth is revealed in you. And when we can't count it joy, joy can invade us anyway cause it is a gift, not of ourselves. My prayers continue for you. I am #38 this week.

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    1. Mary. LOVED the way you put this, that joy can invade us anyway...that' PERFECT!

      And I so appreciate the prayers!

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  15. Could it be I haven't heard this Carly Simon song before?

    ;-}

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    1. Linda, I'm so honoured to introduce you!

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  16. Brilliant "truth" and you are a brave soul for sharing every raw thing.
    May God blessing you in your suffering.

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    1. Maxine, thank you, I truly appreciate your affirmation...and your being here.

      Blessings back!

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  17. I haven't blogged myself in a couple months (family burdens and such), but I've continued to keep up with my favorite blogs - one of which is yours... probably my most favorite. Because I see so much of what I'm dealing with as caregiver for my husband Jerry (regardless that he's in a nursing home) in your and Barbara's life. It hurts my heart that you are suffering so, but I know it's God who gives you this strength to write, to be a testimony to those who visit these pages... and maybe it will be a few words you've shared that will bring someone to a saving grace in Jesus! You and Barbara (and doggies) continue to be our prayers. God is helping you keep that sword you carry held high... and in your words I see the joy of truth in every post you type. Blessings to you, my Christian brother!

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    1. Diana, you've been in my prayers, and still are. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts, and thank you again for your lovely, affirming word.

      Blessings back!

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  18. Thank you for sharing. I lost my mom to cancer almost two years ago now and the end of suffering was definitely relief, but the separation is still difficult. You've captured it well, my friend. I wish you comfort and joy today and always. Stopping by from FMF. So glad you visited my blog.

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    1. Oh, Sue, I am so sorry for your loss! There are no words, but may I send a virtual hug?

      I'm so honoured by your presence here.

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  19. "Shadow defining light" - stunning description and so moving, Andrew!!

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