Also linked to Wedded Wednesdays at Messy Marriage.
As I write this, I do not know how to go on. Pain's reached a level where the day is turning into a series of snapshots, artillery illuminating a dark landscape, occasional words cutting through static on my headset, Flares dropped from a circling helicopter.
Muzzle flashes, and tracer's probing fingers in the night.
I still have the same hopes, the same dreams. I'm not so different from you. I'm not pried completely away from life.
But the defenses are starting to fold, and I have to find a way to shore them up, and keep going. I have not the same strength I had.
I need breathing space, a time to heal, a place to bind wounds and catch breath.
The same dreams are there, and I want to go on. I have to go on. I don't want to lose me.
But I can't stop the pain. In tears - it hurts.
And so, God, you've got to pick me up. You, and the arms and hearts that make up Your body in this world.
You've got to carry me through this dread field of steel rain, to where I can rest in defilade again.
To be the same. To still be me.
Is that too much to ask?
This was not easy. None of it is.
You get life from writing and you do it so well. God hears your heart and knows you so well and I pray this brings you some comfort. Praying right now that you feel some relief and get some sleep.ReplyDelete
Mary, thank you...sleep is unlikely, so I am visiting as many FMF folks as I can, and doing the best I can to let everyone know how important they are...at least to me.Delete
The only way to fight the darkness is with light, I guess. I'm doing my best.
Praying for you right now, my friend.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much...things are not good at present, but the wonderful voices of my FMF friends - and I think I have visited everyone posted to this writing, so far - those voices are both a balm and an encouragement.Delete
How can I leave?
Andrew, I'm sorry. I wish there was a perfect cure to make this season a little easier. Even through your pain, the essence of you comes through loud and clear—choosing life, not giving up. Thank you for sharing right where you are. I know better how to pray. And pray I will, my friend.ReplyDelete
Jeanne, thank you so much, both for the insight and the prayers.Delete
Right now, the only cure I can find is to be here, with the most encouraging voice I can muster, to you and the entire FMF community.
We only find ourselves by letting go of ourselves, I guess.
My God...I love you all, so very much.
Oh friend! Praying for you. Your words always speak volumes about where you are at. I wish I could take the pain away for you. So glad you are still here, but pray that you will find relief too.ReplyDelete
Tara, thank you so much - your kind, loving and gracious presence is always a balm.Delete
There is relief...it's found in community, in the hands and hearts of all, working together to shower Grace on one individual who needs it so.
And as that individual, I am both overwhelmed, and very, very grateful.
It's a privilege, to count you as a friend.
Joining in with all the prayers tonight for you Andrew! Praying in agreement for relief and rest!ReplyDelete
Thank you so very much, Karrilee. Rest may not come any time soon, but relief is found in engagement with this wonderful Christian community.Delete
I am so glad you're here. You've been missed.
Andrew, you write beautifully. I join in with our friends in prayer for you sweet friend.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Mollie. Thank you for the kind words, and the grace of your presence, and the joining of your prayers.Delete
I appreciate - and need - them all. I can't go further on my own. I have to fall back into the arms that have been there all along.
Yours among them, Mollie, and I am so grateful.
as all before me, I'm praying for relief from the pain Andrew. And eventually, you'll be pain free again in glory. Bittersweet for those you love, but amazing for you!ReplyDelete
There are times I do look forward to that, Christy. The past two days have been hell, and I do not know how to keep going.Delete
But I will, God willing.
This was a touching post. I say a prayer for you every time I read your blog. Joining up with the rest of the FMF community in prayer as we speak.ReplyDelete
Samantha, thank you so much. From where I am at this moment, I will be frank. I need the prayers. Things are not good.Delete
Andrew, the second I read your post I dropped my head to my desk and cried out to the God of Creation to come to near to you. To comfort you. To quench the pain from you. To bring healing to your racked body. O God in Jesus Name LET IT BE.ReplyDelete
Susan, thank you - it's needed. Things are kind of bad. Please forgive my brevity. Consciousness is episodic tonight.Delete
I'm in my classroom, unable to post my post to blogger. I know you read my posts when they come, so if the Lord grants it, you'll see my testimony of my husband and I. Today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary on September 11th. When I found him, we were the "same". Nobody ever really "got" me until him. We just became fast friends and there was none of the silly twitterpation. It was deep and real.
Truly, God uses people to show us His character. I have learned much about the love of God through my Dave.
I want to tell you that you also communicate the love of God and His character. His perseverance. That like Job, you cannot understand the "honor" of your suffering, but you were chosen. Like Jesus, you weep and sweat the agony of blood, but for God's glory, you will never curse His name. You may moan, but you do not blaspheme.
Oh dear Andrew, I know God grieves in your pain that you suffer. Not a tear is wasted. Your faithfulness to your commenting back to the FMF community-though typing and sitting is like eating shrapnel-you are the hero. And the medal of honor that is getting polished for you...BLINDING.
You are so dear to us, Andrew. I pray today that you will have merciful peace in your sleep. Do not fear the resting...for it may be that you awake to glory. And what a beautiful dream that will be. :)
Okay, I'm linked up at #53. I had to type it on my phone...so I couldn't post my pictures like I had hoped. Just my words. Praising God for the voice text feature so my thumbs are still functioning. ;)Delete
You are a blessing, Andrew. May you find joy today in a drop of dew on a spider's web...in a grin from a happy dog, in a nuzzle that is loving but gentle from a wet nose...may Barbara feel God's Spirit lifting her today as well.
Only strength to say a little now, Tammy. I am trying to complete replies; won't make it. I am so grateful for the lovely story you posted. It made my heart smileDelete
Always there is joy; pain is a separate issue, It's okay.
There are no words. But I will make an attempt. You can't, but God can. That is why I pray often for you. I believe in miracles and I am asking for an astounding one on your behalf.ReplyDelete
Norma, thank you. I need that miracle now. Today was the nadir. I need help.Delete
Praying for you today, Andrew!ReplyDelete
Rachel, thank you. I need the prayers. Things are bad.Delete
Andrew - you make me look at life and all around me with new eyes and a breaking heart for your pain and for the absolute beauty and hidden joys in this world. I've read your posts many times, but have never commented - sometimes I don't know how to connect the words to express to you very deeply your struggle affects me. I am praying for you - for comfort and strength, and for peace. By Christ's love... Andrew, by his loveReplyDelete
Janet, I am so honoured by what you are saying. Things are bad right now, and I cannot do the justice of a graceful reply, other than to say, thank you. Your presence - in reading, and now in commenting - means more to me than you may realize.Delete
Right now I am trying to type - but you guys are carrying me through to tomorrow. Please, please know this!
Lord God, I am so thankful for my brother Andrew. He is an encouragement, an inspiration, to me and all who read his words. Please, God, strengthen his faith. Remind him today, in a secret and special way, that You are ever-near. Please grant him some measure of peace and comfort. I and so many others stand with him in this valley of the shadow. Impress upon his heart that he is never once alone. In Jesus' Name, Amen.ReplyDelete
Marie, I thank you. It's very dark now, as I am writing this. Saw my doctor today and he said, "You're STILL alive?"Delete
He's a great, loving guy. He hates what is happening.
I so appreciate your prayers. I need them badly tonight. I am trying to respond to the comments, few at a time. It hurts, but I love you so.
I want to repeat that, for you, Marie, and for everyone. I LOVE YOU.
Oh, may the presence of the God who loves you more than you know be closer, and more penetrating to you, than the unspeakable pain you are in. May his love overwhelm your senses. May you know him nearer than your closest friends. We are here, and pray... but he is so much nearer.ReplyDelete
Ruth, thank you so much. He IS near indeed, in rather a hard way...when my strength flags, He is saying, "GET. UP. NOW!!!"Delete
It's the best way to reach me, and I daresay He knows it.
Thank you so very much for the prayers. It has been a miserable week, and I do appreciate them, and need them.
Praying for you! I cannot pretend to you that there are easy answers, but I know that God is near to you and pray for His comfort for you.ReplyDelete
In a way, the answers are actually easier now. It's life or death, and death is the likely outcome (I visited the doctor yesterday, and he said, "You're STILL alive?")Delete
The other 'easy' answer is that to participate in life in any way, I simply have to DO it, pain notwithstanding. I can take it as a given, and move on as best I can, or not.
The answers are easy, but none of them are pleasant.
Thank you so much for the prayers. As I write this, they're needed.
Dear Andrew, your words are an encouragement to many, even in the middle of your pain. I'm so sorry for all that you are going through. But I admit to being relieved when I see your post show up or your comments on my blog. I can't imagine the long road you are on and pray for you every time I see your name, that you will have peace. Thank you for the love you share with all of us here!ReplyDelete
Holly, thank you so muc for this. I want to live; I want to stay. Doubtless Heaven is nice, and al that, but I have work to do, work that has meaning. This is my place, and if God were to offer an early out, I'd let it go to someone else.Delete
I hope you know how much you have inspired me, with your writing, and the absolutely wonderful Big Red Sofa series. My internet is slow, so it sometimes takes awhile to load, but I love seeing the cheerful animation in your face, hearing your voice.
You give so very much of yourself. I hope you know how much it's appreciated, and how much you are loved.
Thank you for a touching post. It brought me to tears, tears of sorrow for your pain but tears of joy for knowing you and your ministry to me and others. I too am relieved when I see your posts or comments on my blog. It does my heart good to know God has blessed you with one more day here on earth. Continuing to send prayers to you and Barbara.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Michele. They say you can't take it with you; but I have a tennis ball squirreled away. I'm sure God will let that through. Rommie and I will have a great time.Delete
Thank you somuch for the prayers; things are sort of past description as I write this.Suffice to to say that prayers are both appreciated, and needed.
you have my prayers, bless you.ReplyDelete
Denise...seeing your 'praying woman' avatar always makes me smile. I am so grateful, and glad that you are here.Delete
And I appreciate the prayers more than you may know.
Breaks my heart, dear Andrew. I am so sorry for your suffering and know that I am daily praying for you!ReplyDelete
beth, a story...the Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir developer rheumatoid arthritis late in life, and if made the mere act of holding a brush a challenge.Delete
One day his young friend, Henri Matisse, visited Renoir in his studio, and on witnessing the effort and pain, said, "Please, <aster! Don't push yourself so!"
Renoir's answer is classic. "The pain passes, Matisse, but the beauty remains."
That's exactly it. I am willing to leave my blood behind, if it's worthwhile to others, because the pain WILL end. But if there is indeed a legacy, if this all will make life a bit easier, or at least clearer for someone...well, bring it on. I have learned late in life that I do not live for myself; I live for everyone else.
And thank you so much for the prayers, Beth. They mean so very, very much to us.
Andrew, I hadn't read any of your posts before. I took a break from writing for awhile so I hadn't seen them. I went back and looked through your blog. WOW. I'm touched that you are willing to share your battle. Thank you for being so brave to be transparent in the worst of times and thank you for the very encouraging post you made on my blog.ReplyDelete
Summer, thank you sp much for stopping by. I loved your post, and I think you have such tremendous skill as a writer. I'm jealous!Delete
And thank you so much for your kind comment. It is a bad time, yes. But I hope that by a positive outlook, and sharing, I can turn it into something good.
Dear Andrew, every time I read your new post, you won't believe I have some flicker of hope.ReplyDelete
Just seeing you hanging in is an encouragement,😃
Regards to Barbara.
No words, my friend Andrew...no words...you are in my thoughts and prayers; and I feel when reading this post from you, there will be shed buckets upon buckets of tears with you...reach out, Andrew! Feel OUR love; feel HIS love! And feel His arms around you, lifting you up, carrying you to wherever you must be...ReplyDelete