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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 74 - Surrender

We're linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday/

Note to caregivers...your spouse may be kind of like the person described below. Adversity does weird things to people.

Recently I heard a TV preacher telling her congregation to raise their hands in a gesture of surrender to God. She said we should be soft.

I turned the channel, because I never learned how to surrender, and I am certainly not about to start learning now. And I am the hardest individual you might hope never to meet.

This may sound like defiance toward the Almighty, about a stiff-necked sort of pride that stands between me and God.

Not the case.

I'm terminally ill, and I accept that. I accept that it is part of God's plan, at least to the point of it being an unfortunate operational necessity. Terminal illness is an artifact of a world in which free will is operative. The things that give us the ability to choose God also make disease and pain a part of our lives.

God is my CO; and He may well send me to my death, if that is a mission which he believes is worth that cost. he will not do it without sorrow, or without the reassurance that He has given me the resources to bear the assigned burden.

It's just that I may not survive, that's all. And that's OK. He gives the orders, I carry them out. Period. Chain of command.

And that's where surrender goes out the window. We're on the same side. You don';t surrender to HQ!

If I'm truly Jesus' brother, and God's son, I don't have to 'surrender' to them. They outrank me; I do the best I can to follow orders.

And I don't surrender to illness. The days have gone much darker, but the harder it gets, the harder I push myself. I may lose, but this malignant thing is going to die with me. Little joke there. Kind of.

And so, softness...what's that?

I'm a hard person. I'm ruthless with myself. Pain hurts, yes, vomiting is unpleasant, and incontinence is humiliating, but so what? I have the same 24 hours, and it may be tougher to get things done...but if I don't do that which I think is important, who will?

I can be 'nice' to myself, and watch passing the time I could have used, or I can kick myself in the butt, wipe up the vomit, and keep going.

I try not to do it, but I do kick other butts as well. Ruthlessness begins at home.

And at the end of the day, I'm glad I didn't surrender. And I'm glad I was not soft.

And when I meet God and Jesus I'll salute, but I won't look away. And they had best not look away either.


  1. Replies
    1. Leah, thank you. I am truly blessed, by God's unfailing support in giving me the strength to face the day, and by the friends who read and comment here.

      Friends like you.

  2. Hey Andrew, so glad you got this post out. It's probably the most helpful thing I've read anywhere all year. 'We're on the same side'.
    Honour, courage, determination - all these shine through, and I see too little of this in 'soft' churches. No wonder plenty of men decide church isn't for them, and I'm sorry we've misrepresented God and our call to faithful obedience to him.
    For me too - my experience of faith and relationship with God has been far from 'sweet surrender'. It's a relief to shift focus about this and just get on with the job of living faithfully anyway despite the suffering. This is a truly freeing thought, thank you.

  3. Ah ... His arms will be extended toward you, friend. That you can be sure of because of your love for Him. And you won't be able to take your eyes off each other.

  4. Andrew,
    the nice thing about Commanding officers, is that they've always got your attention. "Your wish is my command" just came to mind. :)
    I think for not-so-tough guys like myself, the idea of surrender is to counter that part of us that desires to be in control. That is not willing to subject ourselves to the authority of the CO because somewhere in our stubborn pride, we deem ourselves to be wise enough to handle the situation. We are out of line in the chain of command because we're stepping out on our own-a loose cannon following that gut instinct which can endanger the entire company.
    Right or wrong, if we're not following our CO, surrendering our free will for the leadership and will of the CO, we are throwing away all that experience and knowledge and protection we could have by staying under His command.
    "Nobody dies on my watch."
    Think of Paul and the sailors. As long as they stayed on the boat, it was going to surely wreck, but their lives would be spared.
    Our bodies are like that ship. We will surely wreck and destroy and not remain forever, but our spirits-our souls, they will live for eternity.
    Blessed that you are resiliently fighting though wounded.
    Your ribbon rack is going to be so big, they'll think it's a coat of arms up there. Just don't let anybody hit you, you'll have some serious frog marks on your chest.


  5. Oh, Andrew, I think when you do meet your "Brother Jesus" and your "Father God", at the end of this cruel and horrid disease...they will be waiting with open arms and look you directly in the eyes with that assurance..."Well done..."

    Your "strength" to keep going in spite of...well, I just pray if and when I am in that boat where I have to keep going or give up, that I will remember the strength that my brother Andrew had and...keep going!!