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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 403 - The End Of Despair {FMF}

This worked out to be a kind of impromptu three part series...The Face of Despair, The Pit Of Despair, and now this post.

Guess I was kind of missing the thematic nature of #write31days!

It's easy to fall into despair in the face of a crushing illness. The future becomes truncated, and shuddered about with the scary-face things that presage the onset of death...being stuck in a hospital, tied to the machines that merely prolong life while shredding its quality.

I've spent long nights in hospitals. I never want to go there again.

And the past becomes painful, because then, seemingly just barely out of reach, was a time when your body and dreams were intact. If I could just...reach...back..!

But yesterday never comes again. We try to tune in on the oldies, but there's only a static-filled silence. Life has moved on, and only the quiet pictures are left. (Silence is the FMF prompt this week.}

Yeah, despair comes easy.

But the end of despair comes easier, if you just let go of what you thought you owned.

Not possessions, but life.

We are conditioned to think that the world owes us a life, that God somehow is constrained to meet our 'deal', that if we do it right, He's got to come through for us.

But that's not the way it works at all; look at what happened to His Son, and to the dudes who followed Him.

"Stephen stoned" had nothing to do with funny cigarettes, and everything to do with God forming a Faith, His faith, that would grow strong enough, watered by blood, to win back His creation from the pit of hell.

It's got nothing to do with what we have...and when we loose our grip, we can step back and see that what we tried to hold was not ours, but it was for us, a gift of God's own heart.

We can't lose what we never had, but when we give it back to God, we get it all back.

Because we are His.

Our musical theme comes from Sister hazel, with All For You. Hope you enjoy it!



I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

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.
















59 comments:

  1. Good stuff again here, Andrew. You continue to make me think. So often I try to hold onto what I think I have. Giving it back to God tonight. Thanks for prompting me to do so!

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie, for this affirmation, and please excuse my delay in replying.

      So good to see you here.

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  2. This: "It's got nothing to do with what we have...and when we loose our grip, we can step back and see that what we tried to hold was not ours, but it was for us, a gift of God's own heart." - this just spoke to my heart. I just returned from 3 days with someone I love, who is sliding quickly into dementia - and my heart is breaking. Thank you for the grace in your message!

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    1. ML, I am so sorry for your trouble...that's one of the hardest things to have to witness, and you are in my prayers.

      Thank you so very much for being here, and please excuse my tardy response.

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  3. "if you just let go of what you thought you owned." This is profound in the best possible way. So much of my discontent in life is based on thinking that I should have things my way. Thank you for providing a needed refocus.

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    1. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing this...it is my problem too, thinking things should go my way. God has other plans.

      Please pardon my delayed response; it was a rough weekend.

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  4. Yes I do love this Andrew. As we try to wade through the ridiculous amount of "stuff" we have accumulated as we prepare to sell our house. Thank you <3

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    1. Paula, thank you so uch, and I'll keep you in my prayers as your real estate adventure comes closer...been there!

      Please forgive my tardy response. Hard days.

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  5. Andrew, so much THIS:"
    It's got nothing to do with what we have...and when we loose our grip, we can step back and see that what we tried to hold was not ours, but it was for us, a gift of God's own heart." A gift of God indeed. Im in the 9 spot this week.

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    1. Thanks so much, Tara! And please pardon my tardiness in replying. The past few days have been pretty miserable.

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  6. "It's got nothing to do with what we have..." Oh, my! So very true! It has nothing to do with material possessions but everything to do with what we possess in our heart, Christ IN us, the hope of glory. Love and prayers to you this week, friend.

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    1. Nanette, thank you so much! And yes, Christ dwelling in us is the hope and surety of glory.

      Thanks for being here, and please pardon my delay in responding.

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  7. You're so right. Letting go, giving all to God is our only option to live well even in the dark places. But why is it so hard? Thanks so much, Andrew. I appreciate you, I pray for you. Blessings upon blessings!

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    1. Mari-Anna, thank you o much for your prayers. They are REALLY needed. It's a dark place for me now, but the light of Christ, reflected through my dear friends here, makes my path and footing secure.

      Please pardon my late reply; there have been bad days.

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  8. Over the past year I've been reminded of how much we DON'T need. How much "stuff" we can live WITHOUT. Peace comes from holding things loosely and letting God lead the way. Praying for you, Andrew.

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    1. Susan, you're so right...there is so much we don't need, and the 'wanting' only serves to separate us from God. Let go, let God!

      Thank you so much for your prayers, and please pardon my tardy reply.

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  9. I am so glad this blog hasn't gone silent. Every week I check in on you and I smile....not yet, Lord, not yet.

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    1. Susan, thank you for this...I'm glad to still be here, too. It's getting harder, but I would not miss this for the world.

      XOXOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  10. When our frame of mind is that we deserve nothing but what Jesus took instead of us, we realize everything more than that is a gift. hopefully those things that we think we don't deserve draw us closer to the cross. The completed work of Christ is enough.

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    1. Christy, you said this so well..."we deserve nothing but what Jesus too instead of us...".

      The completed Christ-work is enough, and all else is the gravy of grace, given by a loving God.

      Thank you so much for being here, and please pardon my lateness in responding.

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  11. Letting go of what I "thought" I owned.... I need to remember that life is a gift; not something I possess because of my work, etc. Thanks for your reminders, Andrew!

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    1. Thank YOU, Annie! And please pardon my late reply; these have been very bad days.

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  12. "It's got nothing to do with what we have...and when we loose our grip, we can step back and see that what we tried to hold was not ours, but it was for us, a gift of God's own heart." Amen, Andrew. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I learn so much from you.

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    1. Debbie, your words honour and humble me, and I am deeply grateful for your presence and friendship.

      And please pardon my late reply; hard days now.

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  13. Another great post, Andrew! Yes, it's so easy to cling on to what we think we own, or should own, but there is freedom in letting go and giving it back to God.

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    1. Lesley, exactly right - the ultimate freedom lies in the perfect surrender. Thank you for this!

      And please pardon the tardiness of my reply.

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  14. Hi Andrew! I really relate to this idea of living in the past when things were "better". I loved this part: "And the past becomes painful, because then, seemingly just barely out of reach, was a time when your body and dreams were intact. If I could just...reach...back..!But yesterday never comes again." So true. Yesterday never comes back, but thankfully we have a promised future and a hope that will never disappoint! Thanks for your brave sharing.

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    1. Amy, yes! We DO have that promised future, and the hope that is evergreen unto eternity!

      Thank you so much for being here, and please pardon the late reply. Hard days here.

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  15. You are so wise! If only you hadn't learned it the hard way.

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    1. Jan, thank you...what wisdom I might have, and the peace I DO have, were worth learning the hard way...I suspect there was no other road for me, and that's OK.

      Sorry for the delay in replying. These have been tough days.

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  16. I'm struck by your comment about how what we let go of is not OURS - but it is FOR US, a gift. It's not something we possess but something God's granted us. That's a wonderful insight, Andrew. Thanks so much.

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    1. Thank YOU, Jeannie, for your company on this journey, and for the inspiration of your writing. And please pardon the delay in my response. I'm hurting.

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  17. "...if you just let go of what you thought you owned." i'm guessing this may have been what Jesus was talking about when He said, "whoever loses his life will find it..."

    so interesting that we think we are in charge of our lives when nothing could be further from the truth! we don't own our lives. we need to stop hanging on to them so tightly. this is something for me to think about for awhile. thanks andrew:(

    blessings as you journey thro' the dark:(

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    1. Martha, thank you so much, and you're so right...we aren't really in charge of anything.

      Blessings back, and please pardon my delayed response.

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  18. YES! Giving the gift of life back to God (and using it wisely while we're here). Important concepts that we all need to ponder.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Anita, and please excuse my tardiness in replying. Bad days this weekend.

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  19. Ah, but Andrew memories and pictures can speak a thousand words. There is always some kind of lesson calling out. Blessings to you as you continue to persevere. Stopping by from FMF!

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    1. Leigh, you're right...the memories and pictures can indeed speak, and I sometimes overlook this.

      Thank you so much for being here, and please pardon my late reply.

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  20. So very true, Andrew! But also a very difficult truth. We so often believe that life is ours and we can somehow create and control it...Thank you for this reminder to receive and enjoy life as a gift! I hope you have many reminders of life's beauty instead of its ugliness this weekend!

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    1. Katha, it is indeed a hard truth, but I suspect the harshness of the lesson may be necessary...at least it has been, for me.

      It's been a terribly hard weekend (hence my late reply), but the beauty is there, too.

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  21. Andrew, this post brought to mind two lines of a poem I heard years ago. I don't know who wrote it nor the entire poem, just these two lines ....
    Only one life, twill soon be past,
    Only what’s done for Christ will last.

    Grateful to be reminded of what is truly important in this life. Blessings!

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    1. Joanne, I love those two lines! Thank you for sharing them.

      Blessings back, and please excuse my late reply.

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  22. it seems you are seeing with new eyes the treasure that exists in today. thank you for sharing that vision with us.

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    1. Jennifer, I love the way you put this, "seeing with new eyes the treasure that exists in today." Thank you!

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  23. We think we are in control, but God is!

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    1. Mindy, you're so right; God's got it. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  24. Andrew, you are always full of wisdom. "We can't lose what we never had, but when we give it back to God, we get it all back.

    Because we are His." AMEN

    Blessings, peace and love to you and Barb!

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    1. Gayl, thank you so much for this!

      And we do appreciate the wish of blessings; it was a hard weekend. Barb threw out her back, and I was the caregiver.

      But we made it through by God's Grace.

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  25. Truly, we own nothing. Every breath belongs to Him. Every day made by Him. Thank you for your beautiful faithfulness in reminding us of this truth.

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    1. Marie, I love this..."Every breath belongs to Him." So true!

      Thank you so very much, for your companionship and friendship on this journey.

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  26. Letting go of what never was yours. Just made me cry. Thank you.
    #79

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    1. Mary, thank YOU. You are ever in my prayers.

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  27. Such a reminder to embrace today with all of its blessings. Thank you.

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    1. Amy, yes...today, whatever it carries, has something worth embracing.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  28. So true, Andrew! And yes, I'm one of those "dudes" that still follows Him! ha! I love the way you write like as if you're here in the room with us! But I digress!

    Our lives as Christ-followers are not free from suffering. As you pointed out, suffering took our Savior to the cross for the most important of reasons. I know my suffering and yours is taking us down paths that are purposeful and life-transforming. Not just transforming our own sakes, but for the lives we touch through our faith in God. Hugs and prayers, my friend!

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    1. Beth, you're absolutely right. Our suffering has a purpose, and mirrors His. It's not an ordeal, and not a crucible...I thin it's something through which we have to pass to understand His Heart, and His Love for us.

      Hugs and prayers are most appreciated, the past few days have been vicious.

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  29. Andrew, since you haven't replied to any of these posts I assume you're having an even worse time than usual. I'm praying extra hard for you.

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    1. Jan, yes, it's been very, very hard. I'm in more pain than I can possibly have imagined (I want morphine!), and Barb's back went out two days ago, so I was the caregiver...I had to literally carry her.

      She's better now, but it was rough, and took a lot out of me.

      Thank you so much for checking bac. I really appreciate it.

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  30. Hi Andrew,
    not much of a blog reader here (and certainly not someone to respond). Just reading through your comments on my sister’s blog every once in a while… and today I ended up right here on your articles on despair for the first time.
    What can I say? They hit home, as well as some of the replies in the comment section. Being forced to let go of the essentials that I THOUGHT carried me through life, embracing the loss of beliefs about myself, my partner, my relationship with God… I am learning the perhaps most fundamental lesson of my life. It is a state of profound confusion, pain and sadness that I am called to persevere.
    A daily struggle with depression – mourning the loss of a relationship which played a huge role in healing the wounds of my past, accepting the reality that it was based on an irreversible transgression on behalf of my beloved. A daily effort to confront the cynical accusers in my head with the truth of God’s promise: That his forgiveness and abundance is what I will find at the deepest bottom of this battle – not my bitterness, my doubts; not the lurking self-contempt over having risked my heart and apparently ending up with less than nothing!
    Thank you, Andrew for reminding me of what this really is – carrying the cross the way Christ did for the sake of life and love! As you put it: “Our hearts need to bleed, for only thus can our blood mingle with the Blood of the Lamb.” There’s a depth of understanding God’s vision of love (1. Cor. 13) that can only be grasped through suffering!
    I cannot even attempt to find the right words for what you’re going through in your situation. All I can pray and hope for is that wherever your way with God may still take you in this world, be it high or low, through every season, you will find this to be true: “Call to me and I will tell you great and mysterious things that you don’t know.” (Jer. 33,3) They say as Christians we get to see Heaven after we pass on. I dare to say that in carrying the cross, we get to see a preview on what God has in store for us! Thank you for sharing your glimpses of it, Andrew!
    Blessings over you and your wife.
    (Please excuse my English. I’m not a native speaker.)

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