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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 533 - The Meaning Of It All

The pain demons came for me in the small hours, this morning.

Crushing pain in the chest and abdomen, breathing in shallow gaps, riding the tsunamis of spasms that wracked and wrecked my pancreas and lymph nodes.

It got too hard to cough, and breath started to leave.

I thought about calling Barbara from her room, sending Ladron the Chief Service Dog to get her, but what could she do? And she had to go to work in the morning.

So I stayed with the demons, and took their cold-burning embrace.

They left a bit later, only to return with their friends as the sky began to lighten.

Seeing the monsters more clearly in the gathering dawn, they were even more frightening than they were when concealed by darkness. They wanted to torture me, and then kill me, and in their faces there was no mercy, nothing to which I could appeal.

And I'm OK.

I'm OK because my life has meaning.

I used to think that meaning was defined by what I do, praying for Barb and supporting her in her work, taking care of the dogs, witnessing to the power of hope and faith and love in this blog.

But it's all of these things...and none of them.

The purpose I saw sprang from joy, a joy that endured the pain and the degradation of things like incontinence and puking that won't stop, and the loss of everything I trained to do.

Joy is my purpose.

For didn't a Jewish carpenter say, a while back, that He came so that we could have joy, and that our joy would be full?

He didn't put preconditions on it. He didn't say, "Yeah, well, believe in Me and I'll see that things go well, and you'll be happy about that."

I mean, after all, look at how Life On Earth worked out for Him. Whipped half to death, nailed to a cross, and all that. Bummer of a way to spend a Friday, dude.

He just said that in Him, we'd find joy. Period, full stop.

Jesus is joy.

And that is the meaning of the whole thing.

Music from Van Halen (with the great avid Lee Roth), with Jump.


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

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45 comments:

  1. Amen, Andrew! Jesus IS JOY!! And,finding it sometimes isn't very easy. I admire that you find it even in the midst of all this "stuff" that you are going through!! Hugs and Prayers! Your JOY is contagious!

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  2. Wow, you've gained an amazing perspective from your suffering, Andrew! Everything stripped away but Jesus. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. Praying for you and your wife.

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    1. Julie, thank you so much for this gracious comment, and especially for your prayers.

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  3. Andrew, you continue to inspire me and unearth such profound truth. Blessings to you and Barb.

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    1. Bethany, thank you. Blessings back, and you are in our prayers.

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  4. This beautiful truth brought tears to my eyes tonight. So humbling and so freeing, Jesus only Jesus. Thank you. You & your wife remain in my prayers.

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    1. Bettie, wow...thank you! Truly, Jesus is what we need, and in Him is ALL we need.

      Thank you so much for your prayers!

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  5. Always something that stops me in my tracks.

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    1. Betsy, thank you for this. I'm so glad you found something of value here.

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    1. Thanks, Annette! And you had a GREAT post this week.

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  7. IN HIM...JOY. That is the moment, isn't it? xo c u soon.

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    1. Yes indeed Susan! SO looking forward to meeting you! XOXOXO

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  8. Such candor in pain and suffering. Praying for you and believing from increased joy. You inspire us all. I honor your courage.

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    1. Karen, I don't now what to say, but than you. You honour me so much!

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  9. Praying for you and Barb today, Andrew. You continue to bless us all with your insights in the midst of every painful and difficult moment. When we boil it all down, it does come down to Jesus - every single moment of our lives. Bless you!

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    1. Joanne, yes...it is all about Jesus. Nothing else. Thank you so much!

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  10. Everyday I look for you here. Everyday, I am amazed at the tenacity of Spirit that keeps you here. And each time I get the notification 'glimpse' that there is a new word, I get selfishly excited knowing it will be wrapped in Truth I need to hear.......................... Jesus IS joy: Perfect Truth. Thank you Andrew. I know one day you won't be 'here' , in this bloggy space - you will EXPLODE from your body's tomb into the arms of pure Joy. And I just wanted to say, again, what a sweet unexpected blessing it has been to share words with you. And whether it is for tonight, or forever, ... Rest well, friend.

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    1. Jane, wow...you made my day, and you make every effort worthwhile! Than you so much, and please know that you are in our prayer.

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  11. You just gave a whole new meaning to one of my fave Scriptures Psalm 30:5 "Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning."

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    1. Tara, I'm blown away...thank you for this!

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  12. Hugs, Andrew. Yes, Jesus is joy, our joy, our full joy. Thank you for the reminder in your pain. I wish I could take it all from you, and my heart both breaks and smiles for you. May His joy surpass all things and may the demons be kept at bay tonight. Praying for you and Barb.

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    1. Crystal, your message touches my heart...than you so much for this, and most especially for your prayer.

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  13. I'm so glad you are finding joy in him despite your circumstances! Thank you for continuing to share and to inspire us. Praying for you!

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    1. Lesley, really, all I had to do was open my eyes. Joy is all around me, and circumstances don't affect it, because Jesus IS joy. I just had to let Him in.

      Thank you so much for your prayers!

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  14. "He just said that in Him, we'd find joy. Period, full stop.

    Jesus is joy.

    And that is the meaning of the whole thing."
    Amen, Andrew. I love how you have found that joy and you pass it on to us even in your pain and agony. What an inspiration you are! Blessings and hugs to you and Barbara! xo

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    1. Gayl, thank you so much...this comment really touched our hearts. XO, and blessings and hugs back!

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  15. thank you for your honest post. Life can be hard and challaging. I have found the only way for my to have joy and real life is through Jesus.
    Beautifully written.

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    1. Gloria, thank you so much for your grace-filled words, and for being here!

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  16. Wow, Andrew. Joy is your purpose. Jesus is your purpose. Hallelujah! May God keep on surrounding you with his comforting presence. May God bless you according to His needs and His power. Sending you ministering angels and even more of healing grace.

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    1. Mari-Anna, thank you so much! Really, I'm riding on God's shoulders now, and I can't keep track of the blessings He's rained down.

      I would not have missed this for the world.

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  17. I don't have any pithy words to add. I just wanted to say that I appreciate your writing, and the strength of your writing voice. I also thought that it's what I do that gives my life purpose. You've given me a thunderbolt moment, and quite a bit to think about. Thank you.

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    1. Jae, thank you so very much for this...I'm so appreciative of your kind words, and so glad that you found something of value in mine.

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  18. I found your website after looking up Kara Tippetts. I found a devotional taken from her writings. Looked her up and found you in the comments of a collection of her blogs.

    I have no words for your struggles, but my heart felt prayers are with you. God bless you Andrew, I look forward to meeting you in Heaven.

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    1. Shanna, I so appreciate your kind and generous words, and simply your being here.

      Your prayers are truly appreciated, and I shall look for you in the presence of the Lord.

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  19. Yes. The gospel is so simply and yet to difficult to practice (because our stupid ideas of action and doing gets in the way). Thanks for this important reminder!

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    1. Katha, you gave me a smile, for I have often defined those stupid ideas of action and doing!

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    1. Jan, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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  21. I couldn't agree more, Andrew! Jesus truly is joy in the midst of the most crushing pain! And I had to laugh at your words, "Bummer of a way to spend a Friday, dude." You are too funny! And yes, it was quite the bummer, as are all of your days and nights for the past few years. I'm so sorry that it has to be such a torturous ride, but I'm also very grateful that you hang on for dear life, my friend! Praying for you and Barb!

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    1. beth, thank you so much for these kind an uplifting words! You've truly graced my day...and graces like this make it all worthwhile.

      Thank you, especially, for the prayers.

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  22. Aww, Andrew. I'm so sorry for your pain. But so encouraged because you share your journey with us.

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    1. Anita, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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  23. I am so sorry for your pain. Keep searching for "Joy." It is close by even in the midst of pain.

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