February 16, 2020

Everyone needs a partner.  That fact has been true from the beginning of creation.  When God made Adam he observed that it was not good for man to be alone.  So God said, “I will create a wife for Adam that will be fitting (appropriate) for him.”  So God created Eve and they became life partners. They were fruitful and multiplied as God had commanded them to.

Partnerships are very beneficial to all parties concerned.  We see partnerships in all kinds of businesses, especially in the medical field, the legal profession, education, etc.  If you own stocks or have an IRA that invests in stocks and other  mutual funds, you are a partner in all those companies.

In the book of  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, we see where the writer states that two are better than one; for they have a good reward for their labor.  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Sandra and i have been life partners in everything ever since we got married 54 years ago.  But at no time in our marriage has that partnership been more important that it has in the past several years since I started having serious health issues.

My really biggest challenge came in November, 2018, when I first learned that I had severe gout all over my body.  My main doctor, who specializes in treatments for gout, met with Sandra and me privately in his office.  He told me I HAD to lose my excess weight if I wanted the medicines and treatments to work.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t live another year.

On the way back to the car after meeting with the doctor, Sandra said to me, “Don’t worry, Spencer, we’re going to beat this disease.  I’ll help you lose the weight.” 

I had already started losing weight from orders from my primary care physician who sent me to my gout doctor, a Rheumatologist.  But I had a long way to go to get to my target weight of 175 pounds.  I had gotten up to 275 pounds. I needed to lose 100 pounds.  That was 36 percent of my former weight.  I knew it would be hard losing that much weight. In the car, on the way home from the doctor’s office, Sandra said she would go on a diet with me because she said she knew she needed to lose some weight too.

So we agreed to help each other in our effort to lose weight.  Sandra said she would eat the same things I was allowed to eat.  She said she didn’t want to have to cook two different meals – one for me and one for her. 

And that’s the way it’s been ever since that meeting where I got the bad news.  We basically eat the same foods.  But more than that, Sandra not only helped me in dieting, but also prayed valiantly for me.  And she rallied my family and friends to pray for me.  She told them how sick I was and didn’t at times even feel like praying and doing my Bible study and attending church.

But more than that, Sandra encouraged me daily.  She would tell me how she could see my weight coming off and that she knew I was doing better and feeling better. And she kept telling me not to give up – that our family needed me very much.

It was indeed a hard journey, but within a year I had lost the 100 pounds. The good news about Sandra is that she lost weight too.  She lost 25 pounds.  She lost down from 150 pounds to 125 pounds.  That’s about what she weighed when we got married.  She’s very proud of herself as she looks better and feels better too.  She’s had to buy a new wardrobe, but she loves to shop for nice clothes so that’s all okay.

If you have a health issue, get someone, a partner,  to help you do your best to resolve the problem.  Get someone – a spouse, a relative or a  friend who loves you and will encourage you, pray for you, and help you in others ways too.

Back in the 1980’s my mother had begun to have problems with her weight. She was in her early 50’s and the weight just kept accumulating.  She became very depressed over the situation, as she always loved to look nice.  Mother had heard about an organization called TOPS.  That’s an acronym which stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.  She talked Sandra into joining the organization with her. So, every week they would go to a TOPS meeting.  It was all women.  They would have what they called the weigh-in.  Everyone would weigh and their weight was written on a chart for all the members to see.  When someone would weigh, if they had lost weight from the previous meeting, everyone would applaud for that person loudly.  All the women worked very diligently to encourage each other to keep trying to reach their target weight.  When a woman reached her target weight, all the other women would buy her a gift.  Mother eventually got down to 135 pounds.  That was close to what she weighed when she got married at 19 years of age.  Mother was so proud of herself. The TOPS club really helped Mother and Sandra.

Partnerships are important in accomplishing goals.  Especially in a marriage.  For the last several months Sandra had some health issues.  So now the tables are reversed.  It’s been my turn to help her.  She had had some problems finding the right kind of medicine for her problem.  So I have been her chauffeur, taking her to all kinds of doctors for various problems.  And helping her do things like her exercizes that her physical therapist wanted her to do twice a day.  And just little things to help her, like putting her eye drops in her eyes three to four times a day.

But Sandra is still the chief cook and housekeeper here.  She told me just this morning that we were doing what we vowed to do when we got married — to love each other in sickness and health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer until death we part. She said she did what she could, and knew I would always do what I could for her and the rest of our family.

Just remember, you have even a greater partner in all of your life’s needs.  That partner is Jesus Himself.  He said He would be with us always – until the end of the age.

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley