Of Secrecy & Shame, Transparency & Truth

We all know John 3:16 by heart, right?  But when I did a www.BibleGateway.com search for “truth and light,” John 3:21 popped up.  Then I chose to read the prior verse for proper context.  While reading a few more verses above that, something clicked:  When we walk in the light, we’re showing forth the love of God; conversely, when we walk in darkness, of course we realize that there’s no love in this.  I experienced a simple, yet significant, moment of awareness.

When we keep things to ourselves, attempting to hide our foibles and struggles, we’re not being honest with ourselves – or others.  What good is a pretty façade when the inside is crumbling?  Why act like you’ve got it all together when you’re really “tore up from the floor up?”

It takes courage to stand boldly in the truth…yep, the butt naked truth.  It can be intimidating at first, but it is indeed liberating and cathartic – as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.  Why?  Because you’re no longer trying to hold everything together with an amalgamation of scotch tape, paper clips, staples, and push pins.  Instead, you’re admitting, “This is a bit of a mess, and I need some help and support to get through it until things come together.”  And you know what?  After that, the help you need becomes available.  Transparency makes ya vulnerable (that’s the story of my life on this blog).  Downright exposed.  But it’s the only way to start a genuine healing process.  Bringing things into the light brings life.

So today, I typed up the progression of my blood pressure readings over the past few months to share with my doctor during tomorrow’s appointment.  I’m gonna do this while taking a deep breath (perhaps several!) – because I’ve been dodging her for a while.  However, since I want to be healthy from the inside out (and not just an outward show), this is my first step.  What’s yours?

“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
(John 3:16-21)

© Copyright 2012 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Critical Condition: Cut to the Core

Talk about the boomerang effect!  It didn’t take long for the lessons in my previous post to come home to roost – again.  Today, I was called on the carpet with no recourse – except to implement some of the changes I’d been skirting for the longest.

At my request, a dear co-worker (who also has a medical background) took my blood pressure reading this morning; he was not pleased with the result.  I reasoned with him that we had just descended eleven flights of stairs for our unexpected fire drill.  Unconvinced, he came back (with stethoscope and all) an hour later to retake it.  My slightly decreased level was still elevated – enough to concern him.

He shot straight from the hip – again – as he had done on several other occasions.  Restating the disclaimer that he was not a doctor, he gave me four directives (which he recapped in an e-mail):

  1. Focus on weight loss – there’s no quick fix for this; a slow, steady process is the very best way to go.  (He noted that my blood pressure and cholesterol concerns would significantly diminish, if not be totally eliminated, when I’m within my target weight range; the chart’s goal is double my personal goal…but any weight loss at this point is desirable and welcome).
  2. Cut out salt – throw away your salt shaker; it’s better for the entire family.
  3. Keep up with your exercise – not less than 4-5 days per week.
  4. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss these elevated readings since your physical 6 months ago.

Honestly, all of these were gonna be pretty grievous to my flesh, but I was especially apprehensive about the last one.  Because I don’t want to be put on medication like other family members.  But I guess my “hit or miss” efforts don’t really corroborate that desired outcome.  After a mental wrestling match, I called to schedule my doctor’s appointment – first available, next Wednesday morning.  Thank goodness, since my co-worker stopped by my cube to follow up with me less than two hours later.

Perhaps the most impactful thing he wrote (in all caps, so I guess that’s shouting?!) was, “KEEP FOCUSED AND DON’T CHEAT.  THE BENEFITS ARE HUGE.”  Well, it worked, because that truly resonated with me.  And he’s right.  Conversely, the risks and consequences of disobedience are also huge.  So begins my season of heightened accountability…

Perhaps your issue isn’t a health issue at all, but a matter of the heart.  Whatever it may be, I urge you to attend to it today, before it becomes critical, and possibly irreversible.

“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart…”
(Acts 7:54a)

© Copyright 2012 by Kayren J. Cathcart

It’s a Matter of Principle…Right?

principle – code, standard, belief, attitude, rule, law, notion, tenet

Have you ever held one set of rules or expectations for others, but operated according to a different set of principles for yourself?  Sadly, I have – and on more than one occasion.  I can tell you from experience that the charade eventually becomes overwhelmingly difficult to keep up – until it finally collapses.  Then you’re left to deal with the fallout of epic proportions…that was totally preventable.

For too long, I’d leave myself an “out,” calling it an exception, a loophole, or a “treat.”  But a bold sister in Christ recently told me what it really was:  self-sabotage.  I had to irrefutably admit that ignoring the unction of the Holy Spirit to do what I wanted to do (in a lame attempt to please my flesh ever so often) was just downright rebellion against God’s will and His perfect plan.  Ouch.  (Someone once said the truth hurts…)  Then (ironically), I’d end up running back to the Father to humbly ask Him to fix the mess I’d made because of my own disobedience…now that’s ludicrous, isn’t it?  But we allow ourselves to be trapped in these vicious cycles – and to what avail?

So before an unnecessarily dramatic finale ensues, come clean – with yourself and with your Creator.  (Hint:  He knows already!)  🙂  Today, make a declaration that you’ll keep only one set of books, and that it will sync up with the Word of God.  No more conditions (call them what they are:  excuses).  Identify what’s tripping you up, then ask God to strengthen you as you build a system of accountability incorporating trustworthy, responsible people who will help you mature in your walk with Christ.

The clock is ticking…it’s time to make the right decision – now.  And since you asked, yes I DID avoid the candy bowl at work today…it’s amazing how we experience victory through Christ when we yield to HIS leading – in issues great and small!  🙂

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”
(I Kings 18:21)

 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
(James 1:8)

© Copyright 2012 by Kayren J. Cathcart