Eulogy by Stan (Husband)
Kaylyn’s Memorial Service
November 17, 2012
I have had the privilege of being married to one of the most incredible women I’ve ever known. From day one and over the years, her love for God, passion for truth and her ability to unashamedly love the unlovely have both inspired me and humbled me. She was always, always for the underdog and had little time for the self-important. Putting this together to share her life has been a very daunting task to pull from 30 years of experience.
My theme this morning is to remember Kaylyn by focusing on the one thing that meant everything to her; that was her faith in the God and Christ of the Bible and his redeeming fatherly love. Discovery and growing in that knowledge to produce a real and lasting faith was the primary theme of her life. Because so many people throughout the years have commented on the radiance of Joy that Kaylyn often displayed, I want to review her amazing life’s journey to attain what the Bible calls a “New Creation with old things passed away and all things becoming new”. I don’t want anyone to leave today without a clear impression of why Kaylyn on the whole expressed Faith towards God and exuded Joy. It was simple, she had focused on dying to self completely and allowed Christ to live in a vibrant way. She discovered that the pearl of great price was to lose all she was in order to gain Christ.
To fully understand her life and the final battles of faith that all your prayers have helped us endure, we really need to go back and start at the grounding years of her childhood. I want to tell you who she was in terms of her nature, abilities and the things she experienced that deeply impacted her life.
From the beginning Kaylyn was a rebel of a different color. Not a rebel against societal authority, morality or ethics, but a rebel against things that had no understandable reason or purpose. She was an extreme intellectual and academic of all of Life looking for its fullest meaning and a rebel against non-thinking compliance. While most kids constantly want to know “why”, Kaylyn started her journey early on to find out why. And God had fully gifted her with all the intellectual tools to pursue this life long journey to prove out the meaning of life. She was a tomboy and her mother struggled to keep shoes on her feet and to keep her out of tree tops where she consumed classical novel after novel.
I believe that early on she learned to trust no one but her own feelings, her mind and logic. Her grandmother had carefully trained her to never trust advertisements, that they were always lies attempting to convince you their products would meet your needs and make you happy. Even deeper was the heart ache of being abandoned by her father and the limited love by her mother. Her parents divorced when she was two and we see from Kaylyn’s words in the following quote that developing a faith that fully trusted God to care for all her needs would require deep and focused decisions in the future.
I think, as a child, I always took care of my mother; I started doing her taxes when I was 9. I wanted her to notice me, value me, and love me. My mother was self-consumed and barely noticed me except to get me to do what she wanted. I’m sure I was a difficult child who was just like the father my mother was so angry at and I was constantly crying hysterically for him. I must have decided, even before they told me, that it was my fault he left. (God’s Words) The child of divorce who believes that her father left because she is not valuable will spend the rest of her life receiving thoughts and experiences that bear out her image of herself as lacking value. This is a stronghold that always leads to misery and defeat. (Strongholds)
You can see an independence developed young in the absence of nurturing. Kaylyn focused on finding worth by excelling in school and self-development. Before high school, she had read all the literary classics. Then in high school, she took 4 years of Latin, was on the national debate team and graduated with high honors in her class. During those years she also studied all the world religions under the mentorship of her Congregational Church pastor and was president of her church youth group. She headed off to the Ivy League girls college with a full ride, with scores in the top SAT national percentiles, an IQ in the mid 100’s and the rare mix of having very strong abilities in math, science, grammar and literature.
Kaylyn was also a person of integrity in whom I could find no guile or manipulation. Against her mother’s prodding, growing up she refused to dress in a way that would draw attention to herself. She got in trouble for refusing to tell white lies on the phone to cover for her mother. In her guilelessness, Kaylyn was not to be found with duplicity or pretense, but was straight up who she was, with no guessing about something being hidden. These traits along with her intellectual gifts and education became the basis of her abilities and determination for finding the truth about life and God.
Our humanistic colleges found in Kaylyn the intellect and heart to produce the perfect specimen. By the time she completed school, by her own admission, her world view had matured into being a feminist, socialist, communist, evolutionist human rights advocate. She also traveled around the world to spend time in Europe, Nepal, Burma, India, Japan and Hong Kong in the same time period. She said that she needed to know if people everywhere had the same basic needs and desires and determined that they did. She completed her BS in Psychology in Austin and started into the doctorate program, but she began to see that the Psychology professors had as many or more problems as she did and had no real answers. To quote Kaylyn, “they were more crazy than the rest of us”. Thus she refocused to complete her MS in Library Science simply due to her love of books and literature. After graduation, she went to work for the State of Texas Public Library to re-architect the state’s tracking and loaning processes for all the libraries. Once completed the state had experts come in to review the work and they wanted to know where Kaylyn had obtained her advanced training in Systems Process Architecture, to which she said, “what’s that?”.
By this time, God was starting to bring more hardships and cause more searching for answers. Her ideologies were beginning to falter in the face of the harsh realities of living. She read several of C.S. Lewis’s fictions and loved the allegory of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series. She read the Cross and the Switchblade and was amazed that God was portrayed as being directly engaged and leading in the affairs of this David Wilkerson as he brought the gospel to the New York gangs. She was beginning to desperately long for something real as well. Kaylyn eventually ended up going to a Unity Church Counseling center seeking help and while there, with no relation specifically to what was going on there, she suddenly out of the blue came to the clear realization and belief that Jesus really was God and that he died for her sins and had resurrected from the dead to give her new life. She described this spiritual experience as being like a huge wedge shaped rock going ker-plunk into the void of her heart and soul and being suddenly filled with an unexplainable peace and joy.
Since this decision to believe and trust Christ came about while in a Unity center, she thought that must be where she should start going to church. She began attending a study called “A Course In Miracles”, not knowing it is not Biblically based. When the leader declared that we were all equal with Jesus, Kaylyn stood up with tears in her eyes, stated how wrong it was to say such a thing about Jesus Christ who is God and our Savior and walked out to never return. Remember, Kaylyn has no guile, no duplicity.
After a series of events, Kaylyn ended up at the same church that I had been invited to attend while I was in school at WSU. At this time Kaylyn was also a Librarian at WSU. Since I had gone through a dramatic conversion to faith in Christ about the same time, we were both full of our first love and joy of knowing Jesus when we met and became good friends. Eventually we decided that we wanted to spend our lives together with this new faith in Christ being our focus and purpose.
By this time we were starting to be grounded in the scriptures and the Lord had already made it plain to Kaylyn that every humanistic ideology she had embraced was a lie and had to go if she wanted to truly follow him. The Bible was to be the only source of truth and authority in her life and her mind was being completely transformed to a biblical world view as she studied God’s Word. Her favorite life verse quickly became 2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” She really believed with all her heart that she was born of God and all the sin of humanism, self-reliance and pride from her previous life were forgiven and gone forever.
From here on out, I will begin weaving us through some of Kaylyn’s writings that tell the story of her grappling with the scriptural truths of the Bible and the Christianity that is prevalent in America to understand its implications for her faith. This first writing done in 2001 called the River of Life gives great insight to the offer of total surrender and abandonment to Christ that was being presented to Kaylyn. Remember, she never did anything half-hearted.
Many years ago when I was a new Christian, He showed me a wonderful picture. I saw a beautiful park in the London of a century ago. I saw many people strolling in the cool of the park, some riding bicycles with the giant front wheels. We approached a large river that created the refreshing ambience of the park. We saw some people strolling peacefully along the river’s paths, being cooled by the river’s refreshing breeze, while several, having rolled up their pant legs, were sitting on the banks dangling their feet or even their legs in the water. A few had even slipped off the bank and were bathing in the cooling water while prudently holding fast to thick vines along the bank lest they be swept away by the current.
I understood that this was the River of Life, the Lord’s will, even the Lord Himself. He showed me that all those in the park were enjoying His refreshing in increasing degrees of intimacy, but that He yearned for even greater intimacy. I saw that the closest I could be to Him would be to leap into the fast current in the middle of the river (the center of Him) and so I did. I was immediately afraid for I saw that I had lost all control over my destiny, that the river might tumble me over rapids, dash me against boulders, drown me in an eddy, or wash me out to sea with its myriad dangers. However, those fears at once fell away from me in the joy and vibrancy of being in Him.
More than giving up things, the necessity of losing control, of giving up self, is death. We fear knowing God because it requires death. When we fear, we lash out & wound others. But He desires us to be filled with compassion for those who wound us–to see the darkness, the prison, the despair, the agony and for our hearts to overflow with compassion and love. Just as we pray for God to have mercy on us, we pray for Him to have mercy on the prisoners who wound us and reject the words of life. And as we so pray, a river of life flows out through us to the world…. (The River of Life 2001)
Before we continue, I have to tell one little story that always makes me smile inside. Now you can imagine from everything I’ve said so far that Kaylyn had a lot of spirit and never took anything lying down. Someone gave Kaylyn a book on how wives were to mindlessly submit to their husbands for a wedding gift. Well, she started reading the book on the way home from our honeymoon. I don’t think the author was doing a very good job explaining how it was supposed to work. All I can say is that somewhere in Western Kansas out in the middle of no where on highway 50, a ripped in half book went out the car window at 60 mph. That said, Kaylyn did study all the Bible verses related to wives and husbands through-out our marriage and was an advocate for Christ centered harmony in the home as we can see in this letter to me in the late 1990’s.
Since becoming a Christian, I have believed that a wife sets the tone of the home—its culture—and that the husband supports her in that, as in the Little House books where Laura’s father respected her mother’s values and standards for their homelife and all its priorities. That doesn’t at all mean that the husband doesn’t have ultimate authority over the home, but simply that he trusts his wife’s knowing best about the home’s culture (unless there are things he disagrees with, of course). I have always wanted to establish a real home—ever since I was a little girl. My ideal home would be a place of joy and harmony, light and laughter; a home is bathed in love.
Kaylyn and I spent a lot of years in a lot of churches trying to understand why the core message of the Bible, which was a crucified self and obedient new man, often did not seem to be lived out by people or taught by the leadership. You can see some light bulbs coming on in this email to her friend as she struggles with the disparity found between the Bible and practice.
I was not raised a Christian. Therefore I wasn’t raised in the “Christian worldview,” i.e. the perceptions and expectations produced by the “Christian” culture and lifestyle. This is quite different from the pure Bible teaching, but people don’t realize it because they use the same vocabulary. From the beginning I would say to people…but the Bible says this and they would get really angry. I found that puzzling at first, then I read something in the Saturday paper that there are missionaries from Africa to Wichita. They said people think it’s strange that they should come to evangelize here. They explained that people in America live a Christian lifestyle, but that most have not had their lives transformed by Christ.
I come from academia where any topic is open for discussion (or at least in the days before Political Correctness) and it was the norm to be quite open in these discussions and consider them on their own merit. I have discovered that this way of functioning is an affront to Christians because it’s an affront to their rules based worldview, which is quite different from what the Bible actually says. If either Jesus or Paul appeared, everyone would really be affronted big time! (Breakthrough 2006)
Before continuing with writings showing her spiritual growth and tempering faith, I want to throw in an example of one of her poems. This is one is called “Repent” and was written in 1993. All her poems and the full version of this memorial transcript will be on the web site listed in your memorial folder.
The works that you do don’t count
No matter how busy, how much good you do
The works that you do don’t count
You can wear yourself out
Neglect all your friends
Fall down by exhaustion consumed
Yet it’ll have no effect
Like giving your body to be burned
You lack the foundation
The one sure and true
The repentance from self
To which God always woos
You’re lost in a spider’s web
The works that you do
Are wood, stubble, and hay
No lasting fruit will they yield
For You’ve built your house upon the sand
Of activity, programs, and zeal
You’ve read the Bible
You’ve figured it out
You know what He requires
You’re doing it all
Sure that He’ll overlook your failures
The trouble with that Dear friend, kind and true,
Is that the whole law you must keep.
Or else you must lay yourself down
In the dust at His feet
The best way you can Your worthlessness,
Hopelessness – Clear you must see
And repent of, too, while you’re there.
And then Jesus,
Will come in the door of your heart
His life will He live out, there
Inside you, the Rock you will have found
Our job is joy
Our work is belief
Our occupation to trust Him all day.
For He will accomplish the work to be done
He will deliver, unbind
What kind of madmen have we become
That we think that we do the work?
When Jesus is God Who came here and died
Salvation to give free to us?
In this next writing, Kaylyn is dealing with the Narrow Way of Matthew 7 as she contrasts the two extremes in Christian practice of the God who meets my carnal wants to the God who could never love me.
Christianity is in so many ways a paradox and it is in resolving these paradoxes that the narrow way is disclosed. One such paradox involves who we really are. On the one side we see the most egregious “name it and claim it” people who storm the citadels of heaven to obtain….a Cadillac. On the other side we see the false humility of those who will not receive all that Christ died to give us, who are not willing to feel worthy, no matter what He says.
It is absolutely plain in the Old Testament, through constant repetition, that God desires to pour out blessings of all kinds on His obedient children who fear and honor Him and live righteously. If we tear down the false gods we worship and worship our God as the truly sovereign Creator He is, He will open the windows of heaven and pour out overwhelming blessings in every area of our lives: material and spiritual. He will bless our finances, our marriages, our children, our churches, and our nation. But many people try to manipulate God by doing all the right things and living by rules in order to get the blessings instead of crucifying self and submitting our will. They are greedy. And many false shepherds appeal to this greed. They say the truth, but emphasize it in such a way as to appeal to greed. Very few teach people how to fear God and walk humbly before Him.
Few Christians handle God’s blessings well. Many begin to love and serve the blessings. Others become puffed up and cease to see themselves as God sees them. They begin to see how good they are and gradually become self-congratulatory and are contaminated by the leaven of the Pharisees. (The Narrow Way)
Now Kaylyn’s writings change focus and she begins the long arduous journey of judging her own heart’s luke warm idolatry against the piercing truth of God’s living Words to the Church of Laodicea written in 2001 in “God Answers”.
There is no point in pretending, in trying to have a reputation among men, in being a hypocrite. God, Jesus, and all the angels see not only everything we do, but everything we think and imagine…the motives of our heart. And eventually it will all be revealed before all Creation. No matter how we try to build ourselves up, still our hearts are deceitful above all things and maintaining a good image of ourselves is vain. I think of all the scriptures about worshipping false and graven images—I must confess that I worship this false image of me that I have created. To go forward, I have to tear it down, that I might know and worship the true God.
It doesn’t matter how bad we are, what evil lurks within us or if all our Christian friends and pastors would condemn us if they only knew, because God won’t condemn us. God already knows what’s in a man, He knows our hearts, He is not surprised by our selfish hearts covered by a guise of goodness. He knew all that BEFORE He sent His beloved Son to die for us that we could be saved and have the right to come boldly before the throne of grace to get His help.
If we will be honest about our walk with Him, there are many snags, pitfalls, areas of struggle and failure, times of abandonment to the sin of pride and His voice is stilled in our lives. And then we are afraid and Satan screams that we have sinned the unpardonable sin, that He can forgive everything but what we’ve done, forgive everyone but us, that there is no way back to Him, that this is our eternity. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden we want to run and hide because we are ashamed and afraid of Him, half believing Satan’s oft-asserted view of Him as wrathful and stern. So then we pretend, we create a false image of our reality. We pretend to ourselves and to others that everything is fine and that we are really close to God. And that great lie keeps us from very the grace of God that we so desperately need. But if we will admit to ourselves the truth about where we are and if we will turn to Him in our shame and cry out…God please help me… He is always there and always faithful to show us the way back to Him and to cleanse and heal us.
Yesterday morning I saw and told Him that I didn’t love Him anymore and I was frozen with fear and with dread. For surely our loving Him is the one crucial requirement of our walk with Him. But no, our loving Him is NOT the crucial requirement, rather it is His loving us…we can only love Him because He first loved us., Although I was crushed and humiliated at having to admit this, He was, of course, already aware and had known about it since it happened.
I went to Revelation 3 to the Laodicean church. His message for me was that I have become lukewarm. But in verse 17 He showed me that He was talking about true spiritual riches, but I think I’m fine, because I know so much about God and His Word, when the reality is that spiritually I am wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. He gave me understanding that we have only one currency with Him and that is FAITH. He is saying that if I will choose to trust Him with myself, to lay down everything else, all other possible solutions to my dilemmas, that He will give me the spiritual riches for whose lack of I am dying, even though self has deluded me into believing that my carnal famines are a feast. He will give me the White Clothes of His Righteousness with which He will clothe me when I admit that I am dressed in the filthy rags of my false self-image of self-righteousness. Then he gives the Eye-Salve that will open my eyes to the truth of how he sees me and to the illusion of what this life offers us. Then lastly, the Gold is the true riches of unshakeable trust and Faith in his goodness and obedience to his will.
While most see verse 20 as the salvation call to let Christ into our hearts, this message was really to the Church and He made it clear that He was waiting for me to listen to His loving chastening before He would come in and sup and abide with me. He cannot abide with a lie, with a false image. And then I will have power to overcome the sin of pride and self-reliance. He is inviting me to abide (eat, sup) with Him, but I am too busy, that is too dependent on myself and my own interests—all these things I want to do. It broke my heart.
When we abide, we are casting all our cares on Him to follow Him. Our job then is to look at Him, listen, worship, and obey Him—to know that in Him we live, and breathe, and have our being. So in the parable of the sower, the cares of this world depict our ceasing to abide in Christ and therefore bearing His fruit. Anytime I think I’m really okay or another person’s behavior is not…in that moment I am a hypocrite. I think Satan’s main attack on us is to get us to forget that we are, in reality, naked, blind, and helpless and forget that all the true riches are from God and do not belong to us. He would like us to get puffed up just like the Pharisees and cease to abide in Him, without even noticing that the sin of self-reliant pride and hypocrisy takes Christ’s place. And then we deny that sin by creating a false image of ourselves that we worship in the place of the Living God, the Christ. This is, generally, our condition spoken about by the heart being deceitful above all things.
If we cry out to Him and cling to Him, who is our only Salvation, He will come to us. If we listen to His chastening, He will bring us to repentance, destroying the graven images we have worshipped of ourselves. Then He will abide with us and we will live the victorious Christian life by his indwelling grace. (God Answers 2001)
Next we see Kaylyn is looking for the Narrow Way of purity and true worship to be attained by understanding more about the real idols of her own heart that need to be torn down. Here Kaylyn is judging her own heart again to see where her trust has really been in the 2005 writing of “No Other Gods”.
Reading rapidly through the OT makes it painfully clear that God is serious about our worshipping only Him. I suppose most people think that only refers to making gods, idols, false images out of wood and stone and worshipping them. I knew He had written all that as a warning and example to us, Paul says so in 1 Cor 10. So I began to ask Him to show me the false gods that I have. I know we all say the right words and we honestly believe that we worship God. In fact we build our lives around Him. But our actual behavior when we are threatened or attacked will tell a deeper truth.
First I saw that I needed to understand what I want a god to do for me. A god is what I rely on to protect me, supply my needs, and comfort me. A god is what I put FIRST. A god is what I love above everything else.
I was appalled to see that my first god is me. As might be expected of someone raised in a secular, humanistic society, my most-high god is myself. I think I lay down my life for others and in many ways I do, but I’m realizing that I also ensure that I’m protected and taken care of. In times of trouble, do I run to God or try to figure it out on my own, leaning to my own understanding? I have been really focused on this Tozer quote:
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, how can you hope to find inward peace?
A closely related god is money, mammon. Do I feel safer and more secure with a cushion in savings, with a secure job, with health insurance? At what point do I rely on the blessings God has given me rather than on Him? Do I look to God for my provision or do I rely on myself to keep my job, get a better one, get a raise? We can only know if we are willing to look deeply inside our hearts and be truthful about our motives. If we don’t do that, God promises He will. (No Other Gods 2005)
In this same year, Kaylyn now focuses her writing on possibly why non-Christians want nothing to do with our Christian religion and why so many of the Christians don’t feel accepted and loved in this one titled, “The Christian Pharisee”.
The entire Bible declares that God hates mixture. And yet that’s what we are because we don’t judge our own hearts, don’t receive the correction of the Holy Spirit, because we are self-satisfied and believe that we are on God’s path, are pleasing to Him. But such a belief blinds us to the condition of our own heart. It is easy to judge others when we overlook this mixture in ourselves and in them. One of the ways our hearts are deceitful is in viewing ourselves as basically good (with a few flaws, of course) and viewing others as basically bad (with a few good features, of course). Of course we don’t view everyone else as bad, only those who don’t measure up to our judgment of what is right, of what people ought to be. For example, we might think well of those in power at church, of those who have positions we covet, of those who’re well-thought of by those we admire, of those who are in a position to do something for us. Or we may think well of people who do not commit visible sin, who are courteous, kind and soft-spoken. Whatever our belief structure, we accept those who measure up to it as equal in goodness to ourselves. Everyone has an unexamined paradigm of what is acceptable and what is not. However, this believing that some are better than others is sin because to God all sin is equal; the best person on earth is as great a sinner as the worst; only God is good, says Jesus. Truly no one is better than another. Haven’t you ever wondered why there is so much in the New Testament about the Pharisees? It is to warn us against their sin. And yet we are blind to the Pharisee within ourselves.
The real sin in all this is in how we look at those that we judge as beneath us, as not measuring up to us, to our standards, to our position in God. Since we don’t acknowledge our own mixture, we are quite unable to see that others have mixture too, qualities we don’t admire mixed with qualities higher and finer than we can understand. If they don’t have specific qualities that we ourselves have defined as Godly or if they do things defined as ungodly, no matter how much God loves them, no matter what incredible gifts of God they bear, they are seen as beneath us. Therefore we judge and look down on them. If we are really committed to our self-righteousness, believing ourselves to be really special to God, then we make every effort to reach out to these poor people in “love.” We visit, smile, and try to find nice things to say to them and then wonder why these unsaved ones, the recipients of such condescension, are not interested in the Lord. Or, if they are saved, why they don’t admire us, see us as highly worthy as we see ourselves to be; we wonder why they avoid us.
So here is the paradox: we are utterly blind to our total transparency to the person being judged, condescended to, and “helped.” Our internal attitudes, that are so carefully hidden, are flagrantly visible. The story of the emperor who had no clothes is very apropos. It took a little child who was not bound up in the whole sham to cry out the truth—the emperor was naked. Religion is the same. It is a huge deception of Satan that builds a giant stronghold in each believer through which he views the world. And only the little children, those not involved in it, can see through the sham. And they see clearly; they see the judgment, the sneers, the struggle to be nice to them, the self-satisfaction. We are transparent to them.
Yet the condemned are in utter agony and long for a true representation of God’s mercy and love. They fight back in many ways to try to disprove of our judgment. Sometimes they speak the truth, pointing out what we really are. Or they are rude or they rush into sin, anything to get away from the soul-destroying judgment. Because nothing can set them free from our judgment. Even if they get saved (or are already saved), they’ll still be beneath us—“she used to be a prostitute,” “he’s divorced,” “he’s fat,” “she talks too much”—the list is endless. The Most High God loves this person utterly, forgives him, accepts him as righteous, but to us in our infinite wisdom, he’s still inferior. After all, he wasn’t raised in a loving Christian home on all the truths of the Bible and been taught to worship those that have. And he knows that’s how we see him and he can’t escape it. And ultimately he feels he’s unworthy of God’s love; so either he gives up in discouragement or he spends his life struggling to live up to our standards.
The thing that’s so incredible in this politically correct and tolerant age is that we think it’s horrible judgment when someone points out sin. We say how bad that is and how the church should have open hearts and open minds and accept everything in order to be loving. What would Paul have said to this? How deluded we are to think that accepting sin is being free of judgment, while we, in quietly condescension to so many we view as beneath us, are actually committing the true sin of judgment every hour of every day.
Jam 4:11b-12 – … if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Jam 2:9-10 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (The Christian Pharisee – Mixture 2005)
This last writing titled by Kaylyn as “Deceitful Hearts” was penned less than 2 years before she was to begin the final trial of her faith. By now she had gone through years and years of painful breaking of her own will, self and pride with the truth of God’s word to purify her faith towards Him, yet her passion to honor God in the face of any trial is made evident in this writing shortly before her battle with cancer was to begin.
Early yesterday morning I read about a Vietnamese grandmother imprisoned for holding church meetings in her house. She said, “Just like shaving a tiger’s hair doesn’t do away with its stripes, so I am still a Christian. I still have meetings. At first there were only five meetings in my house. Now there are more than a dozen.”
I didn’t think much about it, deleted it, and went on with my day. But all day, while I went about my work, I kept thinking about it. I realized that I needed to know that, in the very depths of my being, I was Christ’s, for that is saving faith. I needed to know that NOTHING could pull me away from Him or cause me to deny Him. That no matter what happened, only my commitment to Christ would show, because that is what I am at my deepest level, that if you “shaved my fur”, you’d still “find stripes.”
I’ve been realizing that we Christians here in America are increasingly likely to face persecution. And, like everyone else, I’ve wondered if I could remain faithful to the Lord under the physical torture and death that hundreds of thousands around the world face every year. And, after reading about the tiger’s hair, I realized that I could only remain faithful, if my commitment to Him was all the way through, throughout the deepest parts of my nature, to my very core. A severe test reveals the heart to this level.
Then the Lord brought Hebrews 4:12 to mind. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Judging our own hearts with his Word is the only way for us to know what is really in us. Maybe this is why He has us spend so much time in the Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
I have always prayed for Him to reveal my heart to me, but I felt He was asking me to pray now with great urgency, especially before times of reading the Word, that He would show me the deepest part of my nature, the real motives of my heart. Since He says the heart is deceitful above all things, I know that I often think the best of myself when it is unwarranted and do not face the truth about myself. I am to repent of thus resisting the workings of the Holy Spirit and commit to welcoming anything He brings up, no matter how painful.
I am to pray and ask Him to show me the depths of evil in my heart so that I may repent. This is not an easy thing to be willing to do in sincerity. It’s much more comfortable to be deceived into being satisfied with ourselves, thinking we’re not so bad, actually pretty great. But those lies will be revealed, to our shame and loss, when we stand before God.
It is better to judge our own hearts, so God doesn’t have to judge them. It is better to let Him reveal any sin, so carefully hidden from ourselves and others, of pride, selfishness or self-satisfaction or whatever our besetting sin, than to find out that our commitment to Him does not go to our very core. I plead with Him, like David, to show me any hidden sin–whether of action or heart attitude–that I may be pure before Him. This process is actually the crucifixion of the flesh. It is devastatingly painful. It is the price of being His disciple.
AW Tozer: “There is within each of us an enemy which we tolerate at our peril–the self-life. To allow this enemy to live is, in the end, to lose everything. To repudiate it and give up all for Christ’s sake is to lose nothing at last, but to preserve everything unto life eternal.
AW Tozer: “We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.”
I pray that He put that urge within all of us. Love, K (Deceitful Hearts 2009)
We began Kaylyn’s story by wanting to focus on the development of her Faith. I want to close by talking about the Biblical Faith that Kaylyn was pursuing. Hebrews 11 says that without Faith it is impossible for us to please God. At the start of the chapter, it defines Faith as the Substance of things hoped for and the Evidence of things not seen. Romans 10 says that our Faith comes by our hearing the Word of God. So we see that the Substance, which I like to call the “content of knowledge about God” is the basis of our Faith. We have to know that his Word is objectively true, know who God is, what he has done, what he will do and how we are to relate to him with trust and obedience. That is Substance. It is decisive and objective and not ethereal. Now the Evidence of things not seen is shown to us in the rest of Hebrews chapter 11 by all the lives being presented there as living out their faith in God by obedience and in hardship. This Evidence of things not seen is all about us – it’s the Evidence in our lives or testimony seen by others regarding what we do with that Substance that we objectively hold to be true. If you remember Kaylyn’s salvation experience, it was a somewhat subjective experience resulting from an objective belief – she suddenly knew the truth and was filled with peace and joy. Her life and writings reflect how her faith matured from having an experiential and subjective relationship with God that was often dependent on feelings to a solid objective faith that was based on the knowledge and understanding of what the scriptures say about who God is and who she really is regardless of circumstances. Her writings reflect the journey into the kind of Faith that could endure any trial and needed no mystical feelings to shore her up.
Once her cancer was at stage 4 and past treatment, the Oncologist did his best to gently prepare us for the possible outcomes for this kind of cancer. It could very likely be a long, horrible and painful journey to death. He recommended quickly getting a do not resuscitate order and to pray for something from secondary causes to take her first. You see, this cancer didn’t directly attack organs, but spread throughout the fleshy tissues. He subtly tried to help us understand that death by pneumonia, stroke from clots or major infection was preferable. Yet God determined that the best path for Kaylyn was to go the long journey to death. To give you a feeling for the duration, most people die after 5-10 days without water intake. Kaylyn went 5 weeks without food and 4 weeks without water other than to moisten her mouth. Pain was a constant battle, even with me tracking and monitoring everything in detail. The experts say this battle is because her body was going through major changes constantly as the cancer grew and spread.
Day after day, watching Kaylyn suffer and slowly dwindle away, I kept asking God to help me understand his purpose for this in Kaylyn’s life. One day it became perfectly clear. You see Kaylyn’s tiger stripes were already to her core and her faith was already complete, so much so that I believe God was saying two things:… One – She had finished her fight to achieve a durable faith and Two – He had counted her as worthy to suffer for his sake with great joy and peace as a witness to me and you. I’m convinced that her trial of intense suffering and long duration was really God’s testimony for us to learn from.
You see, not one single time in 18 months of surgeries, radiation, major blood clots and ongoing pain beyond what I can express here, did I see her discouraged, complaining or doubting God’s way in her life – not once. I find that incredible and unbelievable. As much as she suffered intensely and endured the test with unbelievable trust in the absolute goodness and perfect love and will of God for her; we too suffered with her and it was our faith and beliefs that were being constantly challenged and contrasted against hers.
A Faith that says: Do we love God and each other with an Unfeigned Love, which requires a crucified life? Do we allow God to judge our hearts with his holy Word to produce His righteousness and obedience, but yet still extend mercy and love to others instead of judgment and condescension? If not, what should we do about it? Will we come meekly and trembling to God’s Word to build an eternal foundation by turning away from our inborn self-worship and begin trusting in God not just for salvation, but everything? Kaylyn had discovered that, God will not mix with our pride; he will not shore up our self-righteousness or self-reliance. The scriptures say that God will only pour out his Spirit of life on those that come to him contritely with nothing but their sin to offer him and who cry out for his mercy, forgiveness and salvation through faith and then express that faith by a crucified self and obedience to Christ. I can only pray that we have been eternally changed by Kaylyn’s testimony of faith. I know that I have been.
Thank you again for all of your support, patience and kindness to Kaylyn and I. I could not have done this without you and that is the sobering truth. My heart has truly forever been changed by God working through all of you to us. I want to leave you with this last thought from Kaylyn written in 2004 as she contemplates what the Bible declares as a puff of smoke, our lives.
We do not perceive reality; we perceive instead the illusion around us, the delusion. All that we believe to be solid and permanent is fleeting and ethereal. The Spirit World that we believe to be ethereal, uncertain, wispy is actually the solid rock of reality and eternity. All that seems so permanent and secure is just how it is right now, not how it’s been forever. We are deceived by our own limited perspective – our short life span. (God’s Words 2004)