What's My Name?

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While going through numerous physical exams and having my body poked, stuck and explored by a host of doctors and medical technicians, I begin noticing just how frequently the doctors and health care professionals referred to me by the illness I was facing as opposed to my name. I’m sure many of you can relate to being referred to as the breast cancer patient or the man with diabetes and that woman with the terrible arthritis, the man with the rash, the lung cancer patient, the MS patient, that lady with Lupus or the man suffering from depression. This list could continue, but I’m sure by now you understand my point.

I realize the name of an illness helps everyone involved in the treatment process understand what he or she should be doing, but we all have to be careful not to allow our identities to get lost in our physical challenges. I once asked the person conducting a particular medical examination if they knew my name. I was disappointed when they had to refer to my medical chart for the answer. Their actions made me feel like just another body they had to deal with in their busy schedule.

With the prevalence of HMOs, health care clinics and over crowed community hospital emergency rooms, personal care can be very difficult to provide, even by those health care professionals who are dedicated and diligent in practicing their professions. I’ve heard well–meaning people refer to themselves as old & beat up or I’m the man who can’t stop coughing. I even heard one woman call herself a broken down old lady.

Referring to a patient by his or her name is a simple courtesy we should all adopt and remind those around us to do the same. Referring to yourself according to your illness gives more power to your disease than to God. This bad habit can easily become a part of your natural response to your condition. There may be times when you feel the symptoms of your illness more than you feel the presence of God. But while you’re on your journey to wellness make every effort to eliminate any weights that bring you down mentally. Negative terms to describe your physical condition not only weigh you down, but can also be as detrimental to your health as any chronic disease. 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV If any man (or women) be in Christ, he is a new creature. View yourself as new and improved even when you feel your worst.

God never views us as negatively as we view ourselves. I honestly don’t believe that God sits in heaven and thinks, let me see how my stupid, broken down servants are doing today. Jeremiah 29:11 says for I know the thoughts I think toward you saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give an expected end. God referred to Gideon as a mighty man of valor even though he was the complete opposite of that when he was introduced to us in the book of Judges. We are precious and valuable in Gods eyes regardless of how we may be feeling or what physical challenges we face.

While on your journey to wellness, keep remembering, your real name. Your name is not cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, ulcers or all the other things you may be facing. You are a special creation of almighty God. You are special in his sight regardless of how you feel. That old song we all learned, as children should always remain at the forefront of our minds. Jesus loves me, this I know.

Blessings on your journey to wellness
Rev. G.W. Tyles

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