Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Being Real

ALERT...being real...if you would rather not hear real...not the post for you to read!

There is an area of my life that I have not shared on facebook or here on the blog.  Those that know our family personally are fully aware of the issue, but may not know my heart on the matter.

I have never chosen to share for so many reasons...
it could be taken as complaining...
this issue reveals where I lack self control...
would my words somehow cause someone to believe that God does not answer prayer 
(which of course HE DOES!!)

I however feel lead to share because I believe strongly that the enemy of our soul wants us to become isolated, alone, vulnerable.  

When our most difficult battles are walked alone it is very easy to become defeated.  

But when we live out loud, we allow others to prayerfully walk the journey with us.  We are strengthened as we speak the truth of God's faithfulness.  It also encourages others that may be facing a similar reality.

So...share I will.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt sick...EVERY TIME I EAT.  
When I was little I assumed that was just how people felt when they ate.  
Then for many years I thought that I felt pain and bloating because I was a glutton and choose to eat too much.  

My relationship with food has always been unhealthy.  I have lived both extremes.  Eating for every reason in the book...happy, sad, mad...  And then the opposite of starving myself at hopes of gaining some sense of control over my circumstances.  

Several years ago, I was overweight and decided to do something about it.  

I started exercising, removed junk food, and ate an extremely healthy diet of hormone free meat, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.  The weight came off...but the better I ate, the more I hurt.  

It made no sense!  I went to see a GI specialist and started a long road of testing.  
In the end the Doctor told me that it was in my head and I had  IBS.  

Frustrated...I started trial and error...keeping food logs. 

I discovered I had many symptoms of celiac disease. 
 I removed gluten from my diet. Although I experienced significant improvement, my symptoms never completely went away.  I then removed dairy...then soy.  

I lived gluten, dairy, and soy free for nearly three years.  The weight stayed off but I still continued to have extreme pain as soon as I put food in my mouth.  

One of my girlfriends made a joke that I am allergic to healthy things from the earth.  Although the thought seemed absurd at the time...we had no idea just how true that statement was.  

After we moved to NC I reached an all time low where my health was concerned.  I went to yet another specialist and began another battery of tests.  
This time...I was at least able to receive a diagnosis.  

I have an extreme case of fructose malabsorption.  (my body is not able to absorb fructose in any form...natural or artificial.  This includes all fruits and veggies, wheat, brown rice, most meats, and everything processed.  Still can't do dairy, soy, and nuts.)  I say extreme because many folks with the condition can eat some low fructose foods in moderation.  I however have a reaction with something as small as a grape, or one strawberry, or a bite of carrot.

The onset of the pain takes place IMMEDIATELY after putting something in my mouth.  But progressively becomes worse as the night goes on.  In the morning, I hurt so very much that I feel like I never want to eat again.  

I spent many many months trying foods in isolation and logging my reaction time.  The process was grueling...the results depressing...and my weight reached a record low of 105.  The five foods that I have found to cause minimal pain are white rice, oatmeal with just water on it, chicken or fish with nothing on it, and plain eggs.

I do not have a photo of my lowest weight but these will give you an idea.  

The specialist that diagnosed me with fructose malabsorption also found that I have small intestine bacterial overgrowth.  Basically, if fructose is not absorbed by my body, it does two things.  Part of it turns into hydrogen and methane gas causing pain, cramps, bloating, gas...the other part sits in my gut where bad bacteria has a feast and creates other unpleasant symptoms.  Insomnia and fatigue is a common symptom of FM as well as extreme sugar cravings.  How funny is body wants the very thing it cannot have!

So, this is the tough part to talk about.

I would love to say that the problem was found, managed, and all is well.  The truth of the matter is that it is a daily battle.  If I stick to the 5 foods, my gut feels better and my thoughts are clearer.  BUT...there is the little issue of passing out...headaches....and the constant worry and comments from those watching me melt.  And melt I do.  I can lose 2-4 lbs per day.

So, then I get afraid of having malnutrition and start eating again.  I have a pretty good pain tolerance so I can push through it for a time.  BUT...I become irritable...tired...enjoy the taste of real food again and start bingeing...and then beat myself up mentally because I have no self control.  It truly is an ugly cycle.  While in a season of eating somewhat normally, I get comments of how healthy I look.  I smile and thank the person...but inside I want to scream because what looks so healthy on the outside hurts terribly on the inside.  Often in circles of friends or when we go out, people are so grieved to see me not eating with them.  So...I eat...taste good food again...binge...and the cycle continues.

I have been told that if I just pray and believe, I will be healed.  It has been implied over and over that I have not been healed because I lack faith.

Friends, if you have followed our journey for any length of time you will know where my faith lies.  I am a gal that truly believes that prayer works!!!  Daily our family prays for my body.  Nearly every Sunday and Wednesday I go to the alter at church to be prayed for by the elders and anointed with oil.

I know the power of prayer...I know that my heavenly father heals!!!  I have seen my mountain moving, miracle making, faithful God move in my life and that of countless folks around me.  He ALWAYS answers prayer.

So, why have I not been healed?  Why are some people miraculously healed immediately and others not?  I honestly do not have the answer.  What I can tell you is that through this journey I have had to be fully pressed into my father God for survival.  HE has grown me in my relationship with him.  HE has helped me to see that it really doesn't matter what others think of me or my journey.  HE knows my heart and fills in the gap where I fall short.

We were never promised an easy road.  Actually, the Bible tells us clearly that there will be trials, pain, and sorrow in this world.  But HE has overcome the world and will not give us more than we can handle.

(there are days that I have myself a good chuckle...somehow HE believes I can handle so very much)

HE will never leave us alone and for that I am so very thankful.

If you are facing a difficult reality...I encourage you to give it to Christ!!!  A road that is potentially very lonely (have you ever met someone else with FM...I know I haven't)  does not have to be walked alone!!

There is another element in all of this.  We believe whole heartedly that we are to raise warriors for Christ.  Young men and women that will desire Christ more than anything this world has to offer!  They will be world changers.  But to do this they need to know how to wage war in the spiritual realm.  
I would have never asked for this physical problem, but I can tell you that God uses all things together for HIS good!  Our children are getting a front row seat at waging war.  They watch my daily battle...they know where my help comes from...they know the only place where true peace can be acquired.  Our warriors in training are being schooled in how to battle each and every day.

There are many days where I fall short...days where I feel the most unlikely instructor for their battle training.  Days I would rather sleep for a few months and wake up to a new improved me.

BUT...that is not my road and sleeping it off is not the answer.

I will stand...and in Christ's strength...I will fight.

No comments:

Post a Comment