What do you do when, despite your best efforts, it just isn’t working? When you’ve cried out to God and feel like he isn’t listening? You don’t know which direction to go and feel aimless, often like you’re flailing. This can apply to many areas of life, but today I’m talking specifically about health, and more specifically about my body and why it’s not cooperating the way I think it should. For about 10 years now I have struggled with various symptoms including, but not limited to, extreme tiredness, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness, and a myriad of digestive issues. These are just some of the high-lights, there are many other symptoms that come and go. This last spring, things came to a head when my body decided to have numerous symptoms all at once. It has forced me to slow down and focus on the things that are most important to me.
Here’s some background. 6 years ago I went gluten-free, along with my youngest son who was just 7 years old at the time (you can find that story here). Initially, it was to support him in his new diet and I wanted to see if it would clear up some of my own stomach issues, and it worked. I stopped having problems with I.B.S., acid re-flux, and heartburn, or would only experience them very rarely. I was still having problems with tiring easily, achy joints, and I slowly gained weight over the next few years. I found a good chiropractor which also seemed to help my overall health. Then, about 2 1/2 years ago, I went paleo. I actually did a Whole 30. After completing my first Whole 30 I felt the best I had in years, still not 100%, but pretty good. I started looking at food differently. I had less and less tiredness and fatigue, less aching in my body, and lost about 15 pounds. I stuck with a paleo(ish) way of eating, because it seemed to work well for me.
Fast forward to May 2014 and my husband’s graduation from college, along with the past year being filled with changes and stressors, and my body said “Stop!” I had been slacking with my nutrition and what I was putting in my body, because of, well, -life. So, I made some drastic changes in my diet including the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (S.C.D), the Auto-immune Protocol (A.I.P), and low FODMAP. This all has helped immensely and through much trial and error, and my Doctor’s care, I can see some positive changes taking place. But still, some bad days. Some days I just want to stay in bed instead of trying to figure out what I can or can’t eat, what will or won’t affect me in a negative way.
Early on in my summer, on a day I was feeling particularly bad, I was in the kitchen at my normal time, cleaning up and making dinner. I had the radio on, I always listen to Christian talk radio while I’m working in the kitchen -same time, same station, same program, daily. I was overwhelmed and had started crying, I stepped in the back room so my boys wouldn’t see me. And then a commercial came on, it was for home-schooling Mom’s, and apparently for me. In fact it was as if God spoke directly to me through this commercial. It said (I’m paraphrasing)
To moms dealing with illness while trying to take care of your family:
- God’s heart is turned towards you.
- This time is ordained by God.
- Have peace.
- Healing takes time.
This is obviously not verbatim, but what I quickly jotted down so I wouldn’t forget. I needed to hear that, that day, and I knew I would need to remind myself of those things again. Things that I know about God, but often forget. As I look back over these last several years, I see Him. His guidance, His love towards me, Jesus’ intercession on my behalf. So, what do you do when you feel like, despite your best efforts, It just isn’t working? You rest. Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28,29
Rest in Jesus.