Right now I'm craving a tomato. Funny, a couple of months ago I'd be craving a soy latte and one of those artisan breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks. I would definitely say that my perspective is changing, as is the desire to put more live food into my body. Since I'm out of tomatoes this morning, my breakfast is some vegan granola with blackberries the size of jawbreakers and blueberries the size of my thumb. Eating organic has certainly impressed me with the size of the produce! I will elaborate more on that in my next post about how impressed I am with Freggies.
For now, I want to get back to my original thought, "Peaks and Valleys," or perhaps more appropriately titled, "Hope and Despair." Immediately I think of the movie Princess Bride and the 'pit of despair,' which I very much felt I was in a couple of weeks ago, and as I thought about it, Wesley and Buttercup fell down a very steep ravine before they entered it... which is exactly what I did.
Ok, it wasn't an actual ravine, but it was a trip to the doctor's office to get my bloodwork results. For those of you who talk to me regularly or see me often, you know already that the blood was taken from August, when I had an episode where I couldn't climb the stairs from our basement and had to call Kevin to come and get me. Scary! You also know I've been dealing with this for five years or so and anytime I get bad news it is discouraging. The news from my doctor is that most of my levels were elevated or not elevated enough; all in a negative way. For example, the Epstein Barr virus, rampant in my body and the same virus that causes Mono, was at a level in the 400s. It is supposed to be at a level less than 18. My Candida level is still high (bad) and unfortunately, my cortisol is almost non-existent (also bad.) If I can't get my cortisol levels up, I could seriously be at risk for Addison's disease, which would put me on medication the rest of my life.
UGH! How depressing!
So, that was the steep ravine I fell down before I entered my very own pit of despair, where I woke up the next morning crying and asking Kevin if God is punishing me. He soothed me enough for us to get on our way to church where Pastor Mark, by the power of the Holy Spirit, spoke directly to me through his sermon. (That happens more often than you know! God is so good!)
The sermon was 11/15/09 from Luke 2:8-20, titled Christ the Lord. I will link to it here:
The one point from this sermon that struck me so intensely was my own sin of viewing God in a theistic way. The belief that when I am hurting, it is because God is punishing me for something I did in my past. The TRUTH is that God is our father and although there is consequence for sin, he does not punish us.
I had a false belief, and a false theology. As I shared this with my community group later that week, the leaders dug a little deeper, I shared a little more, and by the end of group they offered to have the elders of the church pray over me and my illness. I confessed my unbelief, and they showed me the story of the paralytic that was lowered by ropes to see Jesus in Matthew 9:2 and that "when Jesus saw their faith" the man was healed. I was given so much HOPE by this! By the faith of my friends and the Elders, by your faith and my faith, I will be healed!
This last Sunday the elders prayed over me. As we were together, Pastor James Noriega made it clear that we are asking this to glorify God, not for me to feel better. And also that it is not a sin for us to ask for healing, and they prayed a glorious prayer over me. By the end of it I was radiant; I could feel the Holy Spirit present and during prayer felt a change in my heart. I thought to myself, "That's weird?- why the change in my heart? My illness is in my digestion," but maybe God was changing my heart to heal me. My friend Kari was there and asked me yesterday as we were having breakfast, "How would you feel if you didn't get better?" And I told her,"It doesn't matter, because I have HOPE that God will heal me. Whether I feel better or not, he has given me HOPE. I can live day by day with this hope even if I don't get better." But I will! He has promised to heal me, and I hope to share my story with all of you, a story of redemption and healing and reconciliation to Jesus and if you read that and don't know exactly what I mean, ask me to share the gospel with you.
I will keep updating my progress for you and will also be adding recipes (I just figured out how to do that) as well as photos of amazing produce! Fun!
By the way- for those of you worried I was losing weight too fast, I want to let you know that I leveled off at losing only 9 pounds and seem to be maintaining it. The amazing progress has been my skin; my face looks younger, my skin is tighter, and those annoying KP bumps on my arms are disappearing. I do have more energy and am sleeping great. Since Sunday, I have been incredibly motivated to keep up the diet. God IS healing me! He's doing it His way.