One of my goals for this blog has been to be more open, more vulnerable, more personal. I want you guys to know the real me. To understand me. Well, today's post is definitely going to be that. I'll be sharing the hardest thing I have to deal with in my life. My biggest daily struggle. Note: this may seem like a ranting post, but keep reading... it is really self-awareness post.
(And since I don't have a photo to go with this post, and I have a strange need to always have a photo with each post, you get a photo of me today! Haha!)
I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Celiac disease. Meniere's disease. Multiple hormonal disorders. Adrenal fatigue. Chronic fatigue. Chronic pain. And more. I can't remember them all. They are just labels. I don't take medicine, so these labels don't do any good for me. Except to justify my symptoms to others, I guess.
I take SUCH good care of myself that it's ridiculous. I don't eat gluten, corn, soy, dairy, processed sugars, shellfish, pork, poultry, or meat. On average, I eat fresh, wild-caught fish maybe once a month. I have weened myself off of needing tons of salt or other spices. I use mainly fresh herbs to strengthen the flavor of a dish. 50% or more of my diet consists of RAW fruits and veggies, and the past month I have been eating ONLY raw fruits and veggies.
I exercise. Even though it hurts. And I don't mean "hurts" as in the good pain one would normally get during a work out, like a good burn. Bad pain. A why-am-I-doing-this-to-myself sort of pain. But I do it anyway.
I go to the chiropractor. A good one. I do physical therapy. I stretch. I take whole-food vitamins and minerals. I don't let anything synthetic enter my body. I use flouride-free toothpaste and filter my water for the same reason. I drink a lot of water. I drink loose-leaf organic tea. I sleep 9 hours a night. I detox.
I pray. I worship. I love my Lord. Jesus is always good to me.
Do you want to know what it feels like to be me on a daily basis? Do you know the feeling of being sore and achy the day after your first work-out in a long time? That's how my muscles feel daily. Do you know the feeling of being stiff all over after sitting in the same position for too long? That's how my bones feel daily. Do you know the feeling of needing to crack your back or your knuckles because they are hurting? That's how my joints feel daily. Do you know the feeling of throbbing knees and/or ankles after a long run? That's how my knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists feel daily. Do you know the groggy feeling of waking up in the morning after getting maybe one hour of sleep or a night of drinking or partying? That's how my body/brain feels daily, even though I don't drink or party, AND I get enough sleep.
Really, I could go on. Headaches, dizziness, no energy, no motivation, stress, anxiety, stiffness, brain fog. More.
So what else can I do? I do everything I can to be healthy. And it all seems meaningless! My pain never goes away!!
This is my life. I go through a vicious cycle of being hopeful and happy for most of my days despite my health problems, trusting the Lord that I have this pain for a reason. But then (once a month, seemingly...), I have my hour of lamenting, in which I cry to the Lord and to my husband, wondering why I'm busting my butt if I've never even seen an inkling of positive results.
After my time of wailing, I come to terms with reality again. And I feel better! For many reasons. I'll explain why:
I don't think I have a set "diagnosis" that can be healed by worldly things. I believe the Lord has given me my health problems. To you, that might sound crazy. But I have learned so many things because of my pain.
As you can probably tell from everything I listed above, I am a control freak and a perfectionist. God knows this. And He can't work His miracles when I keep getting in the way. He is teaching me to scoot over and let Him be my focus. I mean, I have had to quit jobs because of my health! What an opportunity to focus on Him and to rely on Him! I am weak. He is so strong. And He walks with me through everything.
I have taught others everything I know about health. And these people have gotten better because of what they have learned from me, because of what God has allowed me to learn throughout all these years. If I had only been "sick" for a year, think about how much less I would have known! God is using my pain to help others with their pain.
God has given me the gift of compassion. I understand pain. (I understand pain like crazy!!) Before I got all of these health problems (8 or so years ago), I did not sympathize with those who hurt physically. I have quite a high pain tolerance, so I'd just always think, "Get over it and stop complaining! Nothing's THAT bad!" I was blind! But God has opened my eyes. Jesus felt ultimate pain, and He knows what I'm going through. He has compassion for me; now I have compassion for others.
Also, God has given me this pain and the rest of my seemingly unfixable health problems to heighten my trust in Him. God gives and takes away. HE is the ultimate healer. I could try every remedy on the planet, and He still determines my condition. I now know, and have peace in the fact that I may never be healed, but only He has the power to heal me.
Lastly, I have this pain so I can long harder and deeper to be with Him one day, living with Jesus in Heaven! For in His new world, pain will be no more. And I am SO excited for that day!
Though I know I may never be healed, I still pray for it daily. I still have hope in the fact that God CAN heal me. And, yes, I still do everything humanly possible to keep my health in check.
I wouldn't wish this pain or my other conditions on anyone. But I do wish that everyone had the understanding that I do now when it comes to health. Especially health and my Jesus.
Your body is a temple, and you need to take care of it, but don't let health become an idol in your life. Rely on the Lord more than anything else. I'm not promising He'll heal you, but you'll gain a peace that is so magnificent that you'll end up longing for it rather than a pain-free body.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overcome you. When you walk through fire, you'll not be burned, and the flame will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." - Isaiah 43:1b-3a
In closing, I have decided to place more health-related posts on my blog. Exciting, huh? So, is there anything you have a question about? Do you want to know more about something health-related? Or maybe more about what I do for my own health? Ask me!!