When Your Ordinary Life Isn't Anymore
Has your body ever failed you?
The range of ways that this could happen are really quite infinite. Maybe you recently injured yourself and are no longer able to participate in your usual exercise. Maybe your blood pressure has been creeping up the past few months despite the dietary changes you've made or the change in your activity level. Maybe you just found out you have gestational diabetes and feel like you just can't catch a break between the pregnancy pains and your new carb restriction. Maybe you've been diagnosed with cancer, and well, cancer sucks (that is a direct quote from my dear friend who is currently fighting this battle)!
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. While the diagnosis has been a relief on some levels (there is an actual answer) and the "treatment" so to speak is pretty straight-forward (banish all. the. gluten.), I would be lying if I said it hasn't been rough. I still have a decent ways to go in repairing the damage done to my body prior to my diagnosis <insert mug of bone broth here>, and I'll be honest, I'm over it.
As anyone with an autoimmune disorder that has flared can tell you, I have felt generally terrible. It's not really something you can fully describe to someone who has not experienced the same but it involves feeling a complete loss of energy, tired and weak, and well, like I said, generally terrible. And wow, has it been discouraging and isolating and downright annoying.
To compound this, my son was also diagnosed this year with Celiac Disease; so now I'm taking on double duty in trying to keep him from the seemingly unending amounts of gluten at his disposal when we go almost everywhere. I thought I felt isolated, but this poor guy is only four and has to watch while other people get the treats, and he doesn't. As I'm sure any of you allergy moms out there understand, it is sad to witness.
Generally speaking, Celiac disease isn't so bad. Removing gluten from our home wasn't exactly easy but certainly wasn't the most difficult thing ever. Our family is probably a decent amount healthier as a whole because of it. However, so much of our world outside of our home revolves around food whether we want it to or not! It is difficult to go to a friend's house for dinner because I am not sure if I will get an accidental exposure. Going out to eat is hardly worth the hassle when you try to explain to your waitstaff that nothing the chef uses can even touch gluten or you could get sick -- often even for a couple weeks. Have a busy day with kid activities and want to just stop and grab something quick for dinner, forget that. Your non Celiac kid wants to enjoy some gluten and also share kisses with you? Wait, hold up! Want to celebrate a holiday with family? Don't forget to bring your own meal. Want to participate in communion not at your home church? Better quick find the pastor and see if a gluten free wafer is available. Your kid's class wants to bring snacks for everyone? Well, it can be for everyone but your child. I could go on and on with all the different situations I have encountered over the past year, but here is the actual point of my complaining:
I just want to be normal again.
I just want to NOT think about gluten, like ever. I want to have a delicious sandwich, or piece of cake, or a donut. I want my kid to go somewhere and not say "Does this have gluten in it, Mom?"
I just want my ordinary life back.
Maybe you've been here where I am? Have you been in a bit of a funk or even depression about what life has had in store for you lately? Have you felt angry? Lonely? Cried many tears?
What does God have to say to us in these moments?
1. He has a plan. We might not know or understand the reason behind God's direction of our life (and we may never) but God is our almighty Father, and we can trust Him.
- Isaiah 55: 8-9, " For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
- Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
2. We need not worry. God is in control! He will give us exactly what we need when we need it!
- Matthew 6:25-27, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat of drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
- Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
3. Pray to Him. It's so easy for me to forget this, but we should pray to our Father (we don't even have to have the words!)
- Psalm 50:15, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
- Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
4. Heaven is our final glory. Ultimately, our time on this earth is temporary (thankfully). Heaven is our glorious home!
- Romans 8:18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
- John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
- Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."
It can be hard when we are stuck in a rut with something bothering us in our life. It can be so easy to lose sight of our gracious God and wallow in our own misery (even if we are in fact somewhat or incredibly miserable). But God is here for us. He did the amazing and sent his extraordinary turned ordinary Son to die for us. If He is able to do that, at the very least He can and will provide me with my daily bread, even if it does have to be gluten free.