A whole New Year! I am actually excited to start this year, as opposed to other years where I was apathetic at the beginning because it’s hard to be excited when you are dealing with the unknown. The fact that my future is unknown and uncertain still remains the same but I have hope in the future.
I have been sick for a couple months now, for one of those months I spent most of my time in bed. It was very difficult for me to be so weak and to have to miss so much work. The pain would not ease and the doctors did not find the source right away so I had to go through very unpleasant inconclusive tests.
A couple times during that month I felt pretty low, I was not sure if I was passing the trial. I have always struggled with trust; I like to be in control as much as I can and it was hard to have to put my life in the doctor’s hands, especially when they did know what was wrong with me! I was asked to rate my pain, on a scale of one to ten, about a hundred times. How do I know what it should be rated at? I’ve never been in this type of pain before but I feel like those who have cancer, who have been burned, who are in labor, or in some other traumatic state should have full reign of the higher numbers. I just wanted an answer and with each inconclusive test came discouragement and questions of my own sanity. Was it all in my head? It couldn’t be because I couldn’t even stand up straight.
On December 18th I finally had my answer. A nurse called me and told me I had Celiac Disease and that the doctor would call later that day. At first there was total panic because I had never heard of that and the nurse didn’t really tell me a whole lot about it. After a search on the Internet I found out that the disease is autoimmune, which means that my body is attacking itself! So much for being in control! I can’t even stop my own body from attacking itself. When I eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley) my immune system attacks my small intestine and destroys it. There is no special pill or cure for Celiac Disease, the only way to fight it is to change your diet.
I am very grateful for such a quick diagnosis when many people have gone years and sometimes decades before they were diagnosed. This whole process has been an emotional seesaw. I feel guilty for my lack of trust and thankful I have an answer. I feel even guiltier for feeling overwhelmed with this disease when people are struggling every day with cancer.
Throughout this process I have had a lot of time to think on my lack of trust in God. What is so crazy is that God made me and saved me and allowed me to have Celiac Disease. He is the same God who “laid the foundation of the earth” and who has “commanded the morning since [my] days began”. Who am I to ask what his plan is when I have never “walked in the recesses of the deep” or “seen the storehouses of the snow” (Job 38). He’s the one who set up the march of the penguins out in the middle of the frozen tundra, if he can take care of them then he can definitely provide me with some good gluten free food.
So this is the year that I want to do a whole lot more in terms of communicating with my Creator and Sustainer. I want to dive into all that God has for me and trust Him for my future. Instead of setting my sights on a simple star when he is offering the whole galaxy! I want to let go of whatever I think I am holding onto and cling to Him. I want to ask Him to change me even though it might be painful because I need Him to make me a lot more like Himself and nothing like what I am now. He has graciously given me this disease and has shown me that it is just a stepping-stone to greater heart changes in the future.