Surprises and Life Changes
Hey there, friends. It has been quite a while since I came into this space for a chat. I thought I was finding a rhythm of coming here once a week, like I did in the beginning of this journey. However, life has thrown some surprises my way in recent months, and I have just not had the where-with-all to come as often as I'd like. Just know that I do miss you all and this table, when I'm away. :)
I wanted to share a bit of an update on what's going on behind the scenes in our family. This space was always meant to be a place for open, honest conversation and I find that I cannot write anything worth reading if it's not coming from authenticity.
First, God surprised me in a BIG way about four months ago. I was getting my bearings again after the wild roller coaster I went on in my writing journey, when God just dropped this idea in my mind.
"Start an online group for women who want to overcome past pain."
I was completely unaware of what God had in mind, so I said, "Okay, I'll do it, but you have to give me at least, like, four women." My faith was pretty small. Well, twenty six women later, I realized I needed to cap it because it was just going to keep growing! Then, my prayer became more desperate...
"Um, okay, so what do we do now, Lord?"
It has been amazing to literally come into his presence weekly and ask "What's next?" and then watch him unfold something so special at that table He created. We've been digging deep and finding Jesus in the sorrow. He's filled me with a much bigger vision than I initially saw and I am so excited to see it grow. I have a wait list, currently, for women wanting to join at the next table, and if you are interested, just send me a note in my contact page and I can get you on that list. It's truly been a powerful thing to be a part of! God has beautiful things in store for women who brave their own stories. I'm so honored He thought to include me in a mission that would help women do that.
Second, there has been some news in our house that took the wind out of us a bit. Allen (my hubby) has been suffering for a couple of years from these unexplained episodes of severe pain in different joints. After a particularly alarming episode in December of last year, I convinced him to go to the doctor. He did, and it was discovered that he has Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease. Needless to say, that left us a bit stunned. There is no cure for autoimmune disease, and initially, the outlook was that he would be going on medications for the rest of his life. Understandably, that left him a bit discouraged.
Some of you who know us personally know that my youngest daughter, Lacey, has suffered from allergies since she was a toddler. That journey has taught me a lot about being proactive and taking my family's health into my own hands (because I'm the one doing most of the cooking/shopping etc...). Early on, I felt overwhelmed and a bit helpless, but day by day we began finding our way. We made diet changes then, and it made a huge difference in not just Lacey but all of us.
Even before we knew about this diagnosis for Allen, I felt a nudge to do some research on healing the gut, and using food as medicine. Lacey has been having some new issues and I have been searching for ways to not just deal with her symptoms but to actually restore order in her digestive system. It is apparent to me, after years of dealing with her issues that there is more to the story than just "you can't eat this or that". Interestingly, the research I was doing collided with the research I began on tackling autoimmune diseases. The bottom line that I have found, is that the gut has everything to do with our health.
About a week ago, Allen and I sat down to talk through things and he said something that was sort of his line in the sand...
"I'm not going to take medicine for the rest of my life."
My response was, "Then I'm with you, and I'll do whatever I can to support you."
So, we are going to use food as medicine and do waht we can to heal Allen and Lacey's bodies naturally. I will not pretend that it doesn't overwhelm me all over again, having to restructure our family diet. I have had a few moments when I have wondered if I am going to have to give up everything else in my life just so I can stay home and cook for my family. I don't dream of being a food blogger, or a creator of recipes. I'm thankful for the internet and the countless places I can go to find what we need, so I am not forced to create from scratch. I'll probably just be that mom sharing my weekly meal plan with links to all my favorite sites and recipes. If I do try creating my own recipes you will know for sure that God is in control and can do things we never expected. ;-) I've never been passionate about cooking, but I am passionate about feeding my family well. You may see a few more health related things pop up over here, but only for the purpose of sharing how our journey is going and to encourage you in yours.
God is our healer. Ultimately, we can only manage a disease, we cannot cure it. But we have no doubt that with one touch, God can restore every confused cell, and reprogram the immune system. We have already begun praying for healing. We will do all we can in the natural and then leave what is supernatural in the hands of God. So, our discouragment has turned to hope! We believe very much that God is guiding us and showing us one step at a time. He will not fail us.
Of course, we would love your prayers. We know God listens, and hears our cries for healing. He is good and kind towards us, of that we are certain. I will share as our journey unfolds the success and the trials. I'm sure there will be many of both. And I know that God will have many wonderful surprises along the way. He delights in bringing beauty through our struggle. Life is unpredictable, the path winds and curves. I'm so grateful to have Jesus walking right beside me as I walk the road before me. He will bring great joy to us in the unexpected!
Thank you, as always, for joining me on the journey!
**While I know that many of you have found solutions for your own health struggles, I would ask that you please respect our space and keep those suggestions to a minimum. Receiving lots of "Try this!" notes in this early stage only leaves me feeling overwhelmed, though I know the intentions are good! I am being diligent in my research and believe I will find the solutions that work best for our family. Thank you, friends!**