No Fear

If you’ve been reading along for a while, you know that I did a chronic infections panel to find out if an underlying infection could be the root cause of my ongoing Lupus activity. It was on this day last year that I received the positive result for borellia burgdorfori (the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease) among eight other chronic infections.

It was a strange moment. When I walked into my Naturopathic appointment, my doctor had only just received the results and had not previewed them so as he read to me what tested positive, he started to slow down near the end. You know that big news is coming when someone tries to be extra sensitive with how they share it. He didn't want to say it at first, but when he said that the last positive result on the list was borellia burgdorfori, I didn’t need him to explain. I knew what it was. 
 

“That’s the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, right?”
 

My heart sank. I knew the gravity of the situation. I knew right away that this was the most complicated infection anyone could possibly have. 

I took a deep breath. I was disappointed that this route was now my reality, but I was not fearful of what was to come. In fact, I had joy in my diagnosis! I know, I know, that’s a really bizarre thing to say. But it’s true. Just like when I had heart failure or when I learned that I had Lupus, I knew there was nothing to fear because my heavenly Father is sovereign over it all.
 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment; and the one fearing has not been perfected in love.” 
1 John 4:18
 

In this scripture, we learn that fear is from Satan and only brings torment to a person. If we hang back a bit into 1 John 4:8, we see that God is love; his character is true love. When we fully surrender our lives and circumstances to the will of the Father, we can experience His perfect love that casts out fear.

The only way to let go of fear and bring this fire to your soul is to experience a softened heart towards what God’s will is for you. This comes through prayer (you talking to God) and reading the bible (God talking to you). 

A great starting place is daily devotions, but these can be completely out of context and written to tickle our ears. Digging into the word - uninterrupted bible study - is when truth is revealed. Your heart must be open to reproach and learning where you need to change your life. You have to be willing to look for sin you need to repent of. 
 

I would like to note that there have been several seasons that I have needed medicine to help bring my physical body ease while my mind caught up. I could be unafraid but my body was continuing to tremor in a way that I couldn’t control. In these situations, I have found UNDA30 drops and GABA Pro tablets to be very helpful at easing anxiety so that I could think more rationally. 

Other helpful approaches have been using essential oils (especially diffusing lavender) and taking a long soak in a detox bath (hot water, epsom salts, baking soda, essential oils).
Most notable for changing my mindset though has been starting each morning with an hour of prayer and bible reading before even letting the kids out of bed!
 

With all that being said, we need to recognize that there is a difference between worldly fear and a healthy fear of the Lord. There are numerous places in scripture where we are instructed to fear the Lord in a way that brings about repentance and a choice to live in obedience to His commandments. 
 

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.”
Psalm 128:1
 

When we recognize the gravity of the consequences of our sin, we can choose to repent and change our hearts to live the way God calls us to. It is a good thing to fear God’s wrath and to accept His mercy and grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27


The opposite of experiencing worldly fear is a washing of peace that comes from living in light of God’s promises. You cannot be submissive to the will of God while keeping one foot in the world. Do not be afraid of what people think. There is a remnant of dedicated believers; seek them out for fellowship and encouragement. Please feel free to use the contact page to email me any time.

Click here  for more verses about a healthy fear of the Lord.

Click here for more verses about a healthy fear of the Lord.

One Year Later

It completely snuck up on me that I started blogging this time last year! I’ve never considered myself a writer and have been overwhelmed at the positive response and encouragement I have received. As I’ve poured myself into this community, I have been in awe at the love and support we can find in understanding each other’s personal struggles more deeply. So thank you for taking the time to walk alongside me! 

Five years post Lupus diagnosis and eleven months post Lyme Disease diagnosis. I've learned a lot about the nature and character of God as I've navigated these major life changes!

Five years post Lupus diagnosis and eleven months post Lyme Disease diagnosis. I've learned a lot about the nature and character of God as I've navigated these major life changes!

I’m getting all choked up right now thinking about everything God has done through the blog this year. I started hearing the whisper to write several years ago but I rebelled, selfishly not wanting to put the time and energy into it. The whisper only got louder though until I couldn’t push it aside any longer and I have since been so blessed for being obedient to His call. 


I’m trying to consider if there’s any one big thing that I’ve learned since starting the blog, but I just can’t seem to pin anything down. There has been a major shift in how I go about my life, however. 

I used to pray for what I wanted to happen, guidance in how to respond biblically, and for spiritual growth. But something about it was just a little off. What I realize now is that I was living my life as best I could and referencing the gospel along the way, almost like a part of my life rather than the source of my life. Spiritually speaking, I’ve always turned to the Bible to guide all my decisions, but I wasn’t fully surrendered and living in full obedience to the commands written. 

“But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
1 John 2:5-6
 

Because I was called to write this blog, I have surrendered control over it and focused on allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through me and direct what I write. To do that, I have poured so much more time into seeking what obedience looks like and what the commands and promises in the Bible are (as opposed to relying only on how I’ve been told to interpret verses). 

As I made this shift, the result has been a beautiful new revealing of God’s word! I’ve honestly been blow away reading my bible the past two months, seeing things that I’ve never seen before! Things that I always thought and understood one way had the veil removed and I finally understand clearly. It’s been such a huge blessing. The more I have surrendered my life to be lived in complete obedience, the more I come to understand what that obedience looks like. It looks like living just like Jesus modelled and taught.


Ultimately, I am at such peace with the lack of control I have over my health. I am at peace because God has me in the palm of his hand. He has declared the end from the beginning. Nothing goes unseen or unheard. He is in control of everything and his promises are true. 

Knowing this, I am excited for what lies in store for healing this year. I am still confident I will be healed, maybe on earth, maybe on the new earth. In the meantime I am going to lean in and allow myself to be refined along the way.

We are all in desperate need of refining. Prepare your heart, and study scripture for the coming of Jesus Christ draws near.

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A Season of Growth

This past year has been one of extreme circumstantial difficulty. Such seasons always lend themselves to growth; either you allow yourself to grow cold and hard-hearted, or you seek truth and grow to be more Christ-like. I’m so thankful to say that I’ve kept myself rooted in the word (the Bible) and God has revealed more of Himself to me than ever before. 

This actually brings me to tears, you guys. I’ve been seeking wisdom and guidance from God and he has lovingly granted my requests. 

Because this year (and especially this fall) have been such a whirlwind, let me catch you up on 2017 real quick:

- Starting the year, my body almost burst at the seams with inflammation and we sought answers for my huge Lupus flare. I began to be completely physically and mentally immobilized. It got so bad that there were times I didn’t think I could continue.

- In February, I found out that I was allergic to fourteen foods and the next day I cut them all out.

- In March, I took a chronic infections test and found out that I had eight chronic infections including hospital superbugs and borrelia.

- In April, I followed up the borrelia results with a T-cell test showing that I had an active Lyme Disease infection. I started treatment for Lyme Disease.

- In May, my two year old (Brooklyn) tested positive for a (much more severe) active Lyme infection. I also started a candida diet which lead into a ketogenic diet.

- In June, my seven month old (Caleb) tested positive for an active Lyme infection.

- In July I tackled SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and brought the kids to live with my parents while Zach did a major home renovation. I walked alongside my Dad as he was treated with radium and chemotherapy for cancer.

- In August, the kids and I did our first round of oral antibiotics.

- In September, Zach and I took the kids on a little vacation and it knocked me back quite a bit. My Dad was hospitalized.

- In October, I did a round of IV antibiotics and I felt much worse before becoming a bit more clear-headed. My Dad just about died in the hospital and we brought him home. 

- In November, I went back to work part time (part time medical leave) and this has been very difficult on my body. My Dad improved after Naturopathic home care and then passed away in his sleep at the end of the month.

- In December, the grief derailed my body and I really struggled to keep my body physically calm. 

- In total this year, I had 133 medical appointments and this required so much of my time and energy. I have still not been able to properly exercise because when I do, the inflammation flares. I have been quite strict with my diet, medications, and sleep to try to do everything I can to take good care of myself.


I don’t know why God is allowing these things to happen, but it is obvious that in this journey, my trust in the Lord is growing and I’m being sanctified. I am learning more deeply about the character of God and abiding in His grace. There’s a song by Matt Redman that has the lyrics “when I am in the storm, Lord the storm is not in me” and I am overwhelmed with praise and thankfulness that my foundation on Christ has allowed me to stay not just spiritually strong, but joyful through these horrible circumstances.

If my hope was in my health, I would be crushed right now. To have your reality so far from your expectations is not an easy thing to wrestle through. But I’m not crushed, I’m not scared, and I’m not even feeling like life isn’t fair.

This life is so much more than our day to day. The enemy brought sin into this world and there is spiritual attack, but what was intended for evil, God uses for good (Gen 50:20)! I will continue to bring God glory through my circumstances and praise Him for the opportunity to do so. And at the same time, I will continue to pray for physical healing on this earth so that God can be glorified in it. 

God hears your prayers! He hears the groans of your heart and he responds! He responded with Jesus who sacrificed Himself for all of us when all our sins were future. He took our burden and we can rest in the grace of our loving Father. Now we can look forward to an eternity where in the presence of God we are free from sickness, death, and all sadness!

Where are you putting your hope this year? Hope in anything other than Jesus will let you down. 

May we seek the healer over the healing. 

May we seek the comforter over the comforting.

May we seek the deliverer over the delivering.


2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”


We are here to comfort, encourage, and guide one another through our different seasons of life. Thank you for journeying with me through this! Thank you for your prayers and reminders of truth! I can’t wait to see what growth God has in store for all of us this year. Much love!

The Most Important Thing to Remove from Your Diet

I love food and I love eating. It has been so fun for me to learn all about nutrition and healthy eating and the best ways to eat to support the body during illness. Cooking is so fun and when I’m too tired, it’s a joy to watch Zach cook. The smell of the apple parsnip soup simmering is making my mouth water right this minute! 

I also love to do my best at everything and once I have knowledge of what the best is, I have to live in light of that revelation or I feel like I’m cheating myself. So when it comes to the knowledge of what foods will be most beneficial for my healing journey, and what foods are best to avoid, I have found myself adhering perfectly. And since my diet adherence has been so good for so long, I’ve found myself getting to an emotional place that is on the edge of controlling and I caught myself starting to feel really negative towards eating food that wasn’t healthy. 
 

The most important thing to remove from your diet is fear. 


This is pretty weird for me because I don’t even fear death but I started to fear foods that could make me sick. I’m choosing organic because I’m afraid of my gut being destroyed by glyphosate. I fear eating foods I have gluten cross-reactivity to because I don’t want an internal antibody allergic response. I worry about eating too much sugar because I need to keep systemic inflammation down. It’s gotten to the point where what should be appropriate concern starts to drift into worry.

And what’s frustrating is that even though I can have a perfect diet, the resulting stress over it is probably more detrimental to my health anyway! Because stress increases your levels of cortisol and cortisol shuts off your killer T-cells so your immune system doesn’t fight infection or respond to damage. Upon reflection, it’s actually laughable!

So I guess I’m wrestling with being obsessed with healthy eating. I definitely feel that I need to continue to check my heart to make sure I don’t get to an emotionally unhealthy place.

Check your heart. 


Why am I so concerned, anyway? I guess it’s a bit of a control issue. Diet is the one thing I can control with my healing and you’d better believe that I’m going to do everything I can to heal. I want so badly to feel like myself again. I need to have my brain back. So it’s tricky because eating healthy is a really good thing, and I’m doing it for really good reasons. 

But am I turning something good like high food standards into a destructive stressor? I’ve prayed about it and pleaded with God to release me from feeling this need for control. God, allow me to trust that you desire to heal me and that it’s not up to me to ‘make it happen’. Grant me the knowledge and wisdom to live in a way that honours the body you gave me so that I can bring you glory with it. God, help me to be thankful for the food you provide and help me live in the freedom that the comes from the cross.

In Jesus I am free. 


Where do I go from here? I’m going to pick the best food available and eat it with gusto and gratitude. Now please excuse me while I inhale this apple parsnip soup.

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
- Matthew 6:25-27