“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” – Psalm 30:2
I sat in my chair and wept freely. These were not the hot tears of anger. These tears were salted with weariness and bubbling up from a stream of overwhelming fear, fed by the snow melting in the sunshine outside my window. A simple thought consumed me. My eyes scanned the Peak, trying to pick out the places where we had planted hundreds of native perennial flowers last year.
Spring is coming. The flowers will be blooming soon, and you might not.
I had been so strong up until this point, and I didn’t understand the weakness that was flowing freely from me now. I asked God to take it away, to replace it with more patience, more perseverance, more longsuffering, but He didn’t. He was asking me to be weak, to let myself be broken, and to stay still. He held me in limbo between contentment and bitterness.
He gave me a song: familiar, yet each word carried profound meaning and I realized this was exactly where He was holding me.
Make me broken, so I can be healed
Cause I’m so calloused, that now I can’t feel
I want to run to you with heart wide open
So make me broken
A week later, He asked me a simple question:
“Will you receive healing, even if you don’t get all the answers?”
Maybe some of us could answer “yes!” without batting an eyelash, but I personally am an explanation enthusiast, an answer aficionado, a lover of logic, and this was a tough question. And it wasn’t rhetorical. I thought for a few minutes.
The Gray would never become black and white. He had already asked me to stop chasing experts. Now He was asking me to stop chasing answers.
With that, I relinquished my grip on ever being able to explain this trial, to tell it as a simple story, to convince the skeptics. But when I let go of that minor comfort, my hands were suddenly free to receive the whole portion.
But this portion, like so much of this journey, was both salty and sweet, while still being perfect in every way.
He revealed to me how the healing would come: through His most basic provision, food.
This knowledge wasn’t the kind that I am so keen to, the kind that can be found by scouring the internet or books for hours on end. There would be no cross-checking of references or validation of studies. This was the kind of knowledge that bypassed my senses and bursted right into my brain unannounced, jolting me with its suddenness.
You are to stop eating gluten and give up sugar. You will only eat the foods that I have made with My hands. I will heal you with what I have already created.
You must understand that this answer seemed wholly inadequate to rescue me from this valley I was in. It just couldn’t be that simple. After months of spending all my time seeking an answer, this seemed like utter foolishness.
I wish I could say I followed right away. The thing is, I already do eat mostly clean. I am very aware of ingredients and manufacturing methods, and try to avoid processed food and refined sugar as much as possible. I have followed low-carb and Paleo diets in the past with success, but this just seemed like too much. I was already sick! How could I possibly redo my entire diet?
I found so much comfort in crusty bread, in a bowl of ice cream, in homemade pasta, in delivery pizza. And that was exactly the problem.
Without even realizing it, for months I had been running to these things for comfort, receiving tiny drops of stagnant water in my leaking cup. And I was running right past the One who could fill it to overflowing with Living Water.
The sugar I could do: I knew that sugar was feeding whatever ailment was attacking my body. Sugar feeds bacteria, parasites, yeast, and even cancer. Without it, these things starve (an interesting easy-read on this topic can be found here).
But gluten was more difficult to understand. So I fought with logic. I even went so far as to get my blood drawn to be tested for Celiac Disease, just to make sure before making such a big decision. But God wasn’t asking me to make sure. He was asking me to trust that He would make the way.
Before the bloodwork even came back, I had surrendered again. At the risk of appearing as a fool to the world, I made a vow to God that I would do exactly as He had asked, until He told me otherwise.
And then, almost as quickly as the pain had attacked, the healing came.
I prayed every day just as He instructed me: for enough healing just for today. And for contentment with whatever He gave.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34 NLT
Today’s healing is enough for today.
It was a an all-out retreat from my body: first my fingers loosened up, and soon there was no pain in any of my smaller joints. Then my wrists and ankles were free. Finally the pain was nearly absent from the rest of my joints. As the pain decreased, the energy increased. I took my first walk since September and cried tears of joy that quickly froze to my face.
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent!” – Psalm 30:11-12
He made me broken so I could be healed, He made me empty so I could be filled. My pain was never for an instant wasted. It was a mercy that He forced me to let go of the answers, lest I put my trust in doctors and research rather than Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.
But this healing was not a simple upward spiral to complement my downward spiral months earlier; it was and is a double helix.
Another story became delicately intertwined with this one, inextricably entangled and beautifully bound.
Continued in Blooming