What a difference a year makes! A year ago, I had a procedure (endoscopy) in which the doctor looked into my small intestine, took some pictures and a biopsy, and confirmed the results of an earlier blood test for celiac disease. In brief, this is an autoimmune disease that can go on for years without being diagnosed, in which vitamins, nutrients, etc., are not absorbed properly, if at all. If it continues without diagnosis and treatment, it can cause many seemingly unrelated problems throughout a person’s body.
It was one thing to find out what was at the root of my problems. It was another to know that the only treatment (not cure) is eliminating gluten completely from my diet. Some of my symptoms had gotten bad enough that the thought of changing my diet to get relief was a welcome one. When I realized how drastically everything concerning my food had to be changed immediately, however, the welcome turned into being overwhelmed!
Fast forward to the present. Because of so much information available on the internet, as well as several well-written books I have read, I’ve learned much of the language of a gluten-free world. I’ve learned how to navigate menus and ingredient lists, and to be assertive for my health in restaurants. I still have to think about what I will eat ahead of time, since I can’t snack on just anything anymore, but that is my normal now. What a difference a year makes!
Better even than the adjustment to a new way of eating, the major improvement in my health is wonderful! The majority of symptoms I had listed as being related to the celiac disease have improved or completely resolved. Other things I just considered “Kay quirks” have also improved since the gluten was eliminated. Taking just one ingredient out of my diet has put my physical health on a path of improvement. The longer I’m on that path, the greater my health.
Despite all the symptoms by the time of diagnosis, I could have decided it was too hard to make the required changes. I could have continued eating as always, causing a decreased quality of life, as well as lifespan. It really wasn’t much of a decision, as radical as it was, because just getting the diagnosis was God’s first answer to my prayers. I had needed His grace in the midst of not knowing what was happening in my body, and I needed His grace now to live this new lifestyle. As promised, His grace has been sufficient. Now I can see the physical healing that I could only hope for a year ago. Now I can see what He knew when we started on this path.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I was only asked to give up one ingredient. Just one. But what a difference doing without that one ingredient has made in my life. How much improvement has resulted, including the time I possibly gained to continue sharing the love of Jesus with others! I need to remember this the next time Daddy points to something in my life that needs changing.