Two months ago I could barely eat a cup of soup and a banana each day. Thankfully, my doctor gave me a new antacid, which has completely changed my eating habits. My school approved me for the special dietary accommodations group shortly after my new medicine, but I could still barely finish half a small meal –– a single chicken breast with sweet potatoes and a side of broccoli. I even gave up meat for a while because my stomach simply couldn’t handle anything. I could hardly digest even healthy things and had to lay down for a few hours one afternoon because I ate too much broccoli. Bananas or any sweet fruit gave me heart burn. I couldn’t even finish half a Kind or Lara nut bar. My body rejected anything nutritious, which exacerbated my already poor state of health. It seemed like all hope was lost.

Two weeks passed and I noticed a slight change –– I finally could eat a whole banana and a Lara bar for snacks. However, meals were still a challenge. Another week passed and I could add salads to my diet. Add on another two weeks and I finally finished my dinner (after being on accommodations for a month). Two weeks later I added green smoothies and another snack.

It’s now been two months. I can generally eat entree-sized salads like I used to, can handle typical meal sizes, can digest more raw foods like nuts and kale, and can even tolerate meat.  I even had black tea and a small latte the other day (neither of which I’m really supposed to have due to my gastritis). My stomach handled both just fine.

Furthermore, my pain has mostly subsided. I sometimes still feel abdominal cramping, but my gut doesn’t gurgle any more and I don’t feel shredding lower stomach pain. I have also physically felt my stomach lining heal a bit.

I reflect on the past two months and can’t believe how much things have turned around in such a short time. My battle with gastritis has lasted a year so far. Three months ago, I wouldn’t have even thought I could eat three meals a day at this time. I expected to struggle with severe gastritis for at least another few months. However, people have prayed over me and encouraged me to continue trusting in God’s healing power and his plan for my life.

It was difficult, at first. I say I live my life for God, but I didn’t fully trust him with my health because my condition was so severe. I finally surrendered my health to God.

“Okay, God, I know you can heal me just like you healed lepers, the blind, the lame, and more. I know it may take a long time and I have to remain patient, but I also know this sickness has become part of my testimony and I’m learning new things from it,” I prayed.

I didn’t appreciate my severe illness at first, but then I realized that God has brought beauty from my brokenness. I have helped a friend ,who believes she may have developed gastritis, know what to eat and understand that she needs to seek help. God has shown me that I must develop stress management strategies and that I need to seek help from others so they can exercise the gifts he gave them. There’s more things I’ve learned, but those will come in a later post.

God can certainly heal today. He doesn’t always heal people if he wants to bring them home to heaven, but he will if it is according to his plan. In addition, he doesn’t heal on our timeline, but he heals according to his.  Think of Job –– God took everything away before Job received numerous blessings. Dry seasons or famine sometimes precede bountiful harvests. Last November, I sincerely thought God was going to take me home within the next year. I thank God each day that I am still alive and can continue serving him.

 

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