At 1:25 this morning, I was still wide awake. I was up researching more ways corn can be hidden in my food. As my husband slept soundly, I was silently freaking out that my body isn’t healing at all and that any progress I have made is a mirage of a desperately hungry person.
My follow-up endoscopy is on Tuesday, and I’m terrified. Not of the actual procedure, but of what the results will say. Will the results say I’m in remission or at the very least on the road to recovery, or will they reveal I’m as sick as I ever was? My biggest fear is that I will be handed a non-stop, one-way ticket to the Land of Hopelessness. It’s one thing to be unwell for a season, but it’s something entirely different when the cure isn’t even on the horizon.
This last week a friend asked how she could pray for me. I know I have great friends and family praying over me during this tumultuous time, and they will never truly grasp how much my spirit depends on these prayers. Prayers are my life support as my spirit weakens in the face of continued hardship. They push me out of the grave, and fuel me to keep on living. However, I don’t like asking for prayer. It’s always been a deep struggle of mine to admit and concede weakness. God is using this season of my life to teach me I don’t need to be afraid of my weaknesses, and learn to believe that He really is bigger than they are.
Prayer reminds me how vulnerable and desperate I am for a miracle. A miracle that modern science can’t provide. A miracle that I can’t deliver on my own apart from Him. A miracle that only God can perform. I need the supernatural, and I need it at a time when my faith is at its absolute lowest and my fear is at its highest. As she asked how she could pray for me, I broke down crying. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I need God to come through in a way I have never needed before in my life, and only He knows what will happen.
Over the last few weeks, I have spent very little time weeping, which compared to the last few years has been a phenomenon in and of itself. I have just keep pushing forward; running the course set out before me. When I have felt depressed that I couldn’t eat pizza or have a cup of tea, I would hope that by following this plan so strictly that one day I could. I would look forward to the day where I can eat a burger without gulping down a glass of water, so that it wouldn’t hurt so bad going down my throat. Yet, on Tuesday I will find out once and for all how my body is responding, and whether or not my eosinophils have lowered to a normal range.
I would love to write the lyrics of “It Is Well With My Soul” here on this blog, and tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I trust God in all of this. I would love to say that even if He doesn’t remove this burden from me that I won’t lose hope; that I will continue to trust in Him no matter what the results say. Yet, if the results say this intense elimination diet hasn’t helped in the slightest, it will be a blow. It will cut me to the core. My heart will be shattered.
I’m not going to say, “That’s okay. Maybe God has something better planned through my continued suffering.” I don’t think He expects those words from me. I can say that even if God chooses not to deliver me from this (as scary as those words are to type…), that He bled for me once and bleeds for me now. I know He hurts when I hurt. David wrote this about God:
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. – Psalm 56:8 ESV
Even as the light fades and darkness crouches in once again, I know God is with me. God wants me to depend on Him, not because He is cruel and aims to pull the rug out from under me. He wants me to know that His goodness and love aren’t built on me and what I bring to the table.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. – 2 Timothy 2:13 ESV
Tuesday will be difficult, but the two weeks of waiting after will be much harder.
Please pray that:
- I don’t preemptively start wearing sackcloth and ashes. I tend to be on the dramatic side. Whenever I read about the people in the Bible that were professional mourners as a young adult, I remember thinking to myself, “I probably have the skill set for that job.” I’m sure in those moments God up in Heaven facepalmed, shook His head, and started to hum “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”
- the procedure goes well and that I don’t feel sick after it is finished.
- my eosinophil levels in my esophagus have lowered to zero.
- my slight case of gastritis has resolved thanks to the elimination diet.
- I can add more foods to my limited diet without repercussions and extreme discomfort.