Friday, December 10, 2010

#reverb10 day 10: God, gluten, and the good in listening

#reverb10 day 10: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

(I'm trying not to start blog posts with qualifiers, but I think this post merits one: I talk about my faith here because I couldn't tell this story without it. Also, this post doesn't seem very well organized... I think I bit off more than I could chew. So I welcome your feedback about faith, writing, disease, or whatever else strikes you about this post!)

In May I was talking to a dear friend about her husband's decision to stop eating gluten. Sometime during our conversation I shared my curiousity if the diet would help me, too, but then proceded to list all of my hesitations. And at the end I said, "And I don't want to do it if it won't cure me*."

She looked at me and said, "Even if it helps you to feel better?"

I honestly hadn't thought about this as a benefit, but her insistence made me re-consider. And after a few more months of weighing my options, doing some research, and much prayer**, I took the leap. On August 1 I stopped eating gluten and I haven't regretted it since. (Okay, maybe when I took my sister and her husband to my favorite pizza restaurant...)

The deeper lesson that I was somehow ready to learn this year is that disease is an invitation to listen more deeply to my body. The wise thing I did this year is respond.

This might sound trite, especially if you haven't ever managed life with a chronic disease. Life is changed forever with a simple diagnosis. It's changed by never-ending doctor's appointments, medication four times a day, new [sometimes scary] symptoms to assess, and future prognoses. But I have to tell you that in some ways, my diagnosis -- or rather, how I've been formed as I've responded to God about it -- has saved my life. I've been challenged to get more active. I've learned to rest well. And I've slowly been healed some old wounds regarding food.

I'm tempted to get all gushy about gluten-free living, but enough other bloggers have gone there. I think what I really want to say about wisdom is that my relationship with a loving God who I believe cares about even these seemingly little decisions is what helps me take steps that are wise. For me, it's really about obedience. I don't know if all of you reading this will agree -- and if you don't, I welcome your comments that say as much. What I know is that I DO feel better, that it's been totally worth it, and that only God could convince me to give up gluten.

*Three years ago, I was diagnosed with mild-moderate Crohn's disease.
**I firmly believe that God cares about these decisions and has a word to speak to us about them. In fact, my final decision came after praying and having a sense that this new step was something God has for me.


  1. Good to read, Betsy. And I totally don't think this needs a qualifier. This is your personal blog, and you're processing some deep thoughts about the whole of 2010! Knowing you, how can God not be a part of that?
    : )

  2. I really like what you wrote about how your diagnosis has actually served to bring healing into your life. I've admired the ways that you've responded to this situation over the last few's amazing to remember all of the ways that God has been faithful. And I agree with Charissa...this post doesn't need a qualifier.