A few days ago, while shopping, I had an overwhelming urge to rip off a piece of the French loaf that I was holding.
When my daughter was little, trips to the supermarket usually included her happily her tucking into the end of a french loaf, my bread craving brought back this happy memory. I bought some gluten (and everything else-free) chocolate brownies ……..( which are pretty good actually).
I have IBS, it flared up before Christmas and has not really gone away. My doctor suggested I try the FODMAP diet as I have never been able to pin-point what causes flares -ups. Basically I have to exclude anything that may cause my IBS to flare up for 6-8 weeks and then slowly re-introduce foods, one at a time.
No gluten, no lactose, no fructose, no soya……… The “no” list is long (including such staples as onions and apples…) and the “yes” list much shorter.
I am on week 8. Some symptoms are better, some have not changed, and I have new ones. Overall I was having more good days i.e. pain-free, but I am still not “right” and recently I have been feeling unwell again. I am frightened of reintroducing foods, I’m frightened that it will all prove inconclusive and I’ll be back to square one. I am bored of not be able to eat normally. My really supportive husband is fed-up with me not being able to eat “nromally”. I want to eat proper cake!
In the great scheme of things, IBS not a major medical issue; it does not shorten life, it is not usually disabling (though some days it is hard to function), but it does affect quality of life. People can and do suffer depression brought on by the almost constant nagging pain, discomfort and tiredness that accompanies flare-ups.
I have had some really black days over the last few years, days when I could do nothing but take the pain-killers and go to bed with my hot water bottle. Alternating putting the soothing heat on my back and stomach.
So often it is only when I am at the end of my own strength that I call on God. He has pulled me through so many times. Before I knew the Lord I suffered a few bouts of depression, proper “I can’t get up of the sofa to phone my dying Mum” type of depression. Since I have come to know God I have never been that low. When I feel the clouds of depression wrapping themselves around me and obscuring the outside world, I look to Him and He is always the light in my darkness.
Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 HCSB)
Whilst I am not trying to compare myself with Paul, I am trying to remember that the Lord uses these times of trouble to refine us and to make us turn to Him for the strength that we lack. I am really trying to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself in.
I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 HCSB)