I was a Gatorade Poster Child
There is nothing like being in electrolyte heaven. Every day as
I trudge downstairs to my daily breakfast of four -- note 4 -- slices of the whitest
bread you can buy, I glance over at the brightly-colored row of athlete-endorsed
beverages beckoning me.
Ah, Gatorade, part of this nutritious breakfast.
I honestly can't tell you just how many bottles of the "thirst quencher"
I have obtained in the four weeks while battling an intestinal resistance to most
foods, especially the tasty, nutritious kind. If I had to make a guess, I would
say the tally is well beyond 30 bottles.
And along with my rejuvenating
beverage, I have had the privilege of an easy meal plan. I simply remember the
acronym B.R.A.T -- that is, bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. If I want to
cheat a little on what I call my anti-Atkin's diet (the no-protein, simple carbohydrate
diet), I just substitute rice cakes for rice, or maybe throw in some Cheerios
for added nutrition, or perhaps indulge in a butter-less baked potato without
I know, exciting, right?
All joking aside, it is good that
I can laugh about this now. Maybe even two weeks ago, I would still have been
reveling in self-pity. After all, being unable to eat can really cramp your lifestyle,
if not give you stomach cramps. And lack of food can really do a number on your
psychological well-being, too.
It all started about a month ago when I returned
to the United States after experiencing a thrilling two-week mission trip to Spain,
Gibraltar, and Morocco. While there, God convicted me that I just couldn't live
my life the same way I did before the trip. Previously I was a too-busy, over-extended,
impatient and fiercely independent woman. I just knew God wanted me to slow down
and understand what was really important in my life.
Talk about eating my
words. Two days after arriving home, I lay shivering in a hospital bed, severely
dehydrated, an intravenous drip attached to my arm and a flurry of busy nurses
attending to my needs. Five hours later, the hospital staff sent me home with
a prescription, and I just knew that this terrible sickness would leave me soon.
it didn't. In fact, it was sneaky. Time and time again, the sickness would come
back, without warning, and I would have to go back to starving myself.
missing a week or so of work and feeling terribly helpless, I came back to the
office just as listless as ever. In a moment of inspiration, I told one of my
co-workers smiling, "Look, I'm the Biotic Woman!" and I demonstrated my non-superhero
powers by moving in slow motion. But the humor didn't take away the fact that
I wasn't getting any better. I went home early.
Those days spent at home
were hard. I was extremely lonely, bored, and jealous of everyone who got to do
anything I couldn't. I hated the fact that my roommates could eat grilled burgers
and I couldn't. I hated the fact that I was missing out on all the fun that other
singles were enjoying. I hated the fact that there were days that I had to ask
my roommates to get me things from the store because I was too sick to drive myself.
I hated the fact that some of my friends didn't seem to care about what happened
to me. And above all, I was scared. Scared of losing my edge. Scared of losing
my beauty. At my lowest, even scared of dying.
In between these wretched
moments, I did what Christians are supposed to do when they are sick: I sang songs
of victory over my life; I bound all the devils I could think of; I repented of
sins that I suddenly realized I had been guilty of for years; I read passages
of Scripture looking for answers; I even had people praying for my recovery.
made a list of all the fun things I would like to do again, like beach volleyball
or in-line skating, and I would visualize the day when I could do those things
again. I would say to others, "When I get well, I will…" or "Once I am better,
I will…" and try to hang in another day.
The irony of this whole situation
dawned on me one day while at work. I was scanning through Christian literature
about fasting on the Internet, figuring it would be a good resource for helping
me expand my dietary plan when I could eat again. Then it hit me. Laura, you
have been fasting -- maybe not willingly -- but still you have been fasting.
then I recalled that day in Gibraltar when everyone on my mission team decided
to fast lunch. I told the mission leader that I simply couldn't fast because I
had low blood sugar. Not eating was out of the question, even though two others
who were also hypoglycemic readily gave up their lunches. Sheepishly and guiltily,
I changed my mind and decided to fast lunch, too. But the whole time I wondered,
Is God going to sustain me? Am I going to faint?
Well, I now know
that God does sustain me. I know Him truly and literally as my Bread of Life.
And I can tell you that despite the fact that I have had a low to non-caloric
diet, that God alone has equipped me with incredible energy. Yes, there have been
days when I have felt faint, but as I have waited upon Him, He has renewed my
strength like the eagle. I walk and don't grow weary.
And though I am not
completely healed yet, I am speaking it out every day, "I am healed in the name
of Jesus Christ" and "This is the day of the favor of the Lord" (taken from Isaiah
60) in faith. And guess what? Over the past several days, since I recognized the
power of the promises of God and the power of prayer, God is doing a little miracle
in me each day. I am learning, like it says in Matthew 15, that it is not what
goes into the body that is unclean but what comes out of the lips and is from
the heart that makes someone unclean. Therefore, I am choosing to speak words
Soon, those Gatorade bottles will be but a memory and I
will switch from eating white bread to enjoying buttery croissants. I will be
able to tackle that pizza and chocolate chip mint ice cream I have been craving
for so long.
In time, I will forget my sickness. But I won't forget what
the Lord has done for me, making me totally dependent upon Him and His Word, making
me dependent on the saints of Christ for my needs, making me realize that I truly
live and breathe and move in Jesus Christ alone.
And I will always be sure
to praise the Lord for whatever graces my dinner table.
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