All of my symptoms seem to point to the broad category of "Irritable Bowel Syndrome," which basically means I have a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms and the medical community has no idea what is causing them.
What's my plan of treatment? A strict diet called FODMAP. Since I have already been avoiding high fat, processed, and sugary foods, it's not a lot different from what I have been doing already. However, my food options are narrower, and I will have to go gluten free again. Apparently, it's the most successful plan of treatment for IBS available right now.
I know I should be thankful for what I do not have, but right now, I'm just discouraged to have spent thousands of dollars this past year on vague answers and an even vaguer solution.
Changing my diet again just means more hassle and effort when I already struggle with chronic exhaustion and down days. Living on a tight budget, going gluten free again is not going to be fun. It's expensive! Anyways, you get the point. I'm feeling overwhelmed right now, and this isn't what I had hoped to hear.
However, I have two choices today as I spend the last few hours I have before the world ends (I kid!).
I can choose to feel sorry for myself or I can acknowledge that I am discouraged and move on. Life will continue. It looks like my chronic illness is here to stay apart from miraculous healing (which I will still pray for), but nothing has really changed. God is still in control. I am still His daughter. Our world is still broken, but this life is just a vapor. I can choose to lay on the couch and comfort myself with forbidden foods, or I can pray for the grace to keep going and choose to live.
I choose to live.
Not in my strength... but in His.
Maybe, IBS is not really bad news as it would seem but a reminder each and every day that this world is not my home... that as this body fades away, my spirit is being strengthened and prepared for the fulness of what is to come. I will not let IBS sow bitterness in my heart. I will look to Jesus and walk beside Him on the good days when I can walk and let Him carry me on the bad days when I am down. I will not let an illness define who I am. I am the daughter of a King, dearly loved and on a mission to tell of a loving Father who did not spare His most precious Son because He loved us so much. A Son who became human and suffered just as we suffer and who lived and died to set us free from what binds us now. This Christmas, I will choose to live because of this Son... my Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.