I was wishing for a fresh bouquet of flowers today but decided to make the best of what I had at home. I made this bouquet of flowers from an old arrangement and foliage in the yard. Only 3 roses and baby’s breath lasted from an old bouquet so I added fern cuttings from my fern collection, purple flowers and creeping jenny from the yard, and two roses from our rose bushes. It was fun to make this and certainly brightened my afternoon.
I’m finally out of a week long IC (interstitial cystitis) flare and am so thankful to be pain free again. These monthly flares have been part of a new postpartum normal. Eating whole food plant based typically keeps the disease silent but there are hormonal and dietary factors at play. I have to avoid dietary irritants during certain times of the month like coffee and tomatoes as I’m healing. Seeing my chiropractor has been a game changer these past two months but I got careless and didn’t drink enough water last Sunday as I had coffee. I did this while in my luteal phase (a big no no) so I went into a flare. I can say that I’d rather be in labor than experience these painful flares but am always thankful when they end. It’s definitely been difficult at times as we’re still grieving our daughter so to add intense flares on top of everything during the pandemic has been rough. These flares are part of the new normal that my body is adjusting to after the miscarriage. After making the bouquet and thanking God for this pain free day I felt a nudge to share this today.
If you find yourself believing in healing from God with a chronic illness like IC or endo be weary of who you seek spiritual advice from and those who give unsolicited advice. What I mean by that is be careful taking advice on how to endure and believe in hope from someone who has not endured something themselves. Reading scripture is part of how to endure but actual endurance and perseverance are learned through experience. Well meaning Christians who give advice with theoretical beliefs and no practical application via experience can easily lead you off the path of healing. Trust me on this. As someone that has been healed from endometriosis, I had to block out a lot of well meaning opinions and trust what God was saying in the moment. Healing from endometriosis after expert excision took a year and a half and was worth the wait. I remind myself of this as I wait on God to heal my bladder from interstitial cystitis.
You know, sometimes we can miss the bigger picture while waiting on healing. It’s easy to think the most important thing is the healing itself but honestly that’s only part of it. What we learn from God while we endure and persevere is just as important as the healing itself. You see, no matter how much faith we have in God, we all have times where unbelief is in our heart. This unbelief is usually maginified during trails. It might be a small amount of unbelief or a lot of it but no matter the amount, God wants us to deal with it head on. Unbelief can manifest in a lot of different ways and it can take us a while before we realize we’ve stopped relying on God and started relying on ourselves, someone else, etc. Have you ever uttered the phrase, “God helps those who helps themselves?” Have you ever ‘taken control’ of a situation only to realize you started to trust your own abilities instead of waiting on God to handle it? Have you ever questioned if God will heal you as you’re begging for the pain to end? We’re only fooling ourselves if we think our faith is perfect.
The unbeliefs we hold make themselves known when the pain intensifies and steals our breath out from under us. Only then are they truly revealed for us to confront. Let’s face it, you don’t always get that same opportunity with an instant healing. Even if you don’t battle a painful chronic illness, the pandemic is revealing unbeliefs in everyone around us. Trust me when I tell you the suffering uncovers it all: what we believe about God, what we don’t believe, and what we choose to believe moving forward. As God reveals the unbelief to us, it’s our responsibility to confront it spiritually. When you choose to have chronic hope you take the good days with the bad despite how you feel about your current circumstances. I choose to believe my best days are ahead of me and I hopes this encourages you to keep fighting for yours.