A dear friend of mine encouraged and challenged me to go deeper with my writing. She reminded me I am more than my food issues, and I should never allow them to define me. So, my Sunday reflections…
I am not defined by my food issues…yes, they affect how I must live my life….not just by what I choose and not choose to eat, but in a social sense, my health issues, financial issues (healthier living costs more), and they complicate things like family get togethers and travels.
The frustrating thing about food issues is that it is not a “socially acceptable” issue…it’s not a defined disease like diabetes or even Celiac disease. When I tell someone I am gluten-free, I often have to face a litany of questions…do I have Celiac disease? Do I just choose to eat this way? And so on. I even had a waiter at a restaurant ask me once if I chose to eat this way or if I had to eat this way. Yes, it’s a choice….don’t we all make choices? Even the strict diabetic must choose whether or not to indulge in a double chocolate brownie and then thus deal with the consequences.
I could allow these food issues to consume me, and for a while, they did, especially in the thick of the unknown. As the GI bleeding ceased and my body began to slowly heal, I was still consumed by my food issues. I have a mental list of “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to what and how I eat, but it’s not consuming my every thought anymore.
I am and will always have these food issues according to my much trusted nutritionist because of the damage that has been done to my gut. And, I guess that’s okay. I can learn to live with them, deal with the issues, and move on. They are not who I am. I am complex and complicated. Yes, I get frustrated by my food issues, but I also get frustrated by work, a messy house, weather…I am human.
This past week, I went back to work after a wonderful week of vacation. In less than one day, all that relaxation from vacation was once again replaced by the daily stress of life. I had to deal with an expensive car issue, my husband missing a day of work due to a migraine, an unplanned state inspection at work, work stress, school meetings for my kids, not as much sleep as I would have liked…in other words, LIFE. Life happens.
I have been reflecting a lot. I have been having prayer conversations with God on my way to work. I realize I have goals, but I must have a plan, work hard, and sacrifice with intention. When I am discouraged, I need to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. I believe I am where I am for a purpose even if I don’t like it at the moment. I am learning, I am growing.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
I snapped this photo on vacation…through the long winter, hope of new life…a tiny green plant… is peeking through…the extraordinary in the ordinary. God’s way…always a lesson if I am only still enough to listen to the quiet in the noise.
My challenge for the week: notice the little things and find joy in them.