For some reason, it is very hard to write this, but I never want to forget where I came from, nor what my calling is. When we go through traumatic circumstances, this is how I understand it; it’s as though we’ve been traveling down a road and reach stormy weather. In desperation we look down the path and a fork in the road presents itself. The road splits and these roads are roads of choice. The storm was not your choice (not necessarily, I understand there are instances where we choose a wrong path that leads to a storm), but you are there and you have to choose the path that ultimately will get you through the storm.
My storm looked very much like being trapped in my own body. I had just given birth to my son Elijah, was happier than a lark with my sweet little promise from God. I had had pretty near a perfect pregnancy until bed-rest near the end, a C-section and everything went smoothly. A couple of weeks after he was born I began having anxiety attacks feeling like I couldn’t breath and they only got worse at night when I tried to sleep. I went weeks only sleeping 1-2 hours all day and all night. I was getting sick and unable to focus my mind. I felt overwhelmed by even daily tasks, not to mention adjusting to life with a newborn and a 3 year old. I remember going to the grocery store and having to get home as soon as I could, lay down and just barely get in touch with Daniel to come home because I felt like I was dying. I know this sounds dramatic, but I literally was dying.
We talked to my OBGYN thinking, postpartum issues, desparate for answers. Daily I would beg God for help just trying to make it through the day and be able to take care of the kids without calling Daniel home. He had missed too much work as it was. Blood work, physicals, hair analysis, referrals, but still everyone wanted to pawn it off as postpartum depression and tell me it wouldn’t last forever. I knew IT wouldn’t last forever, but I knew that I wouldn’t last much longer. But God….Oh man, if it weren’t for those two words, where would I be?
One of the hardest lessons I learned through this physical ailment was what tough love is. You know, you do something to your child to make them better, like take away television to help them study, or spank their hand to let them know touching the stove is unacceptable. How much more does our heavenly Father love us. He defines what love is! Before Elijah was born, I had begun to get to know who God really was. I knew Him as personal and kind, “loving”, patient, gracious. Our relationship in prayer was the BEST part of my day. Then I asked Him for more. I asked God for “the next level,” I loved Him and I knew I was the apple of His eye and He was mine. I wanted to know Him more. I didn’t want to believe what I had been told all my life because “Jesus loves you this you know, for the Bible tells you so” I wanted an Elijah relationship with God. If He was the same God from the Bible, then where is the fire from heaven? I was ready…..or so I thought.
There were things God had to pry from my gripping hands to answer my prayer and give me that level of intimacy with Him that I longed for. I was unknowingly holding onto things that made me trust in me and not Him. This would be best and a whole lot shorter if I just listed some of what I mean:
- I never thought of myself as prideful. I always criticized myself, was not a boasting type of person, but pride can be self degradation or self exaltation. Anything that seeks the attention (glory) and praise drawn to self instead of Source. God has given us “..all things richly to enjoy…”-1 Tim 6:17
- The need for control
- being a “perfectionist” and trying to “do” all I could was stealing from my faith in God. I was trying to manufacture results that God had the desire and ability to entrust to me naturally by me just being who He designed me to be.
- Being an emotional decision maker
- making decisions based on feelings or emotions was denying wisdom, self-control and ultimately keeping me distracted from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit
- Lack of faith
- there were just things I was not established on in my faith. I am not to take everything I hear from a Pastor or loved one and assume that their words are true, I was to establish my own student mentality of God’s word and deepen my dependence on His voice.
- I have only ever doubted that I was going to heaven once, I got it settled when I was 14 and have rested assured that I am saved ever since, but I prayed for God to do BIG things in doubt. I admittedly at times even doubted that God loved me. How could He? He was putting me through this tough time that I “didn’t deserve” I thought we were in love, I thought I was special to Him…..these thoughts mostly came to me in my darkest hours, I recognize them now as the enemy trying to “spoil the vine” and take advantage of my weakest hours to try to ruin the work God was doing in me.
The above are just a few things the Lord showed me through almost daily journaling. Journaling was and is invaluable to me. I had practiced it on and off before getting sick, but was “religious” about it during. There were times that (because of the physical response to what I was suffering with) my mind would want to obsess over things (I’ll expound more about neural hormone disruptions later), but I would begin to write down the irrational thought and then find the verse in the Bible through much searching and combat lies with Truth.
The Lord began working a miracle only explainable by his grace. We can define grace as “The ability to do supernaturally, what we cannot do naturally.” I was still having anxiety attacks, but I would journal through them. I would write a letter to God, so to speak, telling Him I needed Him and that I could not do this without Him. I would memorize Bible verses about peace, God’s goodness, what the promise of suffering in His name meant for me. I would quote these verses in my mind at night as I….didn’t sleep. I found peace in a very hard turbulent time in my life. Peace did not look like a sweet smile on my face with flighty emotional pretending. Peace meant being determined to get to God every day. I would pray with no emotion in my physical body no “feeling” of His presence, but I knew that He promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I told Him daily, I choose you today. I choose to believe Truth in you instead of lies. “Whom have I in heaven but Thee?” I began trying again, but it was a constant reliance on His strength to go about every day.
In one of my most desparate moments, I had been dealing with crippling fatigue, anxiety, breathlessness, hair loss, and worst of all total lack of emotion, I was trapped in my own body, depressed and I had had enough. I was at a fork in the road in the middle of a storm and I had to choose God, right then. I cried out to God in a pathetically whimpering kind of cry, “God please….please…I know you love me, you have me, I’m yours and I’m not giving in to the enemy’s lies, but I need some hope. I gave my life into your hands, it’s yours to take or give back to me. Please, show me that there is hope I will make it out of this!” Then the phone rang.
It still gives me goose bumps and brings tears to my eyes when I think about the miracle of what happened this day. Literally as soon as I prayed this, my phone rang. It was on silent and the only explicable reason that I looked at it was the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It was my OBGYN’s office whom I had not heard from in 3 months. “Hi, Kara. I wanted to apologize, it appears we read you old blood results a couple months ago, the blood lab sent us old results on you. We’d like you to go back and get your blood done again.” Lord…..what are you doing? I went and the results came back “normal” all except for a few things that I could not interpret. I had elevated red blood cells, but that was “to be expected after giving birth.” I was to see my regular practitioner one more time and the chiropractor to try to get some relief for my neck and back which felt like I had been in a car accident. I saw the regular practioner, nothing. Yet another offer to put me on anxiety medication to which I said “no thanks, I want to fix the source of the problem, not put a mask on it.” Next, I went to the chiropractor and who knew it’d be just what I needed.
I walked into Dr. Johnson’s office very deflated; I was wanting relief of any kind and he could tell that I was very sick. He began to talk to me about alternate methods of healing. How acupuncture and NAET muscle treatments might help me. He tested my organs and there was hardly one that wasn’t under stress. He asked me to come in the next morning before his regular hours and bring my blood work. After looking over my blood work, he was absolutely certain that I was not only anemic, but my body was not getting enough oxygen, which would explain the anxiety attacks when my blood slowed down (like at night). I was experiencing leaky gut, bladder issues, liver, kidney and blood problems.
Over the course of the next 4 months, I would get treated with supplements to get my stomach absorbing nutrients, relieve my liver and kidneys and begin eliminating foods that my body said it didn’t want temporarily. For 4 months I ate nothing but meat, vegetables, and no more than 1 piece of fruit a day. It was similar to a fasting experience for me. Food had been yet another source of comfort I was hanging onto and God wanted that for a period of time too. I was only too willing to give up anything that I needed to to get relief. And I was getting relief!! Soon all, ALL my anxiety was gone. Next I started to sleep, slowly, but surely. 8 hours, then 3 hours, then 6 hours, then 4 hours. It was unreliable, but it was relief. We began juicing and boy did I notice how I was improving leaps and bounds. I started to feel again. I felt tenderness again….wow. I felt gratitude, passion, determination. I was coming out of an oppression and a depression.
I could start to clean and even go for light walks, but I still had this over looming fatigue, inflammation of my joints, etc…It was like we would take care of one thing and it would reveal another problem. My prayer as we received a job offer and faced a major life change was that I would be able to support my family, handle the move and be healthy enough by the time we moved to go through this without any relapsing.`I was also concerned that I might not be able to find a doctor to oversee my health and help me make progress. This concern was quickly allayed by some Googling to find a NAET doctor in the Kansas City area. Again, another God thing. It was like He was moving us to Missouri specifically to bring healing and rest to our family after one tough year of intense growth. Dr. David was able to review my blood work as well and told me that I was right around the corner from bone cancer with the way my bone marrow looked. He said “you’re 25 going on 55, you are a very sick person.” Very sick? I was starting to feel better. I asked him,”How long until I am running and normal and totally healthy again?” I’ll admit, his answer of 2 years was not what I was looking to hear. I was ready to be done, but God was still working on me.
The Lord was showing me that He didn’t want to just allow me to go through pain, work over some principles in my life, then back to the way things were; He wanted to remake me. Physically, my dietary disciplines would have to change, spiritually he was calling me to be open to being molded (which takes some heat sometimes) still reforming habits and wrong thinking that was learned way back. Wrongfully learned things must be unlearned, my purpose in life must be sought after, grasped and passionately pursued. The pruning of a rose bush is to encourage new growth. The shears hurt terribly, but more buds were able to form as a result. Working in layers, the Lord was revealing not just the what, but the why of what I went through.
Fast forward to today, apparently I had been exposed to high levels of lead somewhere in my past. This is likely at the root of leaky gut, all the autoimmune responses and caused extreme confusion of the function of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus and the way they communicate with my thyroid. All this to say, we are not out of the woods yet with my health. We are still learning new things almost every visit. Because of the leaky gut I had developed several food allergies which I have now been treated for and have begun a regimen of supplementation to kill and eliminate the bad bacteria from my gut, restore probiotics, and heal my gut. I have also begun a chelation detox, but at a very mild pace dictated by what my body needs so to not overwhelm my system and have negative detox reactions. I also am now taking some things to help restore my brain/thyroid and the communication of them. I am excited about where God brought me, what he taught me through it all and what He continues to reveal about Himself to me.
It may sound simple, it certainly could never convey my full meaning, but A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS WORTH IT. Seeking Him out did not start with trouble. It started with me asking Him to reveal Himself to me. Then He proceeded to give me the most satisfying meaningful life I could ever experience. This does not mean that a great storm is coming up for you if you choose to get to know God personally. In fact, there is no higher calling, there is no deeper purpose, there is no other reason for living, but to know Him, show Him to others and to be what he intentionally created you for and to turn all the praise and honor back to Him, giving Him full credit. If you choose this path on the fork in the road, you will see miracles, experience what REAL is and you, in the words of my Pastor in Florida will go “through” the storm.