Psalm 42:5--"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance."
About seven years ago I started a blog as a way to help me adjust and mourn over the loss of gluten, dairy, soy, and food additives in my life. It was for our health that I had to get rid of these foods, but it was such a difficult decision, even as I found the health of my family improved by leaps and bounds. People don't always comprehend how hard these types of changes are. Many times they think it's just some fad people do to gain attention, and perhaps it is for some. However, most people arrive at this decision in an attempt to find health because they are dealing with chronic illness. In our case it was extremely difficult to put all our kids and myself on this "special diet," and it was by the encouragement of several doctors that we made this decision. I hated the attention it brought, the times I had to ask people what food they would be serving, so I could send food with my children to birthday parties, the church pizza parties, holiday dinners, etc. I hated going to family gatherings or other gatherings where everyone was eating whatever they wanted to and sometimes even ridiculed our "choices," as if we really had much of a choice. We were so sick when we ate the foods the rest of them ate. There really wasn't much of an option. People who have never HAD to do this have no idea the kind of mourning someone has to go through when this is something that is basically forced onto them. Forced, because their health and the health of their children is going down hill fast.
Losing a whole way of life and having to reinvent everything we were used to, left me feeling like I was treading water in stormy seas. Then as years went by, storm after storm and many waves kept tossing me to and fro as my oldest daughter went through scary health issues (months of vomiting, tests, liver tumor/growth, biopsy, weight loss, hair loss, etc), I had to stop leading Girl Scouts after 6 years of leading, my grandparents' health both declined physically and mentally, I had to stop attending college as we moved in with them to take care of them, issues threatened to destroy my marriage, my grandfather passed away, my youngest daughter got really sick and developed severe food allergies, my grandmother had Alzheimers (caused tons of issues in our family as we tried to care for her), we had issues with some extended family as we were caring for my grandparents, we got pregnant and had a son who has special needs, my husband got two bachelor's degrees, we moved back to our house, we had to do a makeshift remodel to make our house somewhat livable due to unfinished work that had been started while we were gone, my husband had health issues that almost killed him, my mother-in-law passed away, several (more than just a couple) friends passed away, a cyber bully decided to terrorize my family, my oldest daughter got engaged then got dumped, then she found a young man who swept her off her feet and got married, we dealt with typical teen drama and rebellion, my oldest son moved out, my daughter and her husband moved half the country away, my middle son quit school, he got a full-time job and moved into the apartment downstairs, and my youngest daughter stopped homeschooling and went to a private school (empty nest syndrome, anyone?). Saying that the last seven years have been tumultuous would be a great understatement. I thank God for His amazing grace and help through it all.
Intermingled in these storms, there were some good times that made life more bearable. Hello! We had a baby! Did I mention that in the storms section? Yes, he came with some issues that made things difficult for a bit. However, due to all the research skills I acquired over the years, and natural health knowledge, I learned how to better help him. He is such a sweetie, so loving and happy now! We always loved him, but life with a non-verbal, hurting, screaming, violent, unhappy, distressed, hyper, non-sleeping child does come with a level of stress and mourning that no one who has not lived it can possibly understand. I also coordinated a local food co-op, two of our children graduated high school (homeschool), we gained a wonderful new son in love, my husband got a job as a pastor and also started a community center, our youngest daughter who had been shy and extremely reserved and timid found confidence and a voice with the help of an awesome Taekwondo instructor (Bill Doheny), my oldest daughter got accepted into Aveda cosmetology school down where she lives, her husband got accepted into SCAD, and God led me to start school to learn more about natural healing.
During all the hard times, I truly had to lean on God to get through. So many people scoff at those of us who are believers, saying we are using God or the Bible as a crutch. Honestly, we all have crutches of one thing or another, whether food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, pornography, co-dependent or unhealthy relationships, etc. Personally, I have no problem saying that I lean on God to get through difficult times in my life. Those who would say it's weakness, show me where your addiction to food or other things demonstrates your strength. Working with my husband in the ministry, I meet people from all walks of life, and I know for a fact, that every human being is weak and has a crutch, most of which are detrimental and damaging in one way, shape, or form. Not so with a relationship with God. I would say when I am weak, He is strong. His strength carries me through, and He makes me a better person. He heals and restores. Psalm 42 was a resounding theme for quite a long time for me. Circumstances come and go in this life, but relationship with God lasts forever and carries me through even the toughest times.
Whew! That's a lot to go through in seven years! There are quite a few more things, but I'm done listing them. The point is, that my life is not at all in the same place as it was when I started my first blog. I attempted to go back to it a couple of times, but honestly I couldn't see myself continuing it since the focus of that blog was simply on gluten free food. I'm not that same person. I'm no longer mourning the loss of various foods. In comparison to all the other things I've been through, losing certain food items just isn't a big deal to me anymore.
So, this blog is a new beginning for me! There will be a completely different purpose and a wide variety of topics shared here. Just bear with me as I have been away from blogging for a long time. I don't remember how to do all the stuff I did way back when I first blogged, and I'm not necessarily the most tech-savvy! This will definitely be a learning process for me. :-)
I will leave you with this song...