Archive | February, 2014

Delighting in Obedience

6 Feb

I am participating in Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, Made to Crave” written by Lysa TerKeurst. I have done this study before in Jan 2012 at church with a wonderful group of women. I have lost weight since I started that study but because I did the study half heartily my old lifestyle habits crept back in and although I still weigh less then I did in Jan ‘12 my eating habits and time with God seriously lacked self control and consistency. I had book knowledge but not a compete heart change. I had reservations that this could REALLY work for me.

Fast forward to Jan 2013 when God led me to Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies. I find it amazing that God would orchestrate the last three studies just for me. I know you are probably chuckling at that, chances are with 43,000+ participating with this study that some of you feel exactly the same way. At the end of last summer we did “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst and I stepped up and said yes to God by joining the Proverbs 31 OBS Volunteer team. My reaction in the days that followed alternated between “YEA” and “Say WHAT?? Did you REALLY do that?”. I knew God had called me to be part of this ministry but my heart and head had little confidence that I could do it. Well, don’t you know the next study was “A Confident Heart” written by Renee Swope and with that my volunteering started and my God-fidence grew too.

While we were doing “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” my health started to fail. From Jan ’13 to Aug ‘13 I was exercising every day and making fairly good food choices. Suddenly, I was had frequent headaches, pain in my stomach (which I had for a long time) increased, pain in my legs and arms, extreme fatigue and unexplained wt gain. Because of the headaches my Oncologist called me in, three months before my scheduled apt, to make sure cancer had not returned. Thankfully it had not but this presented a question. What was causing my symptoms? I couldn’t exercise anymore, I needed daily afternoon naps, honestly, some days after my husband goes to work I have to go back to sleep. This is not me. Once I am up, I’m up-I don’t go back to bed until it’s night time. My Oncologist sent me to an Infectious Disease Dr since I had a history of tick borne diseases. It took several months of testing but he determined that I have a immuno globulin deficiency and basically I have no immune system. He sent my records to the office that would give me the only course of treatment for this illness–it was a no brainer that the insurance would approve the treatment and I would be on the road to recovery. I never heard from this infusion company-after several calls to the Drs office , over the course of three weeks, they finally put me in touch with the infusion company, unfortunately, my insurance did not approve my treatment. Because I have been in the Word so much more and my heart is confident that God has a plan I did not panic with this information. My constant mantra was and still is that God has a plan in all of this. The Dr advised I see an Allergist/Immunologist for a second opinion. I couldn’t see what an Allergist had to do with all this but I felt I had no choice but to go. Right before going to the Allergist we started the current OBS Study “Made to Crave”. God knew EXACTLY what I would need, when I would need it. The Allergist did allergy testing (I thought I knew what I was allergic to) and many more blood tests. She also showed me how the first Dr had coded the diagnosis wrong and explained why the ins company denied treatment. To my surprise she found I was allergic to dairy, beef, pork, deer, elk and goat. Now some of you may snicker at the last 2 or 3 on that list but here in AR we eat all those meats and I LOVE them all. Who knew that people who get tick borne illnesses often develop these allergies? God knew! He also knew that MY allergists is involved in a long term study on this exact health issue! She also confirmed I had an immune deficiency and we are currently waiting for approval from my insurance for my treatment, which will be lifelong.

So what does this have to do with obedience? In doing Made to Crave I am learning that bringing my eating habits under control is not an act of depriving myself of things I love as much as it is my God calling me to focus on him and to live in a state of obedience. On page 91 in Made to Crave Lysa tells us this journey for her is about having an undivided heart. Mine too and the root of my undivided heart is my lack of obedience and self control. She goes on to say on that same page:

“I can either be loyal to honoring the Lord with my body or loyal to my cravings, desires and many excuses for not exercising.”

Lysa also quotes 1 Corinthians 6:19

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”

I read this chapter as I was learning about my allergies and that I would need to give myself weekly Ig infusions for the rest of my life.

I could look at this from a fleshly point of view and whine and moan over never, ever eating a hamburger or a hot fudge Sunday again and having to give myself weeky infusions for EVER OR I can look at this as a call from God to be obedient. To add self control to the fruits of the Spirit that God has blessed me with. The former is definitely the old me, the latter is where I want to be. I stopped eating the foods I am allergic to and also my much loved coffee last Friday, as it was not mixing well with the antibiotics I will be on long term, and I am amazed at the blessings I have received. I have not had one craving and I don’t miss those foods at all. Did I REALLY just say that? God has blessed my obedience to him with taking away my cravings. I also realized yesterday, when I looked in the mirror, that my face is changing, it’s not puffy, my face looks younger-how cool is that?! I am much more comfortable with the Allergist and the Infusion company she recommended. The infuson company called me the day after my Dr referred me to them. What a blessing. If the first Dr had coded my illness correctly I would not have gone to the allergist and, while the treatment would have helped my immune system, I would have not known about my food allergies and my stomach would still be giving me pain everyday. I haven’t had stomach pain since this past Saturday. It was a daily constant for a LONG time.

I  also started exercising in Jan–doing Praise Moves at church once a week and now I have added Leslie Sansone’s Walking DVD to do at home. On days I don’t want to exercise I tell myself I need to do it to because God is calling to be obedient by honoring his temple in my body. I do it and HE gives me the strength to complete the 21 minute routine. I always feel empowered when I finish. My life verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength” In all things, I can be joyfully obedient to God not because I have the strength to do it but because God gives me strength. I know this was long but it’s what was on my heart to share!