I have IBS. There…I said it. My bowels are irritable. “Irritable bowel”..those two words strike up the image of my stomach turning into a room of spoiled, sleep-deprived, candy-eating preschoolers who bite, pull hair, make a mess, and expect everyone else to pick up after them.
Digestive health issues are a weird thing. They can be very hard to pin down as to what is causing the internal distress, and why. One thing I have learned is that IBS often takes root when a person is encountering high levels of stress or trauma.
I know that my circumstance (I refuse to call it an issue or a problem…it’s just where God has me) began when I was in the greatest emotional distress of my life. At the time, when I wasn’t sure if my husband and I were going to make it, my stomach began to turn. Like a baby going breech. My husband’s heart was cold against God and relationship, and I was scared out of my mind. Fear was breaking down my life, and my intestines. At the same time, God was building up my faith.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
I spent several years trying to ignore the problem. I contributed my increased girth (due to bloating) to getting sloppy with what I was eating and/or just simply getting older. (Which by the way…could be true on both accounts.) But no matter what I did, it never seemed to go away. And if I can get personal for just a moment….I stunk (as in gassy) and the consistency of things coming out of me was in no way normal. It was messy, and the urge to “go” would come on at the most inappropriate times. Especially when I went for a run. (Go ahead…let your imagination run with that picture..and no puns please.)
For years it felt like I was chasing after a phantom. A ghost. Some days were better than others. Just when I thought “it” was gone, back “it” would come. It was the definition of frustrating.
Frustrating: causing (someone) to feel upset or annoyed, typically as a result of being unable to change or achieve something:
At the prompting of friends, I got tested for food allergies/intolerances. I found out I was allergic to eggs, dairy, and gluten. In that order of importance. I was mad! Mad at God. Mad at the doctor who tested me. I was convinced it was all a conspiracy to get people to buy useless supplements, mortgage their house to shop at Whole Foods, start a garden, and drive an electric car. Yup…I was mad. How dare God (or anyone) take perfectly good food away from ME.
After continued listening to the Spirit and confessing my stubborn heart that didn’t want to give up my favorite foods, I went on an elimination diet. One suspected food at a time, removed from my diet. And guess what…I got better!
I refuse to make this circumstance the “god” of my life. The thing that consumes me, labels me, or causes me to fall into the ditch with a religious heart trying to barter with God, “If you would only heal me of this God…THEN I would be whole.” It’s just my circumstance. And it has caused me to need God more, even in something as small as what to eat. And, at times, I need his forgiveness for when I fall of the wagon, and his grace (the power to live by the Spirit) to put me back on the wagon. And by the way…the effects return pretty quickly when I fall of the wagon. Not. Worth. It.
On the upside…I don’t smell anymore. I am a “regular” gal. The belly swell is gone. My joints don’t hurt. And my energy levels are way up!
Friends, listen to your heart and listen to your body.
God has something MORE He wants to show you about His power and goodness. It will cost you something but what you will gain will outweigh the cost any day!
Below is a VERY simple recipe for cooked lentils. Lentils are a super food and they keep this gal, and her preschool stomach, happy!
BENEFITS OF LENTILS:
Increase heart health
Great for digestion! (This girl with IBS can attest!)
Stabilize blood sugar
Low calorie, HIGH satiation (feeling of being full/satisfied)
1 1/2 TBSP of Butter (yes…butter)
1 large carrot, chopped & diced
1/2 lg. white onion, choped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 c. organic vegetable broth
1 c. water
1 c. lentils
Parsley, to taste
Melt butter in large saucepan. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute 6-8 minutes.
Add broth, lentils, water, and bay leaf. Cook until comes to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and let sit for 40-45 minutes. (If you have pre-soaked your lentils, only cook 20 minutes.)
Remove bay leaf. Serve topped with parsley.
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Comment below if you and I share some common ground on this circumstance. I am sure we could learn a lot from one another. Mostly what God has showed us about his wisdom and faithfulness.
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