Thoughts from my Dishwater

I had an epiphany today.

My hands busy, scrubbing dishes.

My mind wandering to this new thing in my life called celiacs.

Someone with celiacs has to avoid so many things. One little spec of gluten is enough for the small intestine to go balistic.

This means that you can’t use pans that have had gluten in them.

If a plastic tub has had any gluten in it, it is forever contaminated.

Non stick pans as well……

Forget about eating out, just having food prepped in the same kitchen with gluten is enough to ruin that food for a celiac.

“Did you know?” my mom said to me as I was baking cream cheese bars as this whole celiac thing was beginning to whirl around us,

“that when you use flour, it doesn’t fully settle for twenty-four hours?”

I rolled my eyes then.

It sounded crazy how careful a person has to be.

Yeah….my mom was crazy….this can’t be what having celiacs looks like.

My stomach is starting to convince me otherwise.

I remember the Israelites….studying Levitus and Numbers last year, I learned about all the many laws God gave to them. Laws that were meant to show them what holiness looks like, that they couldn’t keep all of them, that they needed a Savior.

For sin separated them, us…from God.

One little speck of sin is enough for us to not be worthy to be in the presence, to be in communion with God.

Just like one little speck of gluten is enough to make a celiac double over in pain, one little sin is enough to send us to hell.

I close my eyes, so thankful that the story doesn’t end there. My mom, brother, sister and I will live with celiacs for the rest of our lives.

This disease a constant reminder of the holiness God demands but we can’t obtain.

We need a Savior.

Jesus coming and atoning for that sin on the cross. Washing us clean from all of that sin, so we can be holy.

I am thankful, overwhelmed that God would choose to give us that ever present picture of how much we need him!

I am looking forward to the day when I will be changed, “in a flash, in a twinkling of an eye” and I will be given an imperishable body…one that can handle gluten.

But for now I will cling to Jesus as my mom put it so simply yet profoundly….”I don’t need bread because Jesus says He is the bread of life”.


The Silent Killer

“Should I just call her?”

“Yeah…I want to know…..shes not telling us something”

Two of my sisters and I were in Europe, helping put on a kids camp.

My whole family all had been tested for celiacs just three days before we had stepped on the plane to fly over the pond.

My mom told us that she would tell us when they got the results.

We heard nothing.

Hannah got antsy, so I started texting my mom. She didn’t really say what the results were.

When she said that, we knew it was bad.

So we decided to call her……Late at night the three of us sit and hear the results.

Half of our family, including Sarah and I have celiacs.

Four people out of the eight of us, now have a disease that whenever gluten enters our system our body attacks not it, but the small instestine.

Many people don’t have symptoms, like my brother. He tested positive on the blood test, yet never had a stomache ache. Yet, we are told if he doesn’t go off gluten he will die. Slowly the body will attack the small intestine the part of the body responsible for absorbing nutrients and he will die of malnutrition.

For there to actually be a diagnoses there must be a second test beyond the initial blood test. They put you out and go down the throat, scraping the small intestine and taking pictures.

You didn’t have to be a doctor to see in J.J.s pictures that his intestine didn’t look healthy. It reminded me of flesh that was red and sore.

They said my mom’s small intestine was just one step down from cancer.

I can’t get that test until I get back from being caretaker to an orphan in Asia. Sarah is waiting until I get home.

I hoped…..assumed that I would be like J.J. and not get any symptoms.

yeah…think again.

Last week, I started getting a stomach ache. It didn’t last forever. It would just last for so long and then it would be gone. It would make me not want to eat…and yet my body was getting weak so I would eat. One night I totally ignored my better judgement and gorged myself with pancakes. Yeah….not a good idea.

Yeap… body is starting to tell me when gluten enters my system and I am not really sure how to handle it.

I have seen my brother handle a disease…..I  grieved when we found out that he would never be able to live a life not dependent on insulin shots.

But I don’t know how to handle it for myself, to be in a room and know that I can’t celebrate at a wedding by eating the wedding cake…though this Sunday I did.

To know that when the ladies come for study this week, the treats they bring, I really shouldn’t eat.

Its hard….I know God has a purpose and that it will all work out for good, but what do you do with the feelings?

How do you take the feelings and ground them on truth?

“Feelings aren’t reality” I texted a friend tonight….but how do you live that?

I don’t know…..but I do know one thing. I know that I have a rock to cling to.

When my feelings seem to overwhelm me I know that “when all around my soul gives way, He alone is my hope and stay”.

I know that “when darkness to seems to hide His face, I will rest on His unchanging grace”

I know that even if my feelings are crushing me and I don’t know how to handle this reality called “celiacs” I know that God made my “inward parts”. Celiacs was never out of his loving hands for me. And that He “knitted me together in my mother’s womb”.

Stand with me as I will praise him that even with celiacs, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

Lord give me the grace to live it!!!!!!!!