As part of my fight to beat Chronic Lyme, I have dietary restrictions. The Lyme bacteria LOVES gluten and dairy. We’re cutting off its food source to make it weak and vulnerable to the treatment that will kill it. I’ve been GF and DF for 7 weeks. Last week my Doc added a new restriction: no sugar. What does that even mean? I sent an email to the nurse and her response was, “No sugar of any kind.” What does that even mean? I think it means no cane sugar, no agave, no honey. But what else? Sometimes no sugar means no fruit. (Yes, it’s on my list of questions for my next appointment.)
After one day of trying to be sugar-free, I quit trying. The clincher was trying stevia in my coffee. Blurgh. I’m fairly sure my Doc is going to cut coffee very very soon. Until then, I want to drink it how I love it: with sugar. Glorious sugar.
Yesterday I found a bag of marshmallows in our pantry. Unopened. Ready for the summer fire pit season. I had an awesome idea: marshmallows and TJs DF dark chocolate. The result was perfection. Soft sweet marshmallow topped with a solid bitter bite of chocolate. Every time I passed the pantry I popped another in my mouth. Mmmm. I posted a mock cry for intervention on Facebook and got all kinds of awesome, funny and some serious comments. My sister said, “Stop it! You’ve been told to go off sugar for a reason. Every time you’re tempted have a huge glass of water. x”
Of course she’s right. But here’s my problem. The treatment for Chronic Lyme is three to five years. It’s really looooong. And the no sugar thing is just one of many many many things I’m going to have to do. What’s one more day of sugar? In the grand scheme of things? One final celebration of glorious sweetness?
This Chronic Lyme is a bugger to kill. I’m part of an online Chronic Lyme support group in my area. The stories I’m hearing are not very encouraging. So many very sick people. So much pain. Very little success in treatment. Lots of relapse. Lots of lifelong sickness. Several people have full-time caregivers because they are so sick. Many are unable to work and unable to care for their kids. And many of their kids are sick with it too.
With that emotional backdrop, I’m having a hard time giving up sugar. It hardly feels worth it. It’s hard giving up so much without knowing what’s ahead.
Such a good metaphor for life and Faith.
There is a cost to being a follower of Jesus. There is a cost to surrendering to God. And It’s hard giving up so much without knowing what’s ahead.
God is my Father. I know Him and He knows me. I am His daughter. In the journey of this relationship, I’ve had to give some things up. Not to “please” Him… but to be with Him. There are so many things that cage me and hold me back from the fullness of life with Him.
Firstly, I had to give up (and each day I have to give up again) control of my life. Trusting Yahweh as God is a big leap from the life of being my own god and master.
Beyond that, I’ve given up many things. So many things. Some of them were negative things: Selfishness. Being “right”. Self glory. Judgement. Fear. Power. Others were what seemed like beautiful things: Comfort. Family. Possessions. Dreams.
Most felt like a big deal at the time I was having to let go of them… but now I know that the trade-off was beautiful. The things I had been holding on to were filling my hands so I couldn’t embrace the more beautiful things. God had such better things for me.
I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. (Phil 3:7-9)
I wonder what the “sugar” issue is in my Faith journey these days? What am I holding onto that is keeping me from being able embrace the riches of God?
This morning I was chatting with a friend and she brought up the Acts 5 story of Ananias and Sapphira. They lied about their giving to God and they died. It wasn’t that they hadn’t given enough. The gift was totally their idea. It wasn’t about the gift at all. It was that they’d schemed up a lie. They lied to God. My friend’s journey is a huge encouragement and challenge to me. She wants to trust God fully and she doesn’t want to hold anything back. She doesn’t want to be lying to herself or to God about her amount of trust and surrender. Man that’s good. Makes my heart strong just thinking about the freedom that comes in fully trusting God. Trusting God with everything. How stupid of Ananias and Sapphira to think their plan was good. How stupid of me to think my plans are good. To hold on to my ways is like short-sheeting myself!
I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears. For the angel of the LORD guards all who fear him, and he rescues them. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him! Let the LORD’s people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will never lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:2-10)
Day by day I’ll let go of sugar. And day by day I’ll embrace God more. To dive fully into Him. To be submerged in His goodness. That’s a bigger craving in my heart than the craving for sugar.
How are you? How’s your journey towards freedom in God?
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 49; John 1:29-51