No, this is not a post about any of my new and amazing recipes.....although I do love to cook.
It is about my gallbladder, and then again, it has nothing to do with my gallbladder.
It has to do with food, natural and spiritual.
After giving birth to my baby boy about four months ago, I started having gallbladder attacks. Quite a few. Several bad enough to make me consider the emergency room. Yet I think I would have to be on my death bed before stepping foot in an emergency room. Not only are they usually full and have a terrible wait, but they cost about $1000 just for walking into one.
So I prayed my way out of those really bad attacks. Jesus is good, all the time, even in the midst of gallbladder attacks.
Surgery is my last option too! I do not want surgery, not only because the idea of surgery terrifies me, but because it costs money I don't have, requires insurance I don't have, and from all I've read online, it doesn't actually solve the root issue. The root issue is......food.
I needed to change my diet to get rid of these attacks. There is a whole list of foods that are known to trigger attacks, and I am sensitive to the majority of them. Foods like eggs, dairy (all kinds), fatty meats, grapefruit, beans, cauliflower, and pork (all kinds).
Caffeine and gluten are also on the list, but I don't drink caffeine any more and gluten doesn't seem to bother me to much (although I have tried to cut back on it). Thank you Jesus.
So what do I eat now, you ask? I gotta say, it is a pretty strict diet for sure, but not as hard as I thought it would be. Seriously though, I think I miss dairy probably the worst. Anyhow. The point is that my diet is suddenly very strict. It took the threat of horrid, extreme pain to keep me committed to this new healthier diet, but I have done it. The thought of a painful gallbladder attack is enough to help me say no to a piece of cheese any day of the week.
Now onto the spiritual application of this. The Lord has been changing my spiritual appetites too. Things that have always been okay for me to do, and things that are okay for most other Christians to do are suddenly being highlighted and removed. The one that comes most quickly to my mind is - movies.
You may have heard me talk about limiting my movie intake before. I already have fairly strict movie guidelines. Now, the guidelines include zero movies, and few to none youtube videos either.
Even my beloved British period dramas are being cut out. Am I being legalistic you ask? No, not really. I wish I could fully convey my heart through a blog post, but I'm not sure I'm a skilled enough writer to. So let me just try anyhow, and you read between the lines and try to hear my heart.
These major changes to my spiritual life are all because I am just wanting more of the Lord. In the same way that I have come into a season of gallbladder attacks that have affected my physical diet, I have come into a season of spiritual consecration which has affected my entertainment diet. Movies are a distraction. Shallow social gatherings that either boost or deflate my self-esteem as a mom, also are a distraction (there are deeper social connections that edify me and build me up in the Spirit and those are still on the menu). These two types of entertainment either pacify my flesh or feed my flesh and dull my mind and heart.
I don't dream much when I watch a lot of movies, and I don't usually hear the Lord's voice as clearly after watching movies. They dull me, but I'm only talking about me. My point is not to convince anyone else to do what I am doing. As I have already said, I only feel this is a season. Not forever.
Now lets judge the results of these diet changes.
In the physical: I have been without any serious gallbladder attacks in over two months. The few ones I have had most recently were when I have compromised and eaten something I knew was on the 'no' list. It has taught me that even small compromises have consequences. Ouch.
In the spiritual: what He is allowing me to feel, see, hear, and operate in, in the Spirit, is worth giving up anything, even my favorite forms of entertainment. I have been dreaming more, hearing His voice more clearly, and been walking in greater authority since giving up the above mentioned 'distractions'. I will not say that it hasn't been hard, but I am learning that even small compromises in this area also reap consequences. When I watch too much media, there is an almost tangible dullness that I feel when I try later on to enter into prayer.
In both the spiritual and physical (gallbladder) I have found the quickest and most immediate way to remove the consequence (the dullness of mind or the gallbladder attacks) is to repent for my compromise quickly (yes, I literally repent for eating the bad food that I have eaten) and pray in the Spirit until I feel the release of the Lord's peace. It has worked so many times now that I can't deny the power and connection between repenting and the reestablishment of the Lord's peace.
Now the summary: The point is not for you to feel guilty about watching movies or eating the foods you like. I did that for years, with no consequences, and I plan to do that again (eventually) when this season is over, but I am in a season of setting aside those things and pressing in for something more from the Lord. The reason it is worth it is because my obedience in this season will directly effect the fruit of this season and that is true for any season. The Lord takes us through different seasons to show us things or teach us things. Our response to the season, whether in obedience or disobedience, will determine the fruit of that season and whether or not we are allowed to advance in the Kingdom. If we fail (thru disobedience) it can stall our journey, or we may have to go through the same season again, later on.
Have you ever heard people make the comment "I'm going around the mountain again" in reference to the Lord? Well that is a real thing. I am on a journey up the mountain, but if I don't walk in obedience, then my journey is stalled and I'm only going to be able to go around and around.....obedience moves us forward and up. I want to go up, and so I am choosing to be obedient, as hard as that seems some days. I know in the end it will be worth it.
Perhaps the Lord is showing you an area where you are needing to be obedient and without compromise. In sharing my own journey I hope I have encouraged you on your way. It is not easy some days to stick to my new strict 'diets', but I want more than anything to move forward with the Lord. So I press on and say no to those things that hinder the journey. Ask the Lord to help you see clearly the goal, so that it will be easier for you to say no when a compromising situation is offered. And know this: "The Lord will not tempt you beyond what you can endure" (1 Cor. 10:13).