That creamy Ranch dressing I love to dip my carrots in and the only reason why I even bother to eat carrots? Nope.
As someone who for the last ten years has dealt with the struggles of PCOS—irregular cycles, infertility, facial hair that grows faster than my husband’s five o’clock shadow, excess sweating, extra weight in the midsection (you know, super attracting stuff)—I have been at my wit’s end. But starting in August I did what was in my mind, the unthinkable.
I gave up gluten.
However before I continue, I must admit, that despite the awesome testimonies I heard and the valid research I read claiming it would help ease the annoying and self-esteem depleting symptoms (because what woman likes facial hair?), along with increase my fertility, I was still hesitant. And I was hesitant for months. Because let’s face it, who wants to give up pasta, bread, cheeseburgers, pizza, fried chicken and all those yummy casserole dishes?
But like I said, I was at my wit’s end. I was desperate. I was reaching and grabbing for anything. And honestly, I kept thinking that if I was willing to drop thousands of dollars for a ‘chance’ at a baby with no guarantees through IVF nearly three years ago, then I should also be open and willing to the idea of not eating a few of my favorite foods, right? Right! And so I did. I eliminated gluten while kicking and screaming. And also while being skeptical it would make a difference. At least to my body. But friends, within weeks of starting this “hard to stick to” diet, my symptoms became less and my cycles became shorter. I went from migraines and fatigue every day to instantly having more energy and fewer moments when I needed the Advil. And my cycles? I went from having them every 60-70 days to one every 40. Exciting, right?
My story doesn’t stop there…
In that time frame between August and October in which I had given up gluten, I had also been feeling the nudge to eliminate dairy as well. Because once again, through testimonies of others and from the articles I read, dairy also aggravates PCOS. But can we be real? I love cheese. I love cottage cheese. Macaroni and cheese. Chunks of cheese. And I also heart sour cream. Ranch Dressing. Butter. Chocolate…need I go on? I am basically a self-proclaimed dairy queen! And I was not willing to make that sacrifice. Besides, the holidays were approaching and I wasn’t about to give up gluten AND dairy! That my dear friends, sounded like torture. But you know, as it turned out, giving up gluten during the holidays was just as much torture. In fact, starting around the beginning of November, you can just say I fell (more like willingly jumped) off the gluten-free wagon and started eating whatever I wanted. You name it, I had it. And it showed. The headaches started again. The fatigue was dragging me down. And the long cycles returned.
But like everyone else with the start of the New Year, came new vows. New resolutions. New motivation.
And so once again I surrendered my gluten and this time, my beloved dairy. It’s been 28 (long) days since gluten has touched my lips and dairy has been digested in my body; but friends, not only do I feel great (and the embarrassing self-esteem depleting facial hair has slowly stopped coming in), but I also just had a 30 day cycle! Which come to think of it, the only other time this has happened was when I went on a strict no gluten/no dairy/low carb diet to fit (or shall I say squeeze) into a bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding two years ago.
And so all of this got me thinking even more…
Sometimes we want God to zap us and give us instant healing, which He can and will do. He can do the impossible and He can do it with just a small wave of His finger. But I have been thinking recently of Matthew 19:26 which says, “with God all things are possible.” It’s a verse I quote often but lately it’s been the “with God” part that has stuck in my head.
You see, over the last year (or more), I have felt God asking me to change my diet, but I have been far too stubborn. I keep looking at others who have PCOS and become pregnant without them ever-changing their ways and I would get prideful and think I don’t need to either. But in doing so and not listening to that gut feeling or rather I should say “His still small voice” asking me to change my ways…I have not been “with God.” I have been “with me.”
With my own wants. My own assumptions. My own thoughts and ideas of how it should go and how He should heal me.
Friends, I am slowly learning that while God can and will zap us in order to make the impossible happen, He also loves to work in conjunction with us. And He also loves to build our character and develop good traits within us during this process. Traits that will make us more Christ like. I think for me, He wants to develop obedience. Obedience to listening to His voice and doing what I believe He is telling me to do even if I don’t agree or want too. Because if I were honest, I am not the best at obeying Him when He calls me to do things. I simply cross my arms and say “no” or I sit around and analyze it far longer than I should instead of just saying “Yes, I will do it, Lord.” Which leads me to my question for you.
What have you felt ‘the nudge’ to do?
Maybe it’s not changing your diet, but rather changing your morning routine and sacrificing a few extra minutes of sleep in order to spend quality time with God. Maybe it’s forgiving a friend. Going to church again. Or perhaps He has been speaking to you about filling out the foster care paperwork or looking into adoption, but fear has stopped you. Or He has been nudging you to do something as bold as prepare a nursery even though there is no baby in sight, but doubt has kept you from stepping out in faith. Friend, whatever it is you feel in your heart He is calling you to do, just do it.
Because with obedience to God, always comes His blessings. If you don’t believe me, then just take it from Job…
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. ~ Job 36:11
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