Did you know that I am a certified health nut? Well, it’s officially called a health coach certification. It’s a long story of how I got to the school to attain the certification, but let’s just say God got my attention a few years before that time. You see, I haven’t been very healthy most of my life. I have been fighting battles with sickness since my early years. The catalyst to change was in 2006 when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I have a gluten trigger that will cause my body to attack my thyroid mistaking it for a foreign object. Everything changed when I learned of this disease and how I could heal by changing my life.
Sickness has been a theme throughout my life. In 1985, I came down with Rocky Mountain Spotted-Fever (RMSF). At that time of my life, I was living in the far lands; living with the pigs (reference Luke 15). My life back then was filled with wasted living – just looking for a good time, laughing about the hangovers after a night out with my friends. You would think after almost dying from RMSF, I would have woken up to the fact that this wasn’t God’s plan for me. But it took a couple more years before a revelation came that I needed to change my ways.
I struggled on and off with female troubles for a few years after the RMSF diagnosis. By the time the female issues were a full-blown sickness, I was living back at home with Mom and Dad. I lost my job and had nowhere else to go but back home. God gave me the opportunity to start over. I started back to church regularly and found out God was more interesting than I remembered from my childhood. However, I still wasn’t quite convinced that I needed to give Him everything. I still tried to live my life on my terms.
Everything changed in 1993 when I lost a close friend to an accidental free fall from a plane. Oh, she jumped with a parachute; but failed to open it at the proper time. She loved Jesus and all was good for her eternal place. But it rocked my world because I didn’t know that death could come so quickly to one so young. I understood in theory, but that was a wake-up call to me. It opened my eyes to death in a new way. I could have easily been the one in an accident and lost my life only to discover I wasn’t too sure of my eternal dwelling place. So I went all in to find out what it actually took to be assured that I was in God’s hands forever. I took steps to resolve the conflict that was warring in me but still couldn’t let Him have everything – yet.
It took another ten years or so before the female troubles were completely removed (surgery is a good thing for that). All that time, I was growing in the knowledge of God but failed to understand my body was the temple for the Holy Spirit. I was not respecting His temple. I didn’t know all that I know today. It took the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s to get my attention to give it all to God. Every part of my body is His and I should respect and honor Him by the way I treat His temple. When I finally understood that piece of His message, I started taking the steps to completely overhaul my health and define who God wants me to be: whole and healthy – mind, body and soul. And I gave it all to Him. (We’re still working on the body part. One day, the perishable will be replaced.)
I am grateful God has given me these chances to change. He has pursued me and never let me go. He could have easily chosen to let me continue to go downhill or stay in the pit of despair. But He didn’t. I have been told this past week that God is a personal God. I believe it because I have experienced His personal touch too many times to ignore that fact. He knows me and my struggles. Yet, He loves me personally – uniquely because I am His creation. He formed me with all my frailties in my mother’s womb. He thought of me before I was born. He actually had a secret me before He revealed me to my Mom. That’s pretty cool.
God thought of us all before we took our first breaths. He knows our hearts and our struggles within. And loves us anyway. He pursues us individually and uniquely. He is our personal God. And He is pursuing you today to find Him in your circumstance. He has used sickness to get my attention. How is He pursuing you?
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:21-22 (NLT)