Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Here for the Comments--My Response to the Response to My Food Journey Miracle Post

My recent post about my struggle with food received an overwhelming response. Not all of it positive.

I posted my story in the mast cell groups on Facebook. While most who took the time to read were encouraged and/or happy for me, some just weren't.

I don't blame them. Not at all.

Mastocytosis/Mast Cell Activation Disease affects every aspect of human life. There's no square inch it doesn't attempt to claim. To make matters worse, there's no cure, so it's a disease without much hope. Outside of Jesus, anyway.

And let's face it, Jesus causes trouble wherever he goes.

I thought I'd address a few of the comments made, not because I believe the people who made them will read my response but because you may need to. Some of the questions the comments imply may resonate with you. 

And deep down, who doesn't love a good Facebook debate?

The Comments

"I can't believe I wasted time reading this"

As someone who has battled MCAD, this comment translated as, "I came here looking for real hope, and you gave me a fairy tale." Do you feel the despair in that? Doesn't your heart break just a little? Mine does. 

To this commenter, I would offer this quote by G. K. Chesterton: "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." 

Jesus slayed the ultimate dragon when he gave his life on the cross. His life was for us, and His life makes us whole. In mind, body, and spirit. God is on mission to redeem it all.

"Unless you have a disease that can be cured are all stuck with mast cell. Some people needs their meds to live. This gives false and dangerous hope to people. Unbelievable... I have seen firsthand what a supposed cure can do folks. Putting the word cure on an illness known to be incurable except for periods of remissions can and does cause false hope. Wording is everything. There was no disclaimer...only stating cure. If anyone and I include myself in this.. Wants to say what is helping them as far as diet, supplements Et al then cool, but, unless it has been medically verified as a cure with accompanying information this becomes another blog with the supposed miracle cure. As a scientist, I aware people for reasons still poorly understood can heal. Hope is good. Proclaiming you have a cure without science not so much"

I agree--"wording is everything"--though even the best of us get it wrong from time to time. But the careful reader will notice I never used the word "cure" in my story. Rather, I spoke of healing. Why? Because I want to be clear. While medication, diet, and lifestyle modifications helped, these things did not end my disease. Jesus did. He healed me.

"I'd like to give my view on this as an atheist (and I know a lot of you are already placing labels on me for using that word, but please do not prejudge). I do not believe in prayer or a supreme deity that has the ability to heal us....but...I do believe that prayer can certainly be viewed as a form of meditation and there has been verifiable scientific study done on the effects that meditation has on the body. The most recent National Geographic has an article on the mind body effects of being in nature...scientific data. Including changes in EEG brain waves and drastic reduction in cortisol levels in the body. Doctors are actually writing "prescriptions" to patients to spend time in a natural setting for healing purposes. From my own personal experience, I can slow my heart rate purely by relaxing my body (I suffer from SVTs) and to some extent slow the progression of Mast Cell attacks the same way. This has been seen by multiple ER docs while I was hooked up to monitors. Then there is the whole epigenetics issue. Scientists have shown that these switches can flip back and forth quickly to stimuli and rapidly affect how our body reacts...or over reacts. She is not claiming to have been healed overnight. Nor did she do nothing but pray, she also modified her diet and tried other avenues of improving her symptoms. I believe placing this is the realm of religion is what is bothering some of you, but if you look deeper and place what she is saying in a more scientific framework, maybe you can understand better..."

I appreciate this person for coming to my defense. Truly. She was kind when others were not. Elsewhere, she chastened those who left--in her words--"incredibly rude comments," some of which were deleted by the moderator. That being said, we aren't on the same page. 

2015 was a rough year for me. Though I continued to lean into the Lord day after day, my thoughts weren't always positive. During the weeks before I was healed, I struggled with restlessness, guilt, anxiety, and shame. I was tired, beaten to a pulp by this monster of a disease. My mind did not heal itself. Jesus healed me.

"I always have to wonder, if you are "cured", perhaps the diagnosis was incorrect all along."

I expected this one from the beginning. Before Jesus healed me, I told Brandon and my mom that when He did it, people will say I never had the disease. People tend to reject what they don't understand.

But MCAD isn't a diagnosis doctors toss to the masses like beads and candy at a Mardi Gras parade. It's difficult to obtain, which is why I had to travel all the way to Minnesota to get it. 

While I'm sure God had more purposes for my Mayo Clinic adventure than I can imagine, I understand at least two--Gastrocrom (a medication which allowed me to eat without absolute misery) and that diagnosis. He wants the world to know no disease is incurable when it comes to Him. 

"I'm happy for you Melissa. It seems like your body has calmed down by making nutritional changes. The jury is still out on mast cell disorders, so thinking positive is a good thing. My fear however would be that your overzealous claiming of healing might turn around and bite you - should you regress, relapse, get triggered again etc. I've seen many women in this group already speak of going years "ok" than not ok. For me, EVERYTIME I have gone there - psychologically, emotionally etc and believed "I'm completely better now!" Or "I'm finally coming out of this!" --WHAM. I've been sent back to reality. So I learned to be "cautiously optimistic" and to speak about "improvement" and not black or white declarations that only kick my ass later. Just my share/2 cents. Mast cell (so far) keeps me humble."

I totally understand the warning. I've been in remission. And yes--I thought I was better, then BAM! But this isn't remission. I'm healed. Thank you, Jesus! 

"I am taking this with a grain of careful with the word "cure." Glad you feel better..please be respectful of all here. Religion, politics cross over many people's comfort level. And seems to imply we are all in the same boat and all able to pray our way to wellness. That is simply not the case. And can lead to blaming those who don't believe to the degree you do or in your religion. Makes me squirm a my armor on for the replies with this one..I will remove this post if the comments become attacks or too controversial."

Writers, to publish is to give readers permission to quote things you never said and infer meaning you never intended. 

Now let's discuss the idea of "pray(ing) our way to wellness..."

If anyone could've earned healing by faith, prayer, or specialness, it would've been Jenny. 

Before her, I'd never encountered such indomitable faith. Oh, how she loved our Lord! How she sought Him! She was humble enough to seek prayer wherever she went. Churches, communities, and even Dodie Osteen prayed for her healing. Until a few weeks before her death, Jenny believed she would live. Not hoped. Believed.

The woman was so magnetic that people sense her pull in photos. People who didn't want to like her couldn't help themselves. Few love others like she did. She was often the sickest person in the waiting room at MD Anderson, yet she stopped and prayed for people every visit. People who got to live. Before she let hospice put her into an induced coma, she prayed for and blessed everyone at her bedside. She sent me a goodbye text telling me how much she loved me. Jenny went out thinking of and serving others.

If we could achieve our own wellness, Jenny would've been here to celebrate her daughter's fourth birthday four days ago. But after two years of intense suffering, she died. 

Did I survive because I'm so much better than her? Because my faith is stronger? Absolutely not. And if my prayers achieved all that, Jenny would still be here.

This commenter didn't need her armor. She got no argument from me. 

Healing can't be earned. It can only be received.

"I am glad you are doing better, but to claim that God healed you leaves a lot of Christian people who are dealing with the same thing out. I find it distasteful that God would pick and choose you and leave everyone else to suffer. I think there are are too many variables to leave it to "God fixing everything".... Could have been shots finally registered in your system after all that time, anxiety dying down after postpartum time frames end, allowing you belly time to heal after a severe infection.... Ect.... Too many variables to leave it at "God chose to heal me over everyone else."

This commenter doesn't understand my God. And frankly, I don't either.

Human inclination is to fear what we can't control and to dismiss what we don't understand. 

We can't control God, nor can we understand him. So we fear and dismiss him. We explain him away.

And guess what--I've done it, too. 

I have no idea why I lived and Jenny died. I have no idea why some are healed and others suffer all their lives. But that doesn't mean God didn't heal me. And it doesn't mean He doesn't want to heal others. 

Truth be told, these thoughts aren't all that unrelated to some of my own, which have led to questions. Lots and lots of questions:

  1. Did Jesus ever turn anyone away in the gospels? Did He ever say, "No, I'm not going to heal you. It's my will for you to be sick. Your illness brings me glory?"
  2. Does illness bring glory to God? OR is it possible to suffer with something that doesn't glorify God in such a way that God is glorified anyway? Isn't that kind of the spirit of Romans 8:37?
  3. Does God send illness? Is sickness of God? Or does the enemy send sickness and then God uses it for His own purposes with the intention of drawing us to Himself and with a heart to deliver us from it and all lesser loves? 
  4. Does God want us to cuddle our sickness and hold onto suffering because He worked it for good in our lives? Do we need sickness to maintain our sanctification? Should we? Or do we just need Jesus
  5. Is sickness the best way to experience the nearness of God? If so, what does that say about the saints in the Bible? They weren't sick. Are sickness and pain the only ways to cultivate humility and dependence?
  6. Can we best fulfill the Great Commission when we ourselves are sick?
  7. If it was God's will for people to be sick, wouldn't Jesus have been going against God's will by healing them? Wouldn't we be going against God's will every time we prayed for healing?
  8. In Scripture, Jesus doesn't only heal believers. Many he healed weren't believers when he healed them. Some left him, healing in hand, without a thank you. So what does it mean that He didn't do many mighty works in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58; Mark 6:5,6)? What role does faith play?
  9. The mission stated over and over again in the Gospels is to preach the gospel and heal the sick. Preach the gospel and heal the sick. Preach the gospel and heal the sick. When Jesus sent out the twelve, he told them, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8). This doesn't sound like a pick and choose kind of God. So what's the deal?
  10. Could the gap between what we see in Scripture and our experience be our fault? As in the fault of the Church? If so, what does this say about our will versus God's will? If not, does the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever carry out his will differently now than he did in the first century?

In Summary:

Notice I have all these fabulous questions and no easy answers. I can't offer a satisfactory response to any of them because God is mystery. But here's what I make of my experience with the information I have at this time:

God did not send my sickness. Neither did He waste it. God used my physical sickness to rescue me from sickness of mind, body, and spirit. My sickness was the fastest, most efficient way for God to do this and make me usable. My sickness did not glorify God; I glorified God by leaning into Him through it. God never smiled at my pain; He smiled at what I did with it.

The enemy sent my illness and used it to try and kill me. Again and again and again. He did this because I'm dangerous. He failed because God didn't allow it. God is sovereign.

And yet other dangerous, usable people die. I don't know what this means. But I do know God is sovereign. He is the head of all principality and power (Col. 2:10). Not a moment of this storm was outside of his perfect control, and his character and attributes do not change with circumstance.

God healed me. God used prayer to heal me. My healing would not have happened outside of persistent, fervent, expectant prayer. My prayers. Prayers of family, friends, and elders. The prayers of many.

These prayers kept me alive, kept me close to Jesus, and helped me navigate the path laid out for me. The path led me to a group of people who operate in the Spirit of God. They saw my plight, had compassion, and rescued me through more fervent prayer. They had faith for me when I didn't have it for myself. Enough faith for me to expect something to happen.

My healing was intrinsically tied to deliverance, which was brought about in a personal prayer session (Sozo), a ministry of the group mentioned above.

My healing glorified God. My liberation unleashed more of the Holy Spirit into the world. Now whole and operating in the power of the Holy Spirit, I can better fulfill the mission--preach the gospel, heal the sick and brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, help the blind to see, liberate the oppressed, cast out demons, raise the dead. Make disciples. Make disciple-making disciples. 

I'm called to give as freely as it has been given to me. Which, you gotta admit, has been pretty freely, so I best be serious about this, yo. 

The miraculous bolsters faith in the miraculous. My prayers are not what they once were because I now believe in the impossible. I ask for impossible things. I believe for impossible things. The impossible has become my new normal.

I know that not everyone I pray for will be healed and delivered, but what do I lose by praying? What do I lose? Time? Energy? Who cares? I get God! Even when the miracle doesn't come. And now that I know it might, by the grace of God I'll never stop asking.

I want to do this thing in such a way that if I'm wrong I'll be the most pitiful fool who ever walked the earth and when I see my Jesus face to face I'll have nothing to regret. And who knows? Maybe one day I'll get to see God do something REALLY cool like raise somebody from the dead!

So yeah...that's where I stand. At the moment, anyway.

Now that I've closed my most recent Facebook debate, let a new one begin. And in the spirit of full disclosure, if you comment, especially if that comment is nasty or despondent, you'll be put on a list and prayed for. You've been warned.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Food--The Struggle (It's Been Real, Folks)

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Michael Stern


It Begins

My first systemic reaction to a food happened right after Christmas in 2004. Brandon, my family, and I were vacationing in Branson and were watching a movie. Along with everyone else, I was popping pistachios.

Then something ears swelled, grew hot, and began itching. My throat followed suit. I put the pistachios away, popped a Benadryl, and didn't think about the experience again for over a year.

Over the course of 2005, I  sometimes felt unwell after I ate--weirdly sleepy, grumpy, bleh--so I began The Maker's Diet with my parents to clean up my eating. That seemed to help. For a while.


Then in early 2006 (a particularly stressful time in my life), itching, hives, swelling, shortness of breath, etc. became common during and after meals. I don't know why it took so long for me to stop living in denial, but eventually I was able to associate the way I felt with food.

Within a few weeks, I eliminated wheat, dairy, corn, soy, and tree nuts from my diet, and I stabilized. For a while.

Spring came with a case of hay fever from HELL. I went about either drunk, sneezy, coughy, sleepy, and sensitive to light and noise or knocked out cold by Benadryl. I wish I were kidding.

Asthma Inhaler
Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of NIAID

The Allergy Shots Experiment

So I saw an allergist. He prescribed daily Claritin, Singulair, and an inhaler along with weekly injections to treat my environmental allergies. (He didn't want to touch my food allergies. They scared him.) I improved. For a while.

A few months into treatment, my allergies worsened. I became increasingly sensitive to the foods I knew I was allergic to. New foods piled onto the "no-no" list. If I had to walk across campus while staff was mowing grass? Asthma attack guaranteed. And then I began reacting to the allergy shots themselves.

At first, it was just localized swelling and itching at the site of injection. No big deal. Normal, even. Later, I had systemic itching. Oh well. Pop a Benadryl. Whatever. After that, full body rashes. Not pretty, but not life-threatening. Go back to the office. Get a steroid shot. Go home.

The day my tongue and throat swelled was a different matter. After an in-office dose of Benadryl failed to bring my symptoms under control, I was given an injection of Epi. The nurse told me this was normal. That some people need Epi every week after injections. thank you.

When I became pregnant with Micah, I used my pregnancy as an excuse to stop treatment, and I never went back. And I got better. For a while.

EpiPen Auto Injector
Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Greg Friese


The Descent

After pregnancy, things went back to normal...but worse. In June 2009 when Micah was three months old, a few soggy chow mein noodles hidden in a sub par chicken salad sent me to the ER. That episode ended with two Epi injections and a frustrating 10 days of steroids during which this breastfeeding mama had to pump and dump several times a day. Good times.

The next eventful moment happened in January 2011. Brookshire's began carrying pre-made gluten free muffins in the bakery, so Brandon brought some home as a treat. Which they were...until two hours later.

Guys, I'm not a puker. I have a gag reflex of iron. I once went 10 years without a good purge. Even now, I have to be pretty sick to toss my cookies, but that day...I tossed my muffins. Again and again and again and again.

In two hours I puked 11 times. That may be more times than I've puked in my life outside of that day. Each heave was so forceful I was sure something would hemorrhage. Every time it ended, I collapsed onto the floor beside the toilet unable to move.

I don't know how to describe that level of misery except to tell you that I wanted to die. I prayed the Lord would take me. No other pain, no other emergency has ever caused me to pray that prayer.

There was no relief. I couldn't pick myself off the cold bathroom tile. I think Brandon eventually did it himself after he jumped a few flaming hoops to get me the anti-nausea medicine I needed.

Unfortunately, I believed my little puke-a-thon was the stomach virus of the apocalypse. My mistake.

As my friend Tim said the other night, "What you believe matters."

Once recovered, I ate another muffin. Two hours later, I start puking again. As if the first mistake wasn't enough, I used the anti-nausea medicine too soon, thereby trapping the offending substance (teff flour) inside my body, which forced it to run its course.

Take my word when I tell you this was a bad decision.

A few days after this, I caught an actual stomach virus, then another virus, then the flu. Then I got pregnant. Oh boy.

I stayed sick until week 26 of my pregnancy (which amounts to six months of constant illness), at which point I perked up. Until I had Sara.

During labor, I had a systemic reaction to the epidural, which didn't even work in the end. Man, oh man, was she worth it, but dude...


The Plummet

After her birth, I wasn't the same. I knew something was wrong. Suddenly, it wasn't just what I ate. It was what I touched. What I breathed. But I couldn't think about me. I had a sick baby to take care of.

Things spun out of control. I couldn't safely administer Sara's medicine because I reacted to it upon skin contact. I lost several more foods. Anaphylaxsis became a common occurrence. I lived off Benadryl. And I bought a medical alert bracelet because I never knew what would happen, when, where, how, or why.

When God healed Sara of RSV and her chronic ear infections, I snapped. Like a twig.

One afternoon, I ate a coconut macaroon for a snack and immediately had an anaphylactic reaction. The next morning, I awoke to pain. Tissue pain. Muscle pain. Bone pain. All of it. Pain which never left. Which I still have to this day, to a lesser degree.

I began to reject all food. Even water made me ill. After several days of being unable to eat and too slow to drink, I dehydrated and had to be given IV fluids.

Elders from our church prayed for me. Within a couple of days, I was able to eat again, but everything gave me trouble. I might eat one thing one day and reject it the next.

We struggled for months to figure out what to do. We tried fasting, supplements, liquid nutrition, amino acid powder. I dropped a lot of weight very quickly. I remember wondering if I would die of starvation.

In September 2012, we learned of the GAPS diet, which is a gut-healing diet. I followed it to perfection, practically living off broths and soups. And it was enough. For a while.



I won't go into the details of how it happened--you can read the story here--but after being poisoned by a fluoroquinolone drug, my issues worsened. This is when I had to stop drinking coffee and wearing make-up. I lost a ton of foods at once and had to begin wearing a mask every time I ventured into public. Even normal, natural scents like lavender essential oil sent me into respiratory distress. Anaphylaxsis became even more common. As in "three to five times a week" common.

I remember at least two instances during that time in which my spirit separated from my body, allowing me to see everything outside of myself. I remember deciding at least three times to live rather than depart to my Lord for the sake of Superman at my bedside.

In early June 2013, I found myself in another crisis. I again ended up in the ER. This time, we all wondered whether or not I would survive.

My family called a prayer meeting on my behalf, which resulted in God saving my life in a really cool way. For the summer, I was able to eat anything that grew in our garden. Even watermelon, which I hadn't been able to eat in years.

(Note: Prayer changes things. Every time.)

When the summer ended, so did my freedom. I lost all the foods I had enjoyed over the summer and several more, and had one final crisis in December. Fortunately, I was able to stay out of the hospital that time.

Nutritional Therapy


I enlisted the help of my friend Jennifer Nervo of 20 Something Allergies in February 2014. She had just become a licensed nutritional therapist. With her help, I gained stability in my diet by following a low-histamine Autoimmune Paleo plan on a four day rotation, which is every bit as complicated as it sounds. I couldn't eat a wide variety of foods, but for the first time since I became ill, I was eating enough.

Even still, my "safe foods" list dwindled.

In summary, food has been a struggle, and the struggle's been real. 

I always knew God would heal me, but part of me doubted my food allergies would be included in that healing. I mean, they've been around for a decade.

When I imagined being well, I imagined going around mask-free and fearless. Having my old energy back. An absence of pain. Even the ability to eat the things I could before I was really sick.

But then Jesus showed up, and all this impossible stuff started happening. First my hands. Then the way I tolerated cold temperatures. Then no more mask because fragrances no longer affected me as they once did.

I couldn't help myself. I asked, "Why not my food allergies?" If Jesus could heal all the other symptoms, he could heal those too.

One day, I tried a bite of a gluten-free cookie. Just to see what would happen. Nothing happened. Then I tried goat milk. Again, nothing. Then eggs. Nothing.



When I no longer required a mask, I told Brandon I wanted to attend the Project 41 White As Snow gala on January 22. (Project 41 is a ministry for sex-trafficking victims and prostitutes in Ouachita Parish. The gala is their big fundraising event each year. Contact me if you're interested in joining the prayer team.)

One morning not long after buying the tickets, I was praying through the Lord's Prayer. (I often use it as a guideline and personalize it to fit the needs of the day. Martin Luther style.) When I got to "give us this day our daily bread," I felt the Holy Spirit say, "You have not because you ask not." And I knew in some mysterious way He wanted me to ask for permission to eat the food at the gala and if I did, He would allow it.

I began telling people--Mom, Brandon, my prayer group--"Just you watch. I'm gonna eat that food and be fine. No matter what it is."

Sure enough, I enjoyed grilled chicken, candied carrots, seasoned green beans, twice-baked potatoes (with cheese and pseudo bacon bits), and two bites of cheesecake (no crust) that I didn't have to cook. Without issue.

As Brandon so eloquently put it, I was bulletproof.

The Big Leagues


My stomach wasn't too happy the week following the gala. I had a fair amount of GI inflammation, nausea, intestinal pain, and bloating. Which--granted--isn't all that bad considering what I've been through, but still...

I figured God had given me a free pass for that one night and I'd have to wait a bit longer for complete healing. No big deal. I can be patient.

My prayer group met on Friday night. They asked for testimonies of miraculous healings, which we've been seeing in a steady stream since December. I shared my story again for those who hadn't heard it and for those who wanted to hear it again, during which I mentioned I was believing God for complete healing of my food allergies.

When I got home that night, the Holy Spirit whispered to my spirit, "You haven't asked to be able to eat the food tomorrow."

I'd planned to attend a bridal luncheon in honor of my cousin's fiance the next day. A meal would be served. Honestly, partaking hadn't even occurred to me. Neither had requesting permission to do so.

"Okay, Lord. I would love to eat the food tomorrow. If it would please you, will you allow me to enjoy it?"

I lacked the assurance I felt before the gala, but was content to leave the matter in the Lord's hands. I knew I would know whether or not the food was for me when I saw it. No matter what, I was thrilled just to attend. I hadn't seen my Chapman cousins in years.

 The menu.

Long story short(er): I. ate. it. all. (Minus the orzo and cheesecake crust.)

I knew the moment that fabulous salad was placed before me, it was meant for me and I would be fine.

I even took a bite of the orzo pasta, mistaking it for rice. (I didn't read the menu carefully.) That mistake might have killed me three years ago and would've required Epi and an ER visit in 2009 and 50-100mg of Benadryl as far back as 2007.

But that day my face swelled a little bit. Basically, the equivalent of a sneeze. I didn't even flush.

Mom and I laughed and laughed and laughed throughout the entire meal, which may have been slightly inappropriate, but we couldn't help it. We were absolutely drunk on the joy of the Spirit. (We may have cried a little, too.)

What happened was impossible. The food was delicious. And that cheesecake? The best thing I can remember eating in 10 years. Hands down.

"Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus," was the song of my heart which accompanied each bite.

The End


The night after the luncheon, I renewed the habit of praying over each meal (in addition to Sara's sweet blessing), thanking God and praying it would heal and nourish my body and the bodies of my family.

This habit accomplishes several important things at once:
  1. It reminds me food is a gift, not a right.
  2. It reminds me of the Giver.
  3. It's a declaration of dependence upon Father for all sustenance. 
  4. It forces me to be a good steward of what I put into my body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and reminds me that "all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful" (1 Corinthians 6:12).
  5. Each bite becomes joyful worship (1 Corinthians 10:31).  
Here's what has happened since:

 Oatmeal and goat milk for breakfast yesterday morning. 
I hadn't eaten oatmeal in four years. Brandon left
some in the pot, and I just knew it was for me!

A little coffee to go with my Jesus time this morning. 
First time in three years.
Lawful, not helpful, but oh so yummy.

Omelet with farm fresh eggs, onion, bell pepper, spinach, and goat cheese.
Not low histamine and definitely not AIP approved.
Should've made me flush, sneeze, and itch for the rest of the day, but I'm good.

After my bowl of oatmeal yesterday morning, I said it out loud and posted it to Facebook: I don't have Mast Cell Activation Disease anymore. I'm healed.
What a delight eating has become! I can sit before my plate with gratitude, joy, and confidence. No fear. I've been eating foods I haven't enjoyed in years without a hint of discomfort, even when I kind of expect it.

For so long, food was an enemy. No more.

I've been healed of an "incurable disease" by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I no longer claim MCAD. All my online biographies have been changed (see below). I humbly and enthusiastically accept the gift the Lord is pleased to give--healing of body, mind, and spirit.

Just one month and a couple of days into 2016, the Lord has proven His word to me. This is the Year of Abundance, indeed.