Sunday, March 30, 2014

Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone...and Neither Shall I

After I saw the Heme/Onc (short for Hematology/Oncology) guy, I walked out the door not expecting to hear from him until my follow-up appointment in 6 months. It was lunchtime, and we were hungry, so my husband and I decided to grab a quick, yummy brunch of deliciousness at our local Waffle House. Their pecan waffles qualify for my select life list of very favorite foods. If I had known this would be my last time to ever have them, I probably would have ordered a dozen and eaten until I couldn't stand up any more.

Remember how I talked about Zebras and Interesting Patients the other day? Remember how I said you don't want to be one, but that I am one? Well...after I left my Heme/Onc appointment, my doctor spent some time researching what could be causing my immune system to shut down. He was unable to find a link between this and my MS, but he did find ONE STUDY being performed at BMS looking at a possible link between my particular immune problem and wheat allergies. Has this research been completed? No. Has this research been published in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal? No. IT'S STILL ONGOING, and there is no way to get me into the actual trial. So what does my hematologist decide? He wants me to try a wheat-free (aka gluten-free) diet. It will be our own, personal experiment. I literally felt Life As I Know It come crashing down around me.

I received this life-altering phone call around 4:30 on a Monday afternoon. I was not pleased. But God has a serious sense of humor. A very dear friend of mine has Celiac Disease, the only absolute medical indication for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free can completely cure Celiac and eliminate its long term side effects. She has been gluten-free for several years and has been wanting me to experiment with the diet almost since the day she started it. Obviously, since bread is my very favorite food (I have literally lived on bread alone for months at a time while travelling overseas), I do not want to give it up. I like bread. Bread makes me happy. Anyhow, back to God's sense of humor...this friend was sitting next to me at my kitchen table when I got the call from my doctor. I instantly went into mourning. She became almost giddy with excitement.

After my initial shock and despair wore off, I went into my typical OCD, Type A mode. In the last 3 weeks and 4 days since I got this unpleasant news, I have read more books and cookbooks and websites and blogs on gluten-free cooking than I can count. I have dreamed about bread and pizza and fried chicken and yeast rolls and icing cake. I have fixated on finding acceptable substitutes for my favorite foods. So far, I have found a good pancake recipe, a decent oven-fried chicken recipe, and several awful bread recipes...complete with some flammable loaves. I'm a work in progress, and I know God has a plan for this. Right now, the risk of blindness and herniation and a nonexistent immune system are good motivators.



    There are times when men pray and their prayers are not granted; why not? Because prayer is conditional.

    1 John 5:14 This is confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

    Our petitions to God must be according to His will. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My word abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

    Jesus said staying faithful to Him is a factor in having prayers granted. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    Mark 11:25-26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."]

    Failing to forgive others can be an impediment to having your prayer requests granted. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayers of the righteous.

    Clothing yourself with the righteousness of Jesus and living a Christians lifestyle is necessary for God to acknowledge your prayers. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    James 4:3 You ask and do not receive , because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

    God did not promise Christians that they would have unlimited wealth to spend on their pleasures. Praying for wealth, having the wrong motives, might be why your prayers are not answered. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

    Men's prayers being answered are contingent upon the attitude and treatment of their wives. PRAYER IS CONDITIONAL.

    James 1:5-7 But if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,

    Answered prayers are contingent on our faith. PRAYERS ARE CONDITIONAL.

    (All Scripture quotes are from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)