Inside: Does life frustrate you? Maybe struggling with how things have turned out. Here are three tips for you when life is not what you expected.
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, I am only sharing what is working in our family. Please reach out to your doctor for all medical advice.
The last few years have been difficult. Things haven’t turned out as I had expected.
Maybe your life is frustrating you also. It’s not what you expected either.
Think about this for a minute: what did we exactly expect?
Easy, happy life? Lots of fun, no heartache?
Maybe instead it’s been filled with one frustration after another.
Add in the craziness of the world over the last two years and it’s been tough.
Life is not what you expected, right?
(I wanted to write this blog post a little differently than posts in the past, but already I can tell I’m falling into the comfort zone of all the other 260+ posts I’ve written. So maybe this is just the way I write and I can’t be something I’m not.)
I wanted to talk more about health and wellness in this post and what my family has learned from walking the last three years through a chronic disease.
Here’s What I Didn’t Expect
Three years ago, my son was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after breaking his arm. What was weird is that the trauma from the break must have turned on a switch in his genes to start attacking his digestive system.
He went through multiple tests, procedures, and doctor’s appointments.
On medication, he went from being a slim boy to gaining weight and getting a moon face from all the steroids.
As someone who doesn’t take anything, especially over-the-counter anything, I had to overcome this and pray to God to guide us. To give us the wisdom to follow the path that God wanted us to even if it meant lots of medication.
Working in the western medical world, I realized there is only one path: lots of medication.
My husband and I didn’t feel comfortable for our 14-year-old to be on medication that had lots of side effects if there were other options.
We must be oddballs but our desire is the least amount of medication to keep our child stable and give him the best quality of life. Medication is a blessing when we need it but there’s another way to heal and sometimes it encompasses many different paths.
I hope there is someone reading this post that is nodding their head in agreement. We have felt like the only ones with this mindset walking into the current medical world.
Life is not what you expected, right?
Finding Another Way: Again Not What I Expected
Indeed, a few months into this journey, I found a provider who was able to get to the root cause of the disease and help my son. He was able to wean off his medication and remained stable for a year.
And he grew 6-8 inches taller in a 6-month period. This doctor had prepared us for this, he had said once we start getting him nutritionally supplemented, he will grow, and grow he did.
However, last spring, he relapsed and required a blood transfusion and again multiple medications. Steroids were added again which caused sleep problems and lots of weight gain, especially on the face.
As I have learned and researched, I found another provider that did more testing. We have been able to again get my son stable and remain on just one medication. This medication has been halved and he remains stable.
Through supplementation, nutritive IVs, iron injections, and essential oils, we have been able to keep him above the line of wellness.
One of his tests which indicated the presence of inflammation in the digestive system came back normal (last August, it was 2500 and anything over 52 is high.)
My son has done so well that we have been able to push doctor’s appointments back from six months to one year.
If you are struggling or know of someone struggling with chronic disease, please know there are other options and paths to follow if you aren’t getting better.
Three Things to Do When Life Isn’t What You Expected
Growing in Faith
One of the most important things for me is to be growing in faith when life is hard. That can look different for everyone.
Most mornings are busy for me so using my iPhone and Youversion has been so helpful! I can pull it up quickly and read through it. I can do this any time during the day and especially if I’m on the go.
At our church, we have Sunday School before our Sunday morning service and I’ve learned quite a lot utilizing this also.
Having Christian friends who encourage me and inspire me to keep walking in faith has been instrumental in not falling into anxiety and depression when life is overwhelming!
Don’t we have good intentions to get into the Word and then life happens? Life is not what we expected!
Concentration on my Physical Health
When we are going through anything stressful, it’s important to make sure we are taking care of ourselves.
Making sure I’m eating a whole foods balanced diet with plenty of protein is important when dealing with extra stress. How many of us are stress eaters?
By eating protein, we can stay fuller longer so that we decrease our chances of mindlessly snacking.
Exercise is also a great way to deal with stress. I get that it’s the last thing we want to do when we are feeling stressed but it’s amazing how exercising for 30 minutes can help the body relax, get the mind off of our endless worrying, and help deal with the emotions of hard times.
The last tip for concentrating on physical health is to get adequate sleep. Did you know weight is linked to getting good quality sleep?
I have dealt with insomnia in the past so making sure that I get to sleep is something that I practice every day! (I use a few products to help make me find good quality sleep too!)
Dealing with emotions can be draining and just resting and getting to bed early helps us deal with the struggles in a better, positive way.
Mindset: It Matters What Your Think
My mentor has said, life is 50% good and 50% bad. I think she’s right, don’t you?
We have good moments followed by bad moments and it’s a repeating cycle. Is this how your life is?
Life is not what you expected.
Nowhere does God promise us all moments of happiness and good things. A few years ago, I guess it hit me, I was under the impression that as a Christian, it would be smooth sailing (maybe I missed the day in school this was explained. But to be honest I must have missed many days when this was discussed.)
I was surprised when it finally was understood.
He actually tells us:
New International Version
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In God, we will have peace, but our world can still be falling apart.
We aren’t going to all be rich or be happy all the time. Not get sickness or disease. Lose something or someone important to us.
We are all going to actually have one of these or all of these happen to us. But even when this happens we can take heart because Jesus is victorious.
My son has a chronic disease, but he will be perfected when he gets to Heaven.
Expect Everything And Anything
Does this mean things won’t bother us, stress us out, and make us worry? Of course, not because we are human. But we can prod ourselves to remember what was said in John 16:33.
We tell our human brain, “this stinks, not what I expected, but life is 50/50, and God has a way through this hard thing.”
God uses it all for the good of those who love Him (and have been called by Him!)
I don’t know about you, but it’s about time that I throw out my human expectations. I’m not good at predicting the future anyway, I’ll leave that to God.
Instead, I’ll ask Him to lead me and give me His desires and know that what happens, whether good or bad, is part of my journey. In essence, expect everything and anything!
Mindset is important because this directs your feelings, behavior, and ultimately your life.
Want a more joy-filled life dealing with this 50/50 good and bad?
Let’s set our eyes on Jesus and what He tells us in His word so that when hard things and unmet expectations arise, we can traverse through all of them.
New International Version
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.