Chrissy’s Story: When my second son was a baby, he had trouble sleeping, waking up with colic. After I comforted him, he would finally go back to sleep. As this pattern continued, I began waking up thirsty. I would drink several glasses of water, but my mouth still felt parched.
My doctor diagnosed thyroid issues. Wanting to avoid medication, I looked for a natural remedy. When I tried a chiropractor, he recommended I avoid sugar. I wanted healing, so I decided to try it.
After trying this approach, I began feeling better – until I visited my mom’s house and gave in to my cravings to eat her delicious pancakes with everyone else. This pattern of falling off the wagon of my special diet became a cycle. Go on strict, no-sugar diet. Give in and eat the sugary, refined food others are eating. Feel awful and go back to the diet. Repeat.
Along with feeling unwell when I lapsed on my diet, I also began noticing outbursts of anger. At first, I felt just a little irritated, but my anger episodes worsened to the point of an explosive feeling boiling inside and threatening to burst out of my fingertips. Sometimes I threw things; sometimes I went outside and screamed, and sometimes I got angry at my children. Thankfully, God protected me from throwing anything directly at my children or hurting them physically. But I knew I was hurting them emotionally.
Why, God? I cried. Why would you let this happen when I really want to be a good mom to my kids?
I sought out another natural doctor and described what I was going through. He diagnosed Candida and eventually recommended a program he had developed including a strict, expensive six-week diet accompanied by enzymes and probiotics. Unfortunately, I completed the program just in time for the holiday season. Instead of slowly adding foods back in, I gave in to a cookie overdose. My cravings and anger spikes came back full force.
After recovering from the holiday season, I met a woman with a similar condition who said it took her five months to get healthy. Not only did I feel ashamed for my failures, but I also felt deceived by the doctor with the expensive program and overwhelmed by the idea of a strict diet for five whole months!
Again, I brought my situation to God for help, believing He would help me control my anger as well as my diet. I asked God to let my children experience a mother who was gentle and kind instead of unpredictably irate.
Somehow, on this messy journey, I always sensed God was with me and loved me exactly as I was, despite the ugliness. I apologized many times to my gracious family, and we all moved on as I kept seeking God’s help to improve. I continued to cry out to God about my anger, knowing it could take me places neither God nor I wanted to be. Periods of success and failure would come and go. I would say, “God, I don’t know what to eat! Please help me to know what to do!”
I began to notice how God was providing answers to my prayers. One time, I felt God leading me to learn about a kind of grain I could eat with no side effects. Other times, God provided an effective treatment. Looking back, I see that every time I cried out to God in desperation, He would provide an alternative food to eat or some kind of treatment to help fight my Candida.
About a year ago, God also provided a Bible passage for me from 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, learns of two enemies closing in on Judah. Instead of panicking, Jehoshaphat praises God for who He is, saying in verse 6, “Power and might are in your hand, and no one can stand against you.” He follows his praise by saying in verse 12, “For we have no power to face this vast army … We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
I could relate to Jehoshaphat’s prayer. We both were faced with enemies too big for us, and we both had no idea how to handle them. And in desperation, we both turned to God. We acknowledged He does have the power and the knowledge to handle every situation. He does provide a “way out in temptation” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Seeking God’s help for a chronic health condition and its connection to angry outbursts in my life isn’t something I signed up for. But being in ongoing dependence on God’s help is actually a good place to be. Like God told Paul in the Bible, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I continue to bring my struggle to the One who loves me and who never runs out of resources to help.