Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: IBS

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Getting diagnosed with a chronic illness turns your whole world upside down. Suddenly you can’t do many of the daily activities most people never think twice about. Fear becomes a constant nag in the corner of your mind, and you lose confidence in your future.

I know this because it happened to me. Getting diagnosed with POTS  and IBS was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding trials I have faced so far.

I’ve learned patience, compassion, perseverance, and most importantly, dependence on God.

I truly believe my faith and the prayers of those who love me have brought me this far in my healing journey. Although I’m not cured (yet) of these issues, I’m in a much better place than I was years ago.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make friends with others who struggle with illness. Though I hope for their healing, I’m so glad God uses us to shine a light for each other. I’m often asked how I do it. How do I manage my life when sometimes just standing makes me dizzy or weak?

Well, here you are lovely ones. My insider pro-tips on thriving with a chronic illness.

1. Set Daily Goals

Having a chronic illness can force you out of your usual routine and school/work life. Suddenly you are dependent on others, and you feel helpless.

Although it may feel this way at first, it’s actually a hidden blessing. Why? Because we are all helpless on our own.

Every human being is one tragedy away from losing everything. The only thing that can’t be taken away is our relationship with Christ. When our dependence is on Jesus, we can learn to walk with humble confidence.

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Having this confidence in God is crucial in order to be fruitful and set a daily goal. A good challenge is to write down one goal you want to accomplish everyday.

Maybe your goal is to clean the house or get an assignment done. Perhaps it’s showering or a doctor’s appointment. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Just give it all you’ve got and lean on the Lord for confidence.

There are days when I still don’t feel productive. I get wiped out easily and fall asleep randomly from chronic fatigue. Not everything gets checked off on my list, but at least one thing does, and that’s good enough.

2. Make Time for Rest and Renewal

While goal crushing is fun, it’s important to balance work with rest. All bodies require rest, but in our fast-paced American culture, we hardly get the rest we need. Healing takes place when we listen to our bodies and just slow down.

It’s awesome to get things done, but don’t forget to take time to do something relaxing. Maybe this is taking a nap or warm bath. Perhaps a good book or listening to music is your thing. Find whatever it is that relaxes you and do it everyday.

The greatest rest we find is in Jesus, who renews us daily. The only way I got through five years of college with an illness is by God’s renewing strength.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

If we don’t abide in Jesus, we have nothing. If we seek Him constantly, we find physical healing, as well as spiritual renewal. Abiding in Jesus helps us bear fruit far richer than any worldly pursuit can give us.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself in Illness

When you feel bad, it’s only natural to isolate yourself. However, constantly shutting the world out will only make things worse.

Yes, we all need time alone to rest and recharge, but surrounding ourselves with loved ones uplifts us and even improves our symptoms.

I know that when I hang out with my friends and family, I can’t do everything they can. Although I may need accommodations, I still have plenty of fun with my loved ones.

There will always be those who don’t understand or who get annoyed by you. These people will either learn to adjust, or you’ll find their friendship isn’t as deep as you thought it was.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Don’t let your limitations discourage you. You are more than your abilities. Our worth comes from the inside–the soul Jesus died to save.  No illness can stop your awesome self from truly shining.

Although living with a chronic illness is life changing, God can still use it for good. He is still a miracle worker and healer. As we wait on God’s healing, we can live for Him in faith, hope, and love.


Thanks for reading! If you or a loved one struggle with an illness, please feel free to comment below so I can pray for you.

(Photography by rawpixel and Saksham Gangwar)

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Quote Challenge~Day 3 (Hebrews 6:19)

Hello lovely readers and followers! It’s Day 3 of the Quote challenge–where I post my favorite quotes and nominate other bloggers for 3 days. Today is the final quote, so I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite Bible verses with you!

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There are obviously so many great Bible verses to choose from, but Hebrews 6:19 really speaks to my life. Even though I have suffered from anxiety and depression, as well as health issues, God has always been my anchor. When I failed to love myself or see myself as worthy of love, God showed me how much He loved me by Jesus’ death on the cross.

Hope is what gets me through the bad days. I know that with God I can do anything. Life isn’t automatically some walk in the park when you become a Christian, but at least I know that God will always be by my side. I know that my hope is secure in the only anchor I need–Jesus Christ. 

My Nominations for Day 3:
You are under no obligation to undertake this challenge, but it would be great fun if you do that.
Rules:
  1. 3 quotes, one a day or all 3 quotes on the same day.
  2. You have to nominate three bloggers to undertake this challenge for each quote posted.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominees.

Thanks for reading!  As always, please feel free to comment and share 🙂 

Don’t forget to subscribe by email so you never miss a post!

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Quote Challenge~Day 2 (James Dean)

Hello lovely readers and followers! It’s Day 2 of the Quote challenge–where I post my favorite quotes and nominate other bloggers for 3 days.

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Today’s quote is by the late Hollywood actor, James Dean. To be honest, I’ve never seen any of his movies. However, I always thought he was cute as a teen and still have a picture of him in my room with this quote!

When I first heard this quote, I loved how it encouraged me to dream impossible dreams. I am a dreamer at heart, and that’s probably why I love to write. But I want to be more than just a dreamer. I want to take my dreams and make them a reality.

Living as if you’ll die tomorrow is kind of a #yolo quote. When I was younger I thought it meant that I should be having fun, traveling the world, and doing crazy amazing things. While all of that is good and should be pursued to a degree, I’ve learned that there is so much more to living life to the fullest.

As someone who suffers from IBS and POTS, my life has roadblocks. Currently I can’t work  or drive, and that sucks. I am a full time student, youth leader, and blogger, but of course the perfectionist in me often won’t let that be enough.

I’m just so thankful that my God says it’s enough. There’s nothing I can do to make Him love me any more or less (Romans 8:38). The grace of Jesus Christ is enough to satisfy me even in my trials.

And you know what? My life is so full. Sure I might not be out traveling the world or partying like crazy, but I am making an impact for Christ. I am so blessed to be a youth leader and help students who inspire me everyday. I am so blessed to be able to write to you on this blog–pouring out my heart and giving encouragement.

I also have lots of family and friends who are always by my side, through good times and bad. I am having lots of fun with them this summer!

My point is this: Keep dreaming because that revives your soul. Always know that living a full life is more than what you can do, it’s about who you impact for good. If you want to live an awesome life, keep dreaming and seek God’s heart for others.

My Nominations for Day 2:
You are under no obligation to undertake this challenge, but it would be great fun if you do that.
Rules:
  1. 3 quotes, one a day or all 3 quotes on the same day.
  2. You have to nominate three bloggers to undertake this challenge for each quote posted.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominees.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Day 3! As always, please feel free to comment and share 🙂 

Don’t forget to subscribe by email so you never miss a post!

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Low FODMAP Diet Hacks

Happy Friday! Sorry about missing last week’s post. But I promised to make up for it so here it is.

As many of you know, I have IBS (irritable bowl syndrome). Although I manage by medication and yoga, I still struggle with colon pain and major bloating (sorry for the tmi).

Recently I saw a dietician, who put me on the low FODMAP elimination diet. Now you may be wondering, what in the world is a FODMAP?! It’s kind of a lot to explain, but you can read more about it here.

In a nutshell, the goal of the elimination diet is to remove different types of carbohydrates (such as wheat, lactose, and fructose) that tend to ferment in the gut. These carbs can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, and cramps in people with GI issues.

I’ve been on the elimination diet for over a month, which is much longer than normal (because my system is so slow). Currently I am adding challenge foods back in to my diet one at a time to see what I can tolerate. So far it looks like wheat is good!

Anyway, this is a challenging diet, and I have slipped up a few times. But it has helped my symptoms improve a little bit.
For this post I’m going to show you some awesome foods that have helped make this diet a little easier. Now there are many *natural* foods like meat, rice, potatoes, and certain fruits and veggies to eat. But let’s face it, sometimes we need something fast and fun.

Even if you’re not on the low FODMAP diet, since wheat and lactose are not aloud on the elimination phase, all of these products are gluten and dairy free. If you’re on a gluten or dairy free diet, then these may benefit you as well!

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I’ve heard people on gluten free diets say it’s hard to find good bread. Udi’s is what my dietician recommended since it’s wheat, dairy, and soy free. It tastes just like any other bread, and the burger buns and bagels are life savers! As you can see, I eat a lot of it 🙂 #carbsoncarbs

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For some reason I have been craving Nutella–which contains dairy unfortunately. This dark chocolate peanut butter actually tastes better, and satisfies my sweet tooth in a nutrious way.

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A lot of gluten free pretzels have high FODMAP ingredients like inulin or soy flour in them, but these don’t and taste better than regular ones! It’s a nice way to get something salty when potato chips get boring.

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I love ice cream. I’m actually obsessed with it. I found out that I am a little lactose intolerant (thank the Lord for lactaid pills), but this Breyers lactose free ice cream is perfect for low FODMAPers (sorry it’s not completely dairy free). It tastes just like regular ice cream, and has a very rich vanilla flavor.

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Although bananas are my favorite snack, sometimes granola bars travel better. Unfortunately, a lot of them contain hidden FODMAPs like honey. The Nature Valley peanut butter bars are amazing (but crumbly). The Nature’s Path Chococonut bars are a little bland, but the more I eat them the more they grow on me.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have IBS and are having trouble with symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor about the low FODMAP diet. However, it is best not to do this yourself, as it is somewhat complicated and restrictive. Also, you need to be careful when choosing food products as we all react differently to foods. In other words, find a good dietician to guide you!

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share. I love hearing from you 🙂
And don’t forget to follow or subscribe by email!!!!

*Note–I am not being paid or endorsed by any of the companies listed above. I just love these products and wanted to share
.

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