Kathleen's Story

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Have you felt your prayers aren’t being answered? You continue praying, hoping for some resolution -- your faith tested with each passing day, month, or year. That was my story. For four years, I suffered from a debilitating gastrointestinal issue that landed me in the ER and in doctors’ offices for countless inconclusive tests and prescriptions for many ineffective medications. There seemed to be no answer.

Shortly before my issues began, I started obsessively counting every one of the 1000 calories I consumed daily and worked out seven days a week. I would frequently miss social events – fearing there would be nothing I’d feel comfortable eating – and going to the gym instead. Physicians would question my eating habits and never ask about the amount of the “right” things I was eating, which was not enough to keep a bird alive.  
In 2019 I was scheduled for a total colectomy. Despite my constant prayer for healing, it hadn’t happened. Then I began asking friends and family to pray a different prayer – one for guidance and strength through the unknown on my road to recovery. Little did I know how God would answer those prayers!

The month before my scheduled surgery, I would frequently exceed my 1000-calorie per day diet and skip out on the gym – thinking: “What’s it matter anyway? I’ll be having surgery in a month.” 

Then… it happened. Three days before my scheduled surgery, my colon began functioning normally. I immediately called my friend (a nurse), who asked what I had done differently in the last few weeks. I told him the only thing I had changed was eating more and exercising less. He assured me the doctors would take those factors into account before suggesting a life-altering surgery, but he wanted to double check with some nutritionist co-workers to make sure.

Almost immediately, I received a call back with an unequivocal message from the nutritionists: “Cancel your surgery, and immediately go see a nutritionist specializing in eating disorders.”

Now I am in a tough but winning battle with my eating disorder. On days I struggle most, I remember that period of having my faith tested constantly and find that I have the strength to continue to persevere through recovery. 
So, if you are fervently praying about a tough situation and feel like the answer isn’t coming, consider James 1:2-4 and put your hope in the One who is working in you through it all. 

By Kathleen Smith

Kathleen has been a member and worship leader at Immanuel for four years. She wants anyone who might be suffering from disordered eating to know that the best thing you can do is to seek help.

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