Search

Healing I Wasn't Looking For

(As shared from my social media in 2018. This isn't the most thorough or well-written account, but I'm sharing with the hope that some of you may be encouraged, or even helped by my story. Remember that your story is your own, and everyone's journey is going to look different and require different things... but here is a bit of mine.)

Friends, I have a story to share with you all; one I’m still doing my best to process. (I’ve shared quite a few stories this year, but this might top them all.) I’m not one to jump up and down and declare “healing” flippantly, but something happened in my body this past weekend.


As in: my autoimmune symptoms have completely disappeared. My around-the-clock stabbing and aching is gone. My heart palpitations are gone. The chronic exhaustion is gone. The vein inflammation, blood flow issues, food, environmental, and chemical allergies are GONE.


(*Right before this point I had developed severe immune reactions to all but half a dozen foods. I would get whole-body nervous system reactions to the slightest chemicals, fragrances, mold, you name it. The slightest stress - even my own laughter - would trigger me. To get an idea of how sick I was, here's a story I found later in PEOPLE that came very, very close to mine: https://people.com/human-interest/teenage-girl-allergic-to-almost-everything/)


I can go pretty much anywhere, do pretty much anything. I CAN EAT — as far as I’ve tested! — ALMOST ANYTHING! MY VEINS HAVE STOPPED SWELLING! I’VE BEEN BOUNDING UP STAIRS, TAKING HOT SHOWERS, EXPOSING MYSELF TO ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS, AND NEVER EVEN COMING CLOSE TO FAINTNESS! I’ve been testing every environment, food, and even emotional circumstance the past week… just to make sure this hasn’t all been in my head. And I can tell you that my body has not only been non-reactive… it’s been STRONG. Friday morning I was weak, sick, and reactive to everything. Almost literally everything. Friday night I came home a different person.


This post would be simpler (and shorter) if I had some sort of medical intervention, or even if I told you someone prayed for me. But that wasn’t the case. All I can tell you that it was during a Christian health conference (one I wasn’t totally on board with, I might add) that I went through a process of realization and surrender. Something I can only describe as heart healing.


I already knew about the mind-body connection. I'm a believer in the God of the Bible, and I knew what the Bible said about healing. I’d spent my summer reading medical papers about the limbic system, the influence of thoughts on biological processes in our bodies, and even putting into practice forgiveness therapy (or at least trying). But, sitting there, it was no longer just fact. I saw it, so clearly, as truth woven into the fabric of my experience.


I realized that hope, positive thinking, and even faith weren’t enough. For all my self-reflection, there were STILL things I was holding onto, and no amount of isolated prayer or counseling would pry those things from my hands. I had to make a choice. And I had to stop waiting to feel I was “ready” to let it all go.


I didn’t agree with the whole of this ministry, but that didn’t matter. I needed someone to tell me, flat out, that holding onto even remnants of self-rejection, jealousy, fear, unforgiveness, comparison, or inadequacy weren’t just “wrong” because they violated some moral code… they were wrong because they were harming me. Eating away at me. Stunting my body, spirit, and mind — and literally standing in the way of my immune system’s proper function. I didn’t “bring” this sickness upon myself (it was brought on by some very , but I wasn’t positioning myself to fight it. And God didn’t want that.


All these subtle sins I wrestled with — self-rejection and unforgiveness mainly.... the insidious kind that don't look like a problem — were things I was called to deny because I wasn't physically or emotionally designed to live with them. I was getting comfortable in this bondage, accepting my mental patterns as part of who I was, and all the while God was right there, asking, "Won't you let Me set you free?" God's heart was breaking to see me sick. Somehow, that was a revelation to me. So maybe, more than anything, this was a realization of the Father’s love.


There wasn’t any huge turning point. All I had was a strong desire; one barely formed into actual words. It was a half-thought/half-prayer that was something like, “I want to let go of this… I want to forgive this person... but I don’t know how. But, God, I want to. But I don't know how. But I want to.”


At another point in the seminar I let faces of people, past and present, come to mind. I prayed for the ability to let go of even the most subtle forms of unforgiveness, resentment, or judgement. I had done this before, but never fully. I just wanted release… once and for all.


I continued to listen, take notes about the hypothalamus and the limbic system, and look at the diagrams charting the effects of our thoughts on cortisol release, immune breakdown, and cell death. We poured through Scriptures showing God’s intention for mankind, Jesus’ desire to bring healing at every level, and the life-giving nature of His principles. Not a "health and wealth" message, but healing. There's a difference.


I don’t know exactly when it happened... but there was a certain point I noticed I had no brain fog. I noticed that, for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t tired. I didn’t give it much thought until I came home and realized that the pain—my steady, silent companion for over a year—was entirely gone.


I know this wasn’t the power of belief, because I DID NOT DARE HOPE that I was well. I know it wasn’t emotions, because I was emotionally detached for the whole of the weekend; I was too numb to feel anything. And after I came home... I kept waiting for a reaction. I kept expecting something to happen. But nothing ever came.


The most remarkable thing, though, was the feeling of peace. It's hard to describe, but for the first time, it felt like I was living free.


Do I know that what I feel physically is permanent? No. Do I know that it won’t come back in a week? No, I don’t. All I know is that God healed my heart and my body followed. And no matter what happens… that just changed my world.


#autoimmunewarrior #autoimmunedisease #chronicillness #invisibleillness #dysautonomia #chronicinflammatoryresponsesyndrome #moldillness #biotoxinillness #multiplechemicalsensitivity #mastcellactivationsyndrome #histamineintolerance #pots #cfs #ibs #pcos #cirs


Note (11/2020):


The ministry God used in my story is called Be in Health. I've refrained from sharing their ministry until now—maybe because I didn't align with them fully—but two years later, after continuing to walk in the tremendous change I experienced that day... I feel the need to share it. For the sake of even one person who may need to hear their stuff.


I will say this. Before I went inside for the first talk in 2018, a dear woman gave me this encouragement: "take the meat and leave the bones." If it hadn't been for those words, I know I would've walked out at the fifth thing that offended me (and I don't offend easily!). But sifting through the little jaggedy bones—that poked up against my theology and everything I practically preached about health and wellness—was BARELY a price to pay to get the rich, nourishing meat of truth I got through that teaching. And the more I learn from a medical and psychological perspective today, the more I go back and realize how very non-preposterous a lot of what I heard before was. I can't stop thanking God that they came to Richmond that day. So... if you'd like to check them out, and if you're willing to be a little humble and admit that you don't have to agree 100% with something to learn from it (or that something doesn't have to be perfect for you to benefit from it), it's worth it.


And by the way... I never went back to being that sick. There have been moments I've been impacted severely by things, but it doesn't even compare! My health is still not perfect, and I'm still on a journey, but truly... I got my a huge chunk of my life back that day. And I haven't lost it again.

Cristina Rutkowski Ford © 2020

/

  • cristina_elizabeth_ford