Our daughter is a miracle, in my opinion. She started out as a breech baby which might have ended both of our lives in earlier generations. Then I spent years worrying that she might end her life early for various health reasons. From a young age she has suffered from migraine headaches—auras, pain and complications. Weight issues have plagued her since childhood, and she always seemed complacent about learning to nourish herself in a healthy manner.
As a parent, I was challenged by doing or saying the “right things” to influence my child (too much, too little, what to cook, etc.). Any time I couldn’t reach her by phone, I assumed she was sleeping. In her early 30s she developed hypothyroidism, as many women do. At one point, her father and I warned her that we might outlive our precious girl. Yet she was satisfied that her doctors thought she was in “good health.”
New Future, New Daughter
Several years ago, our daughter’s future changed when a doctor told her that her liver enzymes were abnormal and she needed to lose weight. She chose a wellness coach and a lifestyle program and started losing weight but important decisions were needed. After several checks the doctor wanted her to have a liver biopsy. Avoiding the biopsy (with medical opinions and much thought), she continued to lose weight. Over a year’s time she lost 138 pounds and eventually the liver enzymes returned to normal! Her energy increased, she started caring about her diet, and she started enjoying activities in life.
Last fall our daughter ran her first half-marathon and she has signed up for several more this year. She runs miles almost every day, and we have fun shopping for healthy groceries and trying new restaurants. Presently she is abstaining from all processed sugar for one year and recognizes that she has been a sugar “addict.” We can watch or listen to health/nutrition programs and share research findings. She is active in a healthy community and dedicated to helping others with lifestyle changes.
I feel like I woke up from a mother’s bad dream and I now have a new daughter!
God Works Through Human Consequences
I share this story, not to embarrass my daughter, but to encourage other parents of adult children. As long as they are alive, God is not finished reaching out to them. I can remember that girl who stubbornly resisted change and structure in her life. I remember that teenager who couldn’t wait to get away from her parents and who used some nasty words directed at us. Yet I always knew she had a very tender, sensitive heart and was made for so much more in life.
God can and does work through human consequences. Sometimes we pray for miracles and they happen in very strange, painful and amazing ways. God always cares for and loves our children more than we can imagine.
I believe that many lifestyle/body issues are intimately tied to emotional and spiritual issues! This reminds me of some powerful Bible messages: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” ( 2 Timothy 1:7).
I never stop praying for my children. However, mom’s menu may have changed!
Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:
- When have you been forced to make a change in lifestyle?
- What has proven to be most helpful to you for making an important change?
This blog is not offered as medical advice or diagnosis. Seek health professionals if you are experiencing health or weight problems.
Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.
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