My first reaction was arrogance–I was already vegan, I like vegetables, and I felt like I was eating in a balanced and healthful way. In further prayer and reflection I found that I actually had much room for improvement. I ended up going on a specialized raw vegan (living food) diet for six months (with the help of a local chef), focusing on gut health and digestion.
I have long since been back to a healthier version of my “normal” diet; but that season of eating simple raw and fermented foods has had a lasting influence on my health. My hypothyroidism was completely cured, so that I was able to get off all the medicine I had been taking. I started losing some of the weight I had gained in my second pregnancy. And I believe this season has contributed to some of the healing I have experienced since (e.g. my hormones are now balanced, and I had an autoimmune pain disorder for about six years, which is now gone–more on that later).
About six months ago I started taking a supplement to help thyroid health–not because I was having thyroid problems, but because I wanted to ensure that I never had thyroid problems again. I had an irrational anxiety that my problems would come back because my levels were slightly elevated from one appointment to the next (but still in the normal range), and I wanted a physical comfort that I was still healed and would stay healed.
Guess what happened? I immediately started having thyroid problems again! At my next appointment (three months ago), my doctor told me I should look for any iodine in my diet and remove it, as it could be the reason my thyroid was off again. Iodine apparently doesn’t respond well beside autoimmune conditions (which I am still working through); and my new supplement had 150% the recommended dosage of iodine! I stopped taking it, and recently received the results of my newest blood work: my thyroid is healthy. No more problems. It’s reflecting its original healing.
Healing does not always come the way we intend: It may come through physical strategy and lifestyle changes when we want God to do a miracle; or it may come as a silent or incomprehensible miracle when we desire a spectacle or tangible assurance.
In 2 Kings 5, Naaman calls on the king of Israel for healing of his leprosy, but instead finds himself at Elisha’s house, where a servant tells him to dip seven times in the dirty Jordan river to receive his healing. He became angry that he was not cared for per his expectations; then:
“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!’ So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” (v. 13-14)
We can trust God, who designed our bodies, to heal us in whichever way He deems: be it dipping in a dirty river, heeding His direction in lifestyle choices, or even in receiving an instant healing miracle. We do not need to manipulate His process through our own knowledge, but can approach Him as the Wise Doctor who has given us both practical resources and examples of good health (as with the Law of Moses, and the Proverbs), as well as the power of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick, and to receive His healing ourselves.