I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about the Autoimmune Protocol I followed for two years to put Hashimoto’s into remission. When I began the AIP I knew it as the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol which was put together by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. It stood out to me amidst all the other healing protocols for these reasons:
Sarah Ballantyne is a mom so presumably her ideas would fit a family lifestyle.
She holds a PhD in Immunology and she could explain fairly complex biology in clear and straightforward ways.
She pulled in pieces of research and information that seemed connected to her autoimmune diseases and built a protocol around it that other people had success with. One of her initial followers, Mickey Trescott, had reversed Hashimotos using the protocol.
The protocol bore some resemblance to the initial diet my endocrinologist had me try to level my blood sugar and get some energy coursing through me.
After seeking to follow the protocol for 18 months I had normal thyroid numbers and much better self care. I was off my Synthroid medication. Now I could call it the Almost Impossible Program. Almost impossible because most people that I talked to (doctors, friends, family) couldn’t believe I was doing it (especially for so long) nor could they believe it would actually deliver results. Despite the fact that it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I’m really grateful I invested time, resources and energy into learning more about how to live well in this body of mine.
Yesterday as I settled into the news of the terrorist attack in Belgium and felt the fear that comes when people are hurt, this scripture kept coming to mind. These timeless words were uttered by the prophet Elisha to his servant when they woke up confronted with a seemingly insurmountable opposing force (represented by the tents). Before taking any action, Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes would be opened and that he would be able to see that their sincere and brave efforts supporting Israel were augmented by the surrounding horses and chariots of fire. It was at that point that the real state of things was clarified to at least those two individuals.
Sometimes when disaster strikes or hurt abounds, it can be hard to “see” the hand of God because frequently we want to see Him in protection. Like Elisha and his servant, we want heaven’s hand to be manifest in the avoidance of pain for innocent people. It takes practice, patience and earnest seeking of the spirit to learn to see him in the midst of pain, to see Him in moments when resilience is being cultivated. After yesterday, take a deep breath and acknowledge the fear that you naturally feel because it has the power to transform you, to give you the desire to see things you might not have seen otherwise. When hurt abounds, as it does now, God can always be “seen” in the healing if that’s what you’re looking and praying for.
After acknowedging any fear or anxiety, try to see this: The signature of the adversary’s work is in fear, division and coercion. On the other hand, the signature of heaven is found in compassion, cohesion, healing and growth. So find peace in the stories of compassion that begin to emerge, bask in the goodness that flows from people who care. Find strength in the solidarity of humanity, the vast majority of whom abhor such violent acts. Watch as wounds, both physical and spiritual, heal through the ministering grace of heaven. Listen for the stories of people who draw on angelic strength and choose to grow through this hard thing that life offered them. And hug your babies, your spouse, your parents or yourself, maybe sit in stillness for a few minutes, smile at a neighbor or a fellow driver, recognizing that whenever you choose to love, unify, heal, strengthen and support growth, especially in the midst of fear, you’re in good company “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
A little over two years ago I found myself coaxing my lungs to pull in some air after receiving a blow that reverberated to my soul. The nurse at our IVF clinic had just informed me that I was no longer carrying the babies I had been cradling in my womb. I fumbled through a few more blurred conversations with Ritchie and Jessica and my close friend Cindi and wrote this email to our family and close friends later that evening:
I am writing to tell you that this little miracle that we are experiencing has a beautiful sequel. We look forward to experiencing it just as soon as we process the cliffhanger we’re currently sitting on. The Dr’s office called earlier this afternoon to tell us that we are no longer pregnant. On Tuesday when they called, my hCG level was 68. It has to be 5 to confirm pregnancy and it should double every day. Today it was 43. Just as soon as I started breathing again, I asked the nurse a few questions, all the while thinking she had to be holding someone else’s result because we have two babies coming. She sensitively sat in my shock with me and led me through the rest of the conversation. Afterwards, I prompted myself to breathe again and sat down on my bed, reeling.
I have never known something with the strength that I knew this so I am left to reconcile that kind of knowing (which seemed to have a pretty cut and dry interpretation :)) with this place where we are sitting now which, at this point, still feels a lot like shock. It is uncomfortable to be sure, confusing, devastating and yet hopeful. I have felt the hand of God so clearly these last few months, it’s undeniable. And I am confident that He won’t leave me now although I imagine the answers and understanding will be slow in coming. In the meantime I’m going to grieve the beauty that has been before me.
Thanks for your love,
Welcome to the now-joyful middle. We’ve come a long way these last few years and you’re invited to join us as we recap where we’ve been and live the rest of this beautiful story.
Some of us are inhabiting or adding on to structures that have been built on Christ for ages. Some of us are remodeling or starting with a small foundation. Others of us are feeling brave and just drawing up plans as we tentatively venture out to the Rock for the first time. In the chain of stories I just mentioned, each individual’s experience with God offered at least one principle or piece of understanding that was then available to future inhabitants of that house of faith. The lessons and experiences were documented and passed on. When viewed with a bit of distance, the mistakes just become places where intense and oftentimes beautiful learning happened.
I love the idea that we are connected to our families through generations of learning. My own life and testimony are a small, but integral, link in a chain through time. I am very aware that the faith I inherited did not come to me without effort. I believe the knowledge of the Savior that I have and the principles that bring me joyfully to Him constitute a gift that was painstakingly pieced together and very diligently offered by those who came before me. Because change and improvement often come slowly, I recognize that this gift of faith was compiled by generations of dear people and I am striving mightily to become better and give my daughter an improved version of that same goodness in her life. That’s the idea right? Some days my efforts don’t amount to much and sometimes the work seems so strenuous that I wonder if what we have is enough but in the end, I (usually :)) keep trying to move us forward. Ultimately, I believe all those who came before me and worked on the foundation for my faith, stand to benefit from where we all end up because they are part of the reason we made it there.
I recognize that we come from varying backgrounds and some of us are trying to build from musty or abandoned houses of faith. For people in these situations, how is this building going for you? How does this thought sit with you? I imagine you’re laboring under different burdens and sweating in the hot sun as you work, with the hope of weaving strength, forgiveness and understanding into the walls of your improved dwellings. I’m interested in your perspective too.