I am pleased to share with the Gentle Readers of New Hope Beyond Lyme, a second guest blog interview!
Introducing: Jennifer Steidl, a WordPress blogger from the State of Washington I met after we “liked” each others blogs a few times! What interested me in reading Jennifer’s story is her devastating exposure to mold biotoxins as a child then her battle with several other serious illnesses including Lyme disease. What kept me coming back was her gentle way of communicating her experiences and her faith in the Lord. Please check out her blog at: http://www.jeanvieve7.wordpress.com/ for more of her story.
And now let the interview begin:
1. Tell us about your life before Lyme and the development of mold biotoxin illness.
It is actually hard to recall life before illness, we moved into a mold filled house when I was 11 so my (our) health deteriorated after that point. It started with fatigue, sinus infections, and various other symptoms. It took years to discover the problem was mold. We lived in the house 6 years, and after moving out our health started to get better for a time before auto-immune symptoms started to make themselves known.
2. What role does your faith in God have in your recovery process?
It has been the essential element. I had times when I felt so terrible physically, and was so depressed I think I would have given up all hope if it weren’t for God. And knowing (even if it was only deep down at my core) that He had a plan and a purpose for me brought me through the darkness. I trusted that He led me to a team of doctors that knew what they were doing, and He would not have done so if it were not for the purpose of healing.
3. How can I keep from blaming God or others for my illness or the things that are going wrong in my life?
I can honestly say I have never blamed God for years of struggles and illness. Been frustrated, angry, depressed, desperate, confused…yes, but not angry at God. I am not being arrogant at all, but rather I had to resort to what I knew was true of God; His character, and the way He works. I am a weak feeble-minded human being and I have doubted these truths many times….but somehow not at my very core. Dive deeply into His Word, pray fervently and honestly, don’t be afraid to ask Him why you are going through these struggles, He will reveal it to you in time. Be open to learning whatever He has to teach you during this time, and what He has given you to teach others.
4. What are your favorite verses of scripture or Bible stories these days?
- A Couple of my favorites: Hosea 6:1-3 “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
- 1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
5. What works the best for you with the difficult symptoms of Lyme and mold treatment?
It has changed over time depending what stage of treatment I am in, but one thing that has made the biggest difference in energy and weight loss has been Cholestyramine. It is used to rid the body of toxins that the liver alone can’t deal with, especially mold toxins.
6. What 2-3 things do you look forward to the most when you are well?
In some ways it is still scary to hope too much (the fear of not getting to do what I want to do), but that is something I am slowly getting past. On a small scale I would love to really get back to biking. I have a goal of riding 50 miles in one day. Also I would love to get back to yoga. On a large scale I have always desperately wanted to travel, with New Zealand being my number one destination.
7. Is there anything else you would like to share with the Gentle Readers viewing this blog post?
I hope with all my heart you have a good doctor or team of doctors that really know how to treat Lyme, it’s co-infections, and especially the secondary illnesses that accompany it; heavy metals, candida, parasites….If you do know that what you are feeling now is temporary, and it gets worse before it gets better. You can make it through. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor/s the tough questions. Do lots of research and know your illness as best you can. Reach out to others both to learn and be learned from.
Don’t let yourself battle this alone. I think this is one of the top struggles of Lymies because so few people are able to understand what you are going through. But be honest about your physical and emotional struggles with those who love you, don’t try and do it by yourself. No matter how terrible you feel at this moment, allow yourself to accept that you are in a privileged place (crazy I know). But God is drawing you closer, so let yourself be drawn into His arms of grace. There is abundantly more for you at this moment in Christ because all else has been taken away, hold onto it, embrace it, don’t let this moment pass you by.
Thank you for sharing your story, your heart, and your hope today Jennifer. I pray that the Lord will bless you on your journey and see your through to complete healing and wholeness. Take care lady, :J