Things You Learn in Relapse

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 

One year ago this month,  I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disorder that causes the spine to fuse from the bottom to the top, sending pain barreling through the body unremittingly.

According to traditional medicine, there is no cure. So, I opted for an alternative: the Gerson Therapy- a rigorous program that has helped countless thousands overcome cancer and degenerative disease.

To say that it is intense seems at times to be a gross understatement. There’s something to be done at every single hour of the day- juicing, cooking, other therapy practices for which I’ll spare you the telling.

There is no room for “mercy”- skipping elements or adding others, innovating or deviating. In exchange for the hope of healing, one hands over all “creative control” for the year, or two, or even three that must be invested. “Put thy hand to the plow and don’t look back”.

Gerson is a ruthless healer.

In mid-August of last year I started the therapy and made spectacular progress- going from being unable to roll over in bed or sit in a chair for more than hour to a 70-90% pain free life— Amazing for a woman who had been wincing for 10 years.

As February drew in, I needed more time to work (or so I thought)- on my website, on creating pieces for an upcoming artisan market, on a Lifeway video shoot with Shayne that took two weeks- so I made my juice ahead of time each morning and bottled it. I pre-made juice to go to church, to attend a family member’s wedding out of state, and again for the confirmation ceremony of close friend who was being appointed as a missionary. It became somewhat of a daily practice.

In April, little flickers of pain appeared. In May, something rebelled in my abdomen. In June, I developed iritis for the first time since starting Gerson (iritis is a dangerous and painful condition in which the iris becomes inflamed and cinches down on the pupil preventing it from expanding. I had it 8 times the year before Gerson, and hadn’t had it since…until now)

I was experiencing a relapse. 

With a sinking heart, I poured over my Gerson books and ran across this horrifying tidbit: the number one reason why Gerson fails is the storing of juices. As the juice oxidizes, the nutrients die.

I had essentially been drinking dead juice- it looked vital on the outside, but in truth, it was stripped- a dead thing, devoid of its power. I had taken it outside the instructions.

When I started bottling juice, I was aware that Gerson discourages [read: forbids] the practice, but I thought, “Surely it can’t be that big a deal…a girl can’t just give up her life completely, can she?” I didn’t think it was that serious.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

When I began Gerson, I knew that there were people who didn’t have the self-discipline to do it- they cheated, they caved, and they did not heal. I was certain that I would’t have to worry about being one of those….I thought more highly of myself than that. [read here: self righteous]

It is impossible to miss the connection to sin. A little here, a little there, and the frog boils slowly. We never think it’ll be us in the pot.

There is a part of us that does not want to believe- A) that we are capable of the worst- and B) that there are real and binding consequences- a concrete right and wrong- and that God has the right to say what each may be. Some actions are good, true, just, and lovely, and others simply are not…how do we know which is which?

The answer is something so simple, and yet so rigorous as the revealed Word of God.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Wisdom is a garland about the neck- worth giving everything else to gain. The Proverbs and Psalms are full of admonitions to cherish Truth and Wisdom and to submit to ourselves unreservedly to what we find….to become Doers and not merely Hearers. The difference is Life and Death, angels and demons, being built or being destroyed. 

In this case, I made a mistake that merely affected my body. What of the nudged boundaries and crashed borders that destroy friendships, and marriages, and families, and churches, and life itself?

I’m not suggesting that anything other than faith in Christ can save us. But, I now understand that consequences are so very very real. And just because the price tag is hidden from sight until the item is bought does not mean that the bill will not come due, and that the price asked will not choke us wholly. God’s instructions are not suggestions, they are protections, and they are binding. Let us ever after remember that we are playing for keeps. The actions will not be undone. The stakes are high. The rigors matter.

Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so entangles and run the race marked out for us. 

[more soon on where my therapy stands- all, mercifully, is not lost]

photo provided by Pixabay

7 thoughts on “Things You Learn in Relapse”

  1. Oh, Christi, thank you for these words. Thank you for sharing this. I love you and this post. I am praying.

  2. Great post and great truth Christi ! What a great descriptive analogy of the cost of being in control!

    Love you a bunch, Aunt Holly

  3. Oh, Christi! How I wish you were not going through this painful time! But, just so you know, your story/insight is blessing me! Charles and I continue to pray for you and this ministry you have!

    Much love, my friend! Ann Lott

  4. Christi,
    God never wastes suffering. I know you know that, but I want you to know that your suffering and what the Father taught you through relapse has spoken to me answers to questions I have been wrestling with through sleepless nights and painfully distracted days. I am deeply sorry for the pain you experience. I would take it myself in trade if God worked that way. That said, I am profoundly grateful that you, instead of growing bitter and cynical about God through your pain, have valued His Word and His words, have leaned in closely to hear Him even when it hurt, and have courageously –and beautifully, as always, I must say– spoken transparently so that slow learners and hard heads like me may have the light turned on. Bless you, friend. The dictum is as true with you as with anyone I have ever known: Your pain is your path to your ministry. What a beautiful ministry it is. You are soaring.
    David Walley

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