Free Healthcare For All
*This is a follow-up to my previous post on giving up veganism. If you haven’t read that yet, click here.
Few people enjoy the long wait in a doctor’s office. And with the rising costs of medical bills and insurance, healthcare is expensive. But what if I told you that there is FREE healthcare available to you right now? No scams or gimmicks, no strings attached. Sounds too good to be true, right? It isn’t. I’m here to tell you; if you want free healthcare . . . sign up for JESUS.
God of the Impossible.
That’s right. The Jesus who healed the sick, calmed the seas, cast out demons, and arose from the dead is still in the miracle-working business. Jesus nailed every infirmity to the cross and The Word says that by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24). James 5 tells us to anoint the sick with oil, lay hands on them, and the prayer of faith will heal them. “The Lord will make them well.” Psalm 103:2–3 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals ALL your diseases.” These are just a few scriptures to show that not only does God want to heal us, but that he can and will, if we ask in faith. When Jesus walked on this earth, He healed everyone who came to him. So why not now? I serve a God of the impossible and unpredictable, who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). I have seen and experienced many miracles in my life, but none surprised me more than a recent healing from a severe food allergy.
I’ve often wondered who first thought that grabbing a cow by the udders and squeezing milk out was a reasonable idea. It’s a little odd when you think about it. But no qualms about it, Americans love dairy. It seems that nearly everything contains it: pizza; ice cream; mac and cheese; and my personal favorite, mashed potatoes. I mean, let’s face it, those are all things to be grateful for. But for the past 5–6 years, I was deprived of such luxuries, as what seemed like a moderate dairy sensitivity turned into something more severe and life threatening.
As a kid, I was often teased for my skin sensitivity. Not only could I turn the color of a lobster from just a few minutes in the sun, but I also broke out in hives frequently. Snow couldn’t even touch my skin without causing a reaction. Although it gave me the upper hand in a snowball fight, it was quite the inconvenience. Who breaks out from snow?! But that was my life. I monitored what soaps, lotions, and deodorants I used, and anything else that might touch my skin. I was also diagnosed with asthma from infancy. So when I first started having more frequent skin reactions, with trouble breathing, I thought it nothing more than the usual occurrence of skin sensitivity and asthma attacks. The hives would appear on one part of my body and spread to the rest. And it was miserable. But they came so sporadically that it was hard to pinpoint. At one time I even thought it might be dairy, but couldn’t seem to isolate it. We had no health insurance at the time, so an allergy test wasn’t really an option. I was so used to breakouts and trouble breathing that I just accepted it and moved on.
About 5 to 6 years ago, I noticed that I had been having more severe breathing trouble (which I thought was asthma) and breaking out in more unusual places; my face and hands often plagued by hives, and my lips swollen on occasion. But it was one night and one milkshake later that I realized I was having allergic reactions. I had enjoyed my cappuccino milkshake and thought nothing of the hives that followed. Skin reaction. Typical Chelsea moment. But then I began to have trouble breathing. I had never noticed it before, but there was a distinct difference. This wasn’t a tight chest feeling from my lungs, like asthma. I felt like my throat was swollen shut. And as my breath came out in ragged gasps, I began to panic. I couldn’t speak, because I couldn’t breathe. The only sound coming out could rival Darth Vader any day. I rushed to Urgent Care to stop the reaction, and 7 pills a day, 1 week later, I was free from it. I had a pretty good feeling it was from dairy, but once again, had no health insurance to prove it. It took one more life threatening reaction for me to call it quits.
Giving up dairy was easy and hard at the same time. I felt completely different. Congestion lifted. Brain fog gone, I could think more clearly. And NO HIVES. I was so used to skin breakouts, that a day without them seemed so peculiar. I felt so incredible at first, that I didn’t miss dairy products. But I soon came to find out how difficult a dairy-free life really is. Americans put dairy in everything. Seriously, just about everything. I had to look for milk, cheese, butter and hidden ingredients, like whey or casein in every store bought item. And you can forget eating out comfortably with friends and family. Everything was suddenly more complicated. I kept Benadryl nearby for safety. And many times I was forced to take it as I realized that what I had eaten was coated in butter, or they had forgotten to remove the cheese from my food. There were times that merely touching something with dairy (and then touching my face) resulted in swollen lips, hives, and trouble breathing. The research involved in going dairy-free led me down the path of veganism, which was explained in my related post on veganism.
Prayer of Faith.
As told in the previous post, I was at church one Wednesday night (a few months ago), when my brother requested prayer for me. Imagine my poor vegan heart’s surprise and shock, when he suggested we pray for healing of my dairy allergy. Sure, God could do it. But let’s not forget something. Hello? Veganism. However, I consented. And they all gathered around me to pray. My brother had said that I deserved the right to eat dairy. If I didn’t eat dairy, it should be because I choose to, and not because I have to. I appreciated the sentiment, but was unwilling to part with my vegan ideals at the time. However, God was working with me on that.
Leap of Faith.
Giving up veganism was something I wrestled with and often prayed over. But once the decision was made a few months ago, I haven’t looked back. God gave me peace about it. I still admire animal rights activists, and have little desire for meat. But dairy I missed. The days of licking clean the bowl of mashed potatoes seemed so far away. But whom Christ has set free is free indeed. And it was time for a leap of faith.
I will never forget the look on my sister’s face when, just days after publicly declaring a turn from veganism, I came home with pizza and ice cream. For someone who often doubts (not what God can do, but what he can do through me), I had no fear. I felt such peace with giving up veganism that I knew I could eat whatever I wanted. My brother’s prayer of healing was already settled in my mind. My sister and other family members and friends silently observed my eating patterns with great surprise (much to my amusement) over the next few weeks. I was healed. Not a single reaction. No hives. No breathing troubles. Healed.
For some this seems unbelievable. You don’t go from having severe allergic reactions (with hives, swelling, and throat closing) to nothing. But I did. It’s mind-blowingly awesome. I didn’t even ask for healing. My brother did. But God did the work, and I’m still in shock some days. When you’ve lived so long in a certain world, it’s hard to remember anything outside of it. Sometimes I forget what’s available to me. But I’m free! Food allergies are of the past. No more restrictions. No more complications. The possibilities are endless. Almost every day I remember a food I haven’t thought of in 5–6 years, with the sudden realization that it’s mine now. I have a choice. And though I admire the efforts of vegan food producers, (and still enjoy many of their products) there really is no substitute for cheese.