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Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Will You Heal If You Can't Afford Lyme Disease Treatments?

Oooh, tricky question. I suppose that depends upon the power of your mind or the power of your faith. Let's talk about faith, (we can focus upon the power of the mind another day) and what a loving god might do for those who can't afford to treat their illness.

Let me preface this with an experience I had while house-sitting in the rainforest of Costa Rica last year. This experience gave me a bit of insight into how I believe that God works in the lives of those who cannot afford, or don't have access to, healing remedies.

Take what I'm about to tell you with a pinch of salt. We all have a different experience of God and my perspective is only one of many, but perhaps it will encourage you, if your god thinks anything like I believe mine does!

While house-sitting, I had no access to organic food. Prior to the beginning of my stint in the forest, one of my energy therapy practitioners had muscle-tested me and told me that it was important for my healing that I eat organic food. Hence, I'd been eating organic up until my arrival into Costa Rica. Not only that, but my diet had been severely restricted in order for my energy treatments with her to work; no eggs---only egg whites, for example. So when I, in despair, told her that I couldn't follow the diet as long as I was in the rainforest, she muscle-tested me and said, "I'm getting the message for you to bless your food, and it will be OK."

I thought, What? Really? Even the eggs? Yes, even the eggs. God wanted to make sure I got my morning protein.

I began to bless every meal, something, which in hindsight, I wished I'd been doing anyway.
My practitioner tested me periodically and, to my delight, my body never reacted negatively to the change, as it would have back home.

I once had an encounter with a man who had seen food multiply in Africa. Yup, just like in the Bible. He'd had a cooler of meat slices, whose layers just kept coming off, one by one, to feed a group of people he'd come to visit. The number of people far exceeded the portions, but somehow, there was enough meat for all. On another occasion, a woman from Guatemala shared with me how a bag of rice and beans had lasted her a year during a time when she was unable to find work. In their opinion, God was there, providing supernaturally for them when they had no other way of providing for themselves.

I've often wondered how those who have no resources can ever heal from illness, short of a miracle. And truthfully, many don't. Just look through a World Vision magazine and you'll see children dying by the millions, from preventable illnesses such as diahrrea and AIDS.

But then I consider my experience in the rainforest, and recall the incidences of those in Africa and Guatemala (not to mention the supernatural healings I've witnessed), and wonder if God often provides for those who cannot afford expensive treatments.

Can He bless the means that are available to us, or perform a supernatural act of healing in our bodies? Or are supernatural, or unexplainable, healings supposed to be an infrequent thing in today's world--the exception to the rule?

When I once asked a pastor friend in Colombia about why he thought God supernaturally healed some and yet expected others to rely upon man's medicine, he said, "Where there are no doctors, where there is no medicine, God supernaturally heals."

What about the millions of suffering in Africa, then? I don't know. If I had God figured out, I'd be able to write bestsellers to the never-before answered question of why God doesn't always heal. But since I don't, I can only relate what my personal experience has taught me; faith counts and God is able and willing to do some pretty cool stuff if we keep an open mind.

Where man's medicine fails; when the bank funds run dry; when a Lyme disease sufferer doesn't know what to do anymore to heal and is backed into a corner, God often steps in to provide...in ways we hadn't dreamed of. By blessing the herbs we take, by shifting our biochemistry with a divine hand, and by speaking discernment to us about how to spend our last $100, even though we might not recognize the voice of our subconscious as being His.

Countless times, I have tied my neurons into proverbial knots, as I wonder whether I am performing the proper treatments to heal from Lyme disease. Often, I have worried about not having enough money to treat this darned illness, and have not believed in God's provision for me.

When I am able to look at life rationally, however, I am convinced that my god is a loving god. He intervenes in His childrens' lives, to help them to heal in the best manner possible, in His time. But He asks for faith for it to be done. For His ailing creatures to offer Him a thread of trust, of belief, in His ability and willingness to give. Then He shows up, in the most unexpected of ways.

If you can't afford to treat your Lyme disease, and your god is a sovereign, loving god, ask for help, believing that it will come to you. You may not be given a donation from a loved one, but that sea salt which you take to kill borrelia might suddenly become more blessed than ever before. You might be led to a Lyme practitioner who offers you a discount on supplements. Or you might one day simply feel better, without remembering the request you'd made to God for healing two years ago, when the funds ran dry and you were no longer able to spend another dime to treat your illness.


wallace said...

In the Lyme Disease Solution by K Singleton there is a good chapter on God,prayer and healing.

So I think making contact with a sympathetic church can be important. The power of the Black churches are can teach teach us something. Yancey reports how elderly Black christians face death and aging much better than their white counterparts. They are expecting a better life in Heaven.

I have been thinking of Christian healing ministry recently and reading how missionaries with very little accomplished a lot with simple remedies.

Reaching out to a few simple remedies,faith,community seems a good prescription to me.

We are sensation deprived I feel so opening up in all senses of the term seems to me what God wants. So we develop perseverance and character and so forth.

Pain is after all the megaphone of God, asking us to reach out.

85% of disease is self limiting according the the book Head first, and then we have the placebo response which is huge.

How can you be centred and still and calm etc if your are expected to pop 20 pills every few hours?

Connecting to a few plants can heal the mind and the spirit. In Brazil they use the plant Ayarauscha in christian churches to heal.

Anyhow I found your comments interesting.

Connie Killabugger said...

Hi Wallace,

I will be reading Dr. S's book soon. Things take awhile to reach me here in Costa Rica!

That is interesting about the "black" churches-maybe we ought to be attending those, eh? Imagine what hope Heaven could give to a Lyme sufferer!

I agree that disease and healing are so much broader than we think, and that simple remedies are often much more powerful than complicated, expensive ones.
I'm at a place right now where I have scaled back greatly on the number of supplements I take, preferring to focus more upon the "other" aspects of healing, such as those that you mention--faith and community.

Connecting to plants...hmm, I seem to recall you were reading one of Buhner's books about that, weren't you? Read tomorrow's post, you may find it interesting!

Thanks for your great thoughts, Wallace! It sounds as though you have really learned a lot through your healing journey.

wallace said...

I am trying to make my life more simple, just a few remedies. Like you I now live by the sea. Its nice to know you are somewhere nice.

My last post wasn't very coherent so I am going to try again in the hope at some later stage it may spark some ideas for you.

From Philip Yancey"Where is God when it hurts":

'The physical weakness was, in fact, being used for Paul's own benefit. The sins of spiritual pride, arrogance, and conceit represented far greater dangers, and this nagging physical weakness kept him relying on god , and not himself for strength. when he finally saw, that Pauls's attitude moved from one of resistance to one of transforming acceptance: instead of begging god to remove the thorn, he prayed that the pain would be redeemed or transformed to his benefit.....Paul learned the lesson of the beatitudes:poverty, affliction,sorrow, and weakness can actually be a means of grace if we turn to god with a humble,dependent spirit."For when I am weak, then i am strong" Paul concluded.The weaker we feel, the harder we may lean."

Lean on people,community but also I would argue with Ellen G White(from 19C) on God's remedies, herbs,plants etc. Reconnecting the church to healing.

Now its being done in different ways which is great but the Brazilian Santo daime church using the plant teacher ayauchsca seems to me signicant also teaching us that we can lean on Plant teachers which teaches to learn and love and have a greater appreciation on nature (even Teitalbaum 2007 talks more now about natural medicine).

Let me raise a slightely different issue is it christian for me to(as the producers suggest) to give a prayer to Noni when I take it?

From my Anglican church I got a book by samuel Pfeifer "Healing at any price? The hidden dangers of alternative medicine". It says there is a 'turning of the masses towards a new world view which is proclaimed by the New Age movement..The message of the bible is clearly opposed to the philosophy of New Age healing...Freedom from stress and disease is not salvation. Holistic medicine is "hollow-istic" unless it deals with the root cause of mans seperation from God and offers the true solution for his problems. Only when a person confesses his sin, enlists his life to Christ and finds his fulfillment of his needs in him, will he truly live in harmony with God."

Have you Connie been dabbling in"occult practices" with your Magic Water and your muscle-testing. Where do you draw the line or is it Healing at any price?

Is the answer you would give now very different from the answer you would have given years ago before physical weakness meant you had to "lean"?


Connie Killabugger said...

Hey Wallace,

You live by the sea? Where, exactly? I don't live by the sea, (I am in San Jose, currently) but am not too far..perhaps 2 hours driving. Living by the sea would be more ideal! I do feel good there.

As for physical weakness creating dependence upon God...I agree that it does, and in this regard, can be a great blessing. On the other hand, suffering illness for the sole purpose of learning to depend upon God alone would not cause me to wish illness upon myself or anyone else!

I think the plant world has a lot to offer us for healing, as do many things in nature. Praying to a noni, however, does not make sense in my theology, because God made the noni and therefore praise for the noni should go to God and not the fruit. When we pray to something, this is a form of worship. (again, in my humble opinion), and I believe all praise and worship should go to the creator, not the created thing. I do think it is profitable, however, to express gratitude for the fruit.

As for my "magic water"...it works because of physical, measurable and specific energy frequencies that are programmed into, or sent, via vibrations. I think Christians get confused by the term "energy" when it comes to eastern medicine, assuming that it refers solely to dark spiritual forces. For me, there isn't a "line,"-- there is simply understanding or not understanding what different healing disciplines are about. Everything created contains an energy frequency--this is a principle of quantum physics, not a new age invention. People are comprised of energy, as are physical objects, and we can harness this energy for our healing. Spirits are thought to contain frequencies, too, and by this some have deduced that God and spirits are nothing more than physical energy in the universe, and that God's energy lives within us. Herein lies the beginning of the problem for Christians, perhaps--because the perspective of "God in us" can be taken to mean that we are all gods; that we are masters of our destiny and of the universe. God as energy also simplifies the matter of who and what God is. Furthermore, Christians would say that God's spirit indwells those who love Him, but that we are yet independent of, and dependant upon, God for all things. It is God who controls the universe; not us. And the power of God's Holy spirit is only granted to those who would live in willing submission to His will, rather than one's own. At least, this is how I see it. I realize that some healing modalities employ random spiritual energy for their purposes, which may be, for the Christian, a problem, because if this spiritual ernegy does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, then what kind of energy is it? For the Christian, it can only belong to the dark side.
While I think Christians need to be cautious about which healing strategies they use, I also think they need to get educated about energy medicine. I agree with Mr. Pfeifer that freedom from stress and disease does not equal salvation or a relationship with God; however, does he believe that a relationship with God can encompass using the resources He has provided us on earth for our healing, including the natural energy of our bodies? His book sounds interesting, though. Perhaps I'll give it a read!

As for your last question, I don't know if I see the matter of suffering any differently than before Lyme disease. I've always believed in the redemptive power of pain but perhaps Lyme has taught me more experientially what that means. It certainly has taught me that God has to throw our crap in our faces sometimes before we are willing and able to heal.

Thanks for the thought-provoking questions!

Anonymous said...

When I remember that all I have to do is ask my god for help, any time I need it, then I am always amazed that I do actually get the help I needed.

It's so easy to forget, since we live in a secular society where faith is in drugs and technology, very often, instead of in gods and spiritual helpers.

Of course treatments and lifestyle can make a difference. But the mind is also the most important factor in healing. Faith strengthens our mind and that strengthens our body. Even without performing any miracles, god can make changes in our minds and souls that help the immune system fight off disease.

I am so much better now than six months ago, thank god. Was it because of antibiotics, or salt/c, or god's love, or all of that? I have no way to really find out.


Connie Killabugger said...


I'm glad to hear of your improvements! Praise God. :)

I agree with you...most of us have put greater faith in technology and drugs than in God! Shame on us.

Anyway, I'm glad that you look to God for your healing. I believe this is most important.

wallace said...

What is this "dark side" you speak of? It sounds straight out of Star Wars to me!

I would describe my self as a Gnostic christian so I dont quite agree with your worries there.

I do have some worries however about some aspects of the New Age approach to healing which I might expand on later. I have just ordered Ellen G. White Ministry of Healing(large edition) hoping it might clarify my thoughts.

At the moment I am living in Cannes in France.

I am also reading Philip Yanceys book Prayer. I thought you might be interested in this review.
Yancey, Philip. 2006. Prayer: Does it make any Difference? London: Hodder and Stoughton. This review is based on the British edition which was released earlier.

Philip Yancey, author of best selling Disappointment with God and Soul Survivor, is a popular author because he puts in words, what many Christians are feeling but are afraid to articulate. He deals with controversial topics of living a Christian life with brutal honesty. Hence a book on prayer is most welcome. Prayer is the most talked about subject in Christian life yet least practiced. Yancey stated that to him, prayer is the area where two themes of struggle in Christian life meet: "Why God doesn't act the way we want God to and why I don't act the way God wants me to."

In Part 1, Yancey developed the theme of who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. He also highlighted the fact that God wants to keep company with us. It is in this context that, Yancey developed his argument why we should pray. To him, prayer is a partnership with God which he developed in Part 2. God wants to partner with his creatures in His great redemption plan of the present fallen creation. Prayer then is a form of negotiation. Skillfully skirting the theological issue of whether an unchanging God can change His mind, Yancey explored the numerous passages in the Bible that God did changed His mind. He concluded that the underlying reason that God does change His mind is because of love. "For God so loved the world..."

In Part 3, Yancey explored the `language of prayer.' Basically, this section is a `how to pray' section. However I am glad he explored the silence of God in his chapter `the sound of silence'. For some reasons, most churches do not teach the fact that in a life of prayer, there are times when God does not seem to be present. Spiritual writer like John of the Cross talked about a dark night of the soul- an experience where God seems to be absent. One reason why this is not commonly taught may be that many Christians may not be able to accept the fact that God will voluntarily withdraw the awareness of His presence from us. However as many spiritual writers have attested, these dark nights are necessary for our spiritual growth. Another reason may be that almost all Christians are struggling with prayer (or time to pray). A God who seems absent may not fit into their theological framework.

Part 4 is the climax of the whole book. I was looking forward to discover what Yancey would say about two important issues for us who are struggling with prayers- unanswered prayers and prayers and physical healing.

Regarding unanswered prayer, Yancey wrote, "Some, but not all, unanswered prayers trace back to a fault in the one who prayers...to God's mystifying respect for human freedom and refusal to coerce...to dark powers contending against God's rule...to a planet marred with disease, violence and the potential for tragic accident." What about the unanswered prayers not due to these causes mentioned? After 15 pages, Yancey concludes, "In the end, unanswered prayer brings me face to face with the mystery that silenced Paul: the profound difference between my perspective and God's". It is a mystery but it does not help those of us who are struggling with unanswered prayers.

Yancey seems to have struggled much as he wrote about prayer and physical healing. Earlier in the book he has noted the tremendous growth of the church in Nepal. "The first Nepalese became a Christian in 1950. Now the Church numbers more than half a million, and Nepalese church leaders estimate that 80 per cent of converts have resulted from physical healings...European and American doctors who work there as missionaries, and they admit they have no scientific explanation...David Aikman's book Jesus in Beijing reports a similar pattern of apparent miracles in China." Yet, in his chapter on prayer and physical healing, he wrote, "Nevertheless, I do believe that what many people think of when you say the word `divine healing'-supernatural interventions in the law of nature governing our bodies-are extremely rare. They are miracles, not ordinaries."

This is a brave and honest statement especially in the face of certain groups of Christians who claims that God performs healing on demand (just remind Him of His promises, that's all). Earlier in the chapter, Yancey extracted an article which he co-authored with Dr. Paul Brand for Christianity Today. Dr. Paul Brand is well recognized as an authority on orthopedic surgery for leprosy patients and a well respected Christian. In the article, Dr Brand remarked, "From my own experience as a physician I must truthfully admit that, among the thousands of patients I have treated, I have never observed an unequivocal instance of intervention in the physical realm. Many were prayed for, many found healing, but not in ways that counteracted the laws governing anatomy. No case have I treated personally would meet the rigorous criteria for a supernatural miracle." This is an amazing statement from a Christian who has treated thousands of leprosy patients. I am sure he prayed for them. Not a single one got healed miraculously! They were all healed by conventional medicine. And this is in India, an underdeveloped country if anyone is to argue that miraculous healing occurs in only underdeveloped countries.

I believe Yancey wrote this because he has seen the "great damage that result when we presume upon God (for healing)". Yancey's approach is to review our prayers with a checklist before praying.
* Am I expecting a miracle as an entitlement?
* Am I using the benefits of God's `common grace'-the healing built into our bodies and the medical knowledge we have gained?
* Do I wrongly blame God for causing suffering?
* Am I prepared for the possibility that physical healing may not take place?

I find this checklist fascinating and useful to check our inner attitude and our relationship with God before praying for healing. Yes, we are still called to pray for healing.

In any Christian bookstores, the shelves are full of books about prayers. This indicates that though prayers and praying is a common spiritual discipline, many of us have problems with it. I have enjoyed Philip Yancey's book for three reasons. Firstly, he is an excellent wordsmith and it was enjoyable to read his writing. Secondly, this book is full of interesting anecdotes and reports about the Christianity in different parts of the world because he has a journalist's instinct for seeing the big picture. Finally, he is honest about his struggle with praying and how much time he spent on it.

Connie Killabugger said...

Hi Wallace,

So as a gnostic Christian, do you believe in Jesus as a prophet or the Son of God?

You know, I picked up Philip Yancey's book on prayer about a year ago. I spent about a half-hour in the bookstore reading it. If it hadn't been for my meager budget, I might have purchased it! It was indeed intriguing. Perhaps I'll get it from the library when I go back to Denver in May. (Since you have reminded me of how interesting it is!) In my book, I have a few sections on healing and spirituality. I pondered some of the same issues as Yancey (as many of us do).

What are you doing in Cannes? My sister just left to spend a month in France at an artist's colony there. I am a bit jealous :)

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts.

wallace said...

So as a gnostic Christian, do you believe in Jesus as a prophet or the Son of God.

Yep. I seem gnostics as the original postmodernists!

Being open minded I think is very important and it is something I strive to be. Healing comes from many different sources.

Yep I am lucky to be here,soaking up the sun. I would like to invite people to stay with me but I dont really feel well enough, which is frustrating. But tomorrow who knows?

I want to spend some time in the mountains here. Shoemaker in mold Warriors says that 75% of patients benefit from mountain air? Have you tried that in Costa Rica? Any thoughts on this theory? Just because it wasnt in Desperation Medicine I feel a bit doubtful on this but... I feel a little better by the sea and sunshine but not hugely.

Let me know what you think of Desperation Medicine? I still am hugely impressed by it. When he says that soft tissue injury creates neurotoxins it seems to me legitimate to add that that emotional stress or trauma also creates neurotoxins. Klinghardt seems to be saying this almost.

Today I went to the Alpha class on Healing at the church. We were warned to stay away from Healers who charge. I dont think christian ministry should be just reduced to prayer which is what the alpha course just concentrated on. It should include all of Gods remedies, diet,fasting,clean air,sunshine and simple remedies. etc.

Sunny thoughts,

Connie Killabugger said...

Hi Wallace,

Regarding your comment, "I strive to be open-minded and healing comes from many sources"--I would agree with you that it comes from many sources, but ultimately (and perhaps here is where we disagree?), from one God. On another note, I don't think that being open-minded equates to believing that all spiritual doctrines/forces are beneficial--indeed, I feel there are some harmful ones. But in our postmodern age, relativity and the belief that all spirituality, is good seems to reign supreme. But to me, just because we consider it "open-minded" to think in relative terms, doesn't mean that there isn't one absolute truth. And well, nobody has ALL of the truth (IMHO), and I can only speak of my truth, which is that Jesus is the Son of God. You can disagree with me, though, I don't mind!

I agree that God provides lots of remedies for our healing--as you mention, sunshine, the sea, herbs...I don't think those who pray for others should charge for these kinds of services, though.
I agree that mountain air can be healing, as can any nature setting, where there is clean air, greenery and tranquility. Like you, I feel better at the beach. I haven't read Desperation Medicine; only Mold Warriors (but I wish I'd purchased that one instead). Maybe I will get it to read for when I go home to Denver in May. It sounds like a great book. Is there much overlap with Mold Warriors?

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, Wallace. I hope you have a great day! :)